Brian Bromberg's latest spotlights his prodigious ability in the world of rock/fusion. He tunes his piccolo bass an octave and a fourth above conventional basses, and he overdubs it like a lead instrument over electric bass parts, successfully creating the impression that a full band is performing these songs. In fact, with the exception of a couple of tracks with pianist Dan Siegel, Bromberg's joined only by drummer Joel Taylor. "Fooled Ya" and "Top Down" have prominent melodies and entertaining choruses that are made even more attractive by Bromberg's flurries and solos. "Flight of the Phoenix" and "The Message Within" are other numbers that feature outstanding electric-bass technique and equally impressive studio and production touches.
While this sort of music will probably have minimal interest for traditional or conservative jazz listeners, the CD should attract fans who enjoy funk, substantial fusion and a smidgeon of smooth jazz. While I prefer his acoustic projects, Brian Bromberg shows on Metal that he's just as formidable an electric improviser, with versatile musical tastes.