Release Date: Jan 6, 2017
Record label: Rise
When two Troys go to war... With a line-up featuring Mastodon vocalist/bassist Troy Sanders, Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and At The Drive-In drummer Tony Hajjar, you’d expect this supergroup to be heavy, heavy alt.metal heaven, and you’d be right. Despite easing us in with a deceptively gentle, doom-laden intro on Violescent, it’s not long before they come in with an elephantine desert-rock riff that could tear Arizona a whole new Grand Canyon.
We take a look at the supergroup's new full-length. Featuring members of Mastodon and Queens Of The Stone Age among others, Gone Is Gone’s ‘Violescent’ EP was a messy mix of ideas. Thankfully, their debut album ‘Echolocation’ is a much more focused affair. While the spacious (and slightly dreary) prog textures remain, the lurching riffs of ‘Resurge’ and melodic highs of ‘Ornament’ hit the bullseye; showing how talented these four musicians truly are.
A hard rock semi-supergroup featuring members of Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and At the Drive-In, Gone is Gone make powerful, occasionally mammoth tunes with the clinical efficiency that comes when four established genre veterans pool their talents for one massive headbang. The tracks on ‘Echolocation’ have a haunting inevitability to them. They rarely rush things, allowing Troy Sanders’ commanding bass lines and fierce percussion from Tony Hajjar to move this grimly serious procession forwards.
The word “supergroup” gets thrown around in most of the coverage of Gone Is Gone. Composed of Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Tony Hajjar (At the Drive-In), Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age), and film composer Mike Zarin, Gone Is Gone joins the recent crop of metal collaborations like Sumac and Palms. Metal remains ripe territory for cross-genre experimentation, which makes it unsurprising that even the most adventurous metal musicians continue to seek out new avenues for sonic discovery.
From the opening moments of Echolocation until its grim close, Gone Is Gone’s latest output is stronger than its debut EP. The sound evolved fast: While both releases combine post-hardcore and metal in a radio-friendly way, Echolocation reveals a band that’s fought hard to discover its own sound, even if that sound is still best described as an amalgam of simple-but-heavy rock. The band fires best not when it sounds like a combination of its parts, but when the musicians let loose and do things that wouldn’t fit into their other projects.