Tool is one of the most influential metal bands of our time. It’s also one of the hardest to imitate, as evidenced by Los Angeles trio Chingalera. The band fails mightily in its attempt at a Tool-like progressive metal epic with its debut, In the Shadow of the Black Palm Tree, then waits around for the tomatoes to fly.
The riffs that open “Trust Us True Believers” and “O.T.B.D.” are decent, but the members of Chingalera take their sweet time doing nothing with them — no number of minute textural variations can excuse two ten-minute treatments on a single riff. “Black Palm” is more varied but totally aimless, and its corny lyric “A shady place for shady people” limps in only after the post-boredom eight-minute mark.
Without the requisite chops or smarts to focus its instrumental sprawl, In the Shadow of the Black Palm Tree comes off as flabby and immature. Not even a gritty Steve Albini recording job can save this one.