Release Date: September 23rd, 2016
Label: Metal Blade Records
"Inverted Grasp of Balance isn’t an album, it’s an experience." -- metalwani.com
Across the record, Pittman explores a range of lyrical themes, the scope of these matching the variety of tones and moods in the music, though he is not one for overly spelling things out. “I like to write in a way where the listener can decide what the song is about“, explains Monte. “Like when looking at abstract art and each person sees something else. So a song like ‘Guilty Pleasure’ could be viewed from the point of view of either an antagonist or a victim.” There are also some “ghostly, supernatural” connotations, such as “Be Very Afraid”, which is about living in a haunted house, but can also be perceived as a take on the housing market crashing.
The album title itself comes from a line in album opener “Panic Attack”, and is centered around the idea of feeling in control when that is actually not the case at all – the ground falls out beneath you just when you think you’ve got things dialed. However, Pittman views such circumstances as a potential blessing in disguise. “It can mean starting again from scratch but knowing more than you did before. What is balance? It’s never 50/50. Nothing is ever completely perfect. From a music theory perspective, if you take a C Major 7 chord, you have ‘perfect harmony’. None of the notes are altered, and that’s the only time this happens with the numerical value of the tones. But if you take the notes that give you that sound or feeling – which is a C and a B – and you put them just with each other, they’re dissonant. I think the lesson in that is you have to have disharmony to have perfect harmony.“
Of course it would not be a Monte Pittman album without a bevy of killer guitar solos. As such, anyone partial to fleet-fingered shredding will also find plenty to fall in love with on Inverted Grasp Of Balance, for Pittman has never sounded better when he lets loose on the fretboard. Again, he continued to push the envelope. “I incorporated some different, odd scales and chords into a lot of it. If I found myself repeating ideas, I knew to go somewhere else with it. As someone who teaches guitar, I also wanted to be able to use the leads as examples for teaching guitar lessons. In ‘Obliterated’, there are several little elements that could be guitar lessons on their own.“
Teamed up with powerhouse drummer Richard Christy of Charred Walls Of The Damned/Iced Earth/Death fame and virtuoso bassist Billy Sheehan, famous for his work with a plethora of extremely talented artists – including David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and, more recently, Winery Dogs – the skill of all concerned explodes from the speakers. With such passionate professionals and Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) handling production duties, the record came together quickly and smoothly, Pittman recording his guitar parts wherever he found himself while on the road. With unique artwork provided by Sean K Hughes – who Pittman met at a bar called The Black Rabbit in Melbourne, Australia – this really is the proverbial “whole package”: an album that has been lovingly crafted in all aspects, that he hopes reaches as many ears as possible.