Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekly Dose of Prog: Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows

I've gone into Bigelf before, but now that I've listened to Cheat The Gallows a few times, some of the more subtle nuances have come into the foreground. The album begins and ends with 'the show' theme, something sort of like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from The Beatles, but it's not an oppressive theme. It just adds to the ambiance.

Cheat The Gallows is an interesting mix of prog, psych and 70s hard rock. Songs like "Blackball" and "Superstar" strike me as a little more progressive version of Aerosmith, with simple and catchy verses and choruses. While songs like "Gravest Show On Earth" and "The Evils of Rock & Roll" come across as something more akin to the late 60s rock, albeit much heavier. In my original breakdown of the group I equated them as a mix of Pink Floyd and The Beatles and I really do have to stick to my guns, just this time I'm adding in the hard rock aspect.

I gotta say, one of the main positive aspects of this album - and Bigelf as a whole - is the strength of the singer's vocals. Damon Fox's voice grows and changes with each song. Some songs it comes off as more metallic and synthesized, while others it's more down to earth. I don't know how much is within his control and how much is an effect added, but either way I like it.

Bigelf is an interesting progressive rock band, and Cheat The Gallows is their best work. It expertly melds obvious influences in un-obvious ways. Their previous release, Hex, is decent as well, but this one is way better overall. I await a new album (no word on that yet, but I'm hopeful), and really hope they continue their trend of melding genres, sounds and decades of music like professionals of the craft. This is definitely an album worth picking up and checking out.


avestin said...

I only have Hex, which is fine, but at times sounds exactly like Black Sabbath. Still an entertaining band and I'll check out this more recent release as well; sounds like it's a step up from Hex.

The Klepto said...

I think it was a step up, I liked Hex, but Cheat The Gallows is my favorite. The prior two... I wouldn't bother with, they were fine but newer is better by far