RONIN – Dissolving Pinch Roller

RONIN - Dissolving Pinch Roller
  • 4/10
    RONIN - Dissolving Pinch Roller - 4/10


Release date: January 17, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There was a time when aliases were cool. Remember “Thunder Child”? Mark Zonder of Fates Warning, at that time with Warlord. “Tom Angelripper”? Thomas Such of Sodom. Ronin seems to aim at their place in this category, as the members are mostly hidden behind more or less witty aliases: Captain T, Ninjaboy, Ranger X. Only the drummer Michael Sapp appears under his real name. Or is it maybe Darius Ivanovitch Gurassinov, or Dick Head, and Michael Sapp is the alias?

Well, be it funny, silly or whatever, some of the New York guys have been around for a while and know what they are doing. Captain T. released several albums with other projects, and so did Ninjaboy (it actually feels silly kind of typing those names, but the aliases will have to do). Most impressive though seems to be Michael Sapp who toured with The Harlem Gospel Singers and is much into Jazz. Not very Metal, but definitely a sign of musical prowess.

Dissolving Pinch Roller is the second release from Ronin, after their 2004 debut The Sun Rises In The East. On this album they also have quite a few guest musicians. So when one combines all the information, it makes a good starting point for a Metal album, which is proven true by the first track “Paint The Floor” (ignoring the short intro “Crickets” which is just too unworthy to be mentioned). Pop and Rock meet Stoner and a heavy dose of Doom, with a great chorus and a very emotional sound due to a Cello. This is one of the best songs of 2007 so far, and needs to be in your ears, too! Following is “Concubine” which can not keep the level of brilliance, but that was to be expected after the Übersong of the album. The guitar sounds a bit like Zakk Wylde/Ozzy, but the track is broken into several parts by strange breaks that seem artificial and deliberate and just make the track longer. The chorus is okay, though. Unfortunately, hopes for more of the stuff the album opened with are not fulfilled. “Will You Come Around” is confused, but fortunately very short, and “Something Out There” is a short instrumental of the tedious type.

Then Ronin wrote another good track, not another “Paint The Floor” hymn, but a cool, calm track that reminds of Paradise Lost during their Icon period… “Hideaway”. As before, the following songs can not keep up: “Tarot Cards” is groovy, glamy, noisy, but not really good; “Dismantle” with its synthesizer groove, samples and Hardcore shouting is more original, but also fails to make you want to hit the repeat button; “Future” features the worst vocal performance on the album and sounds uninspired, like a soft Red Hot Chili Peppers’ leftover with a short, hard guitar intermezzo; after the instrumental “Checking In” then The Police reminiscent title track overwhelms with lots of effects and a mixture of Doom and noise that is also not the stuff one puts on repeatedly. Before the final instrumental “Monsoon” which is more or less a bass solo with drums and keyboards, Ronin recorded a cover version of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls”. The new version sounds so horrible, without any esprit that one wishes to have turned off the album before that song.

So what do we have: One brilliant track, two good ones, and a lot of stuff that is not unoriginal, but also hard work listening to, and some simply boring songs. That is definitely below average and can only lead to a “don’t buy” recommendation, if there wasn’t “Paint The Floor”! So the suggestion is: Buy “Paint The Floor” and “Hideaway”, maybe also “Concubine” as single tracks as download. But the whole album? That can not recommended…


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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