Unknowing (MySpace.com/coconspirator)

For most progressive metal bands that call themselves jazz metal, the "jazz" aspect is just a texture. Akron's Co_Conspirator, however, goes way beyond throwing in the occasional clean jazz chord. It sounds more like a fusion band dabbling in tightly coiled, odd-metered metal. The contrast between rigid riffing and loose improv allows Co_Conspirator plenty of room to show off its otherworldly technique on this five-track EP.

Morgan Phelps pounds out impossible Primus-style basslines on his fifteen-string Warr Guitar, and guitarist Tom McCain shreds like a machete. Singer Eric Nepodal actually sings in key during the ever-changing musical madness. What results is an esoteric sound that's often too technical for common listeners who don't wet themselves over odd time signatures. But die-hard prog-metal geeks do, and they'll be blown away by Unknowing.

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