Levi/Werstler: Tune-Up

Originally published in Guitar World, August 2010

Dååth guitarists Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler stand on their own with Avalanche of Worms.

Record companies don't usually ask artists to form a band. But after Dååth guitarists Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler submitted a track to the 2008 Magna Carta compilation Guitars That Ate My Brain, the label was so impressed that it invited the guitarists to record a full album of instrumentals.

The disc, Avalanche of Worms, is a majestic blend of psychedelic prog-rock, experimental rhythms, haunting melodic embellishments and blazing, classical- and jazz-inspired solos that sounds like Steve Vai on a diet of Mastodon, Opeth, early Yes and Bach. “We wanted to make a record that not only featured great playing but also stood alone as a complete piece of work,” Levi says.

Listening to it, you might think it took months to compose the songs, layer the rhythm and lead guitars, and finesse the tracks. Amazingly, Levi and Werstler wrote and recorded the entire album in just eight weeks in late 2009. “That’s all the time the label gave us,” Werstler says. “We wrote everything to a metronome, and then we got [Cynic drummer] Sean Reinert to add the drums, which worked out perfectly.” The team was assisted by bassist Kevin Scott and keyboardist Eric Guenther, and the album was mastered by engineer Mark Lewis, whose credits include Trivium and the Black Dahlia Murder.

Despite the circumstances, Levi and Werstler say Avalanche of Worms was the most enjoyable record they’ve ever worked on. “We had a fantastic time,” Werstler says. “We’d literally jam every day on this crazy stuff and just watch it all come together. It was chaos in motion.”

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