Legend of the Seagullmen: Legend of the Seagullmen
If you ever start a progmetal fantasy league, then you should draft Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds and Tool drummer Danny Carey as your first two picks. Any project featuring that virtuoso duo will, no doubt, feature elite-level playing. The true question with supergroup Legend of the Seagullmen: Will the songs have sea legs? The band’s debut LP is a category 5 hurricane of brooding riffs, overwrought orchestrations, nautical themes and a pervading sense of camp—sort of like Tenacious D covering Mastodon’s Leviathan with Meat Loaf as producer. Thevoyage can be pretty fun at times: “Shipswreck,” with its proggy synth lines and seagull sound effects, fully embraces its silliness; ditto with “We Are the Seagullmen,” highlighted by a Tool-ish bassline (courtesy of Zappa Plays Zappa bassist Pete Griffin) and David “The Doctor” Dreyer’s cartoonish, chest-pumping bellow. But Dreyer continuously throws the ship off course with his awkward vocal style, which takes itself too seriously to recall Jack Black but not quite earnestly enough to echo Maynard James Keenan. Throughout the album, it’s never clear whether the frontman is goofing around or aiming to craft his maritime masterwork. The concept itself is beside the point—just an excuse to superficially connect the songs with water imagery. (“There’s a place in the ocean all men fear/ Where a captain and crew never reappear,” Dreyer sings, in a very representative lyric, on “Shipswreck.”) Your best option: Forget the seagulls, focus on the riffs.