Pigeon Toe – The First Perception

From the first play the debut album from German metal band Pigeon Toe is eager to start an affair with the senses, successfully instigating a warm connection that is vibrant and intriguing. ”The First Perception” though is working with a deeper intent and it is within the third or so listen that one realises how deeply into its creative bosom one has been led with the album’s intelligent ingenuity and inspiring melodic prowess. The release wraps itself around the ear before delving much deeper with a progressive metal sound which draws upon and lights up emotions, it’s finely composed flowing sounds and impressively structured unfussy journeys bringing a constantly mesmeric pleasure.
The Freiburg quintet began as an idea between guitarists/vocalists and brothers Marsn and Hanson (Fear My Thoughts, Backslide and Mongouse), the subsequent four years since seeing the addition to the band of bassist Ben Krahl (Final Kings), and former Fear My Thoughts members drummer Norman Lonhard (now Triptykon) and Patrick Hagman on guitar and synths. The following years saw the band working on writing explosive yet expansive songs as evident on the album, and tours and shows with the likes of Long Distance Calling and Karnivool, a band which springs to mind often during “The First Perception”.
The album starts on a strong but unassuming base with the title track. The song sets a feel for what is ahead with great blended vocal harmonies over incisive melodies and probing guitars. Gentle but firm the song punctuates the expressive melodies with clusters of riffs and striking guitar intrusions. From here on in sounds turn more dramatic and compelling, songs like “The Chase” with chunky bass lines and riffs that nip at the ear, the Faith No More inspired “The Man With The Cat”, and the emotively reflective “A Broken Man”, leap to startlingly higher levels with one’s senses in tow. These last two songs are the best on the album and mark the band as a wonderfully formidable and inventive.
The excellent vocals take centre stage to some extent throughout the album, the Mike Patton/Layne Staley blend irresistible but musically too Pigeon Toe is a deeply striking and accomplished proposition. The band has a grace and ability that few others possess in fusing a harder metal edge to absorbing provocative melodies and though the album lacks a spark to truly ignite the passions it gives more than food for thought for the heart.

Pete RingMaster

Band info: www.pigeontoe.de