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Birds And Buildings - Bantam To Behemoth CD (album) cover


Birds And Buildings


Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 461 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first album of Dan Britton's Birds and Buildings project offers a vivid voyage to studies of classic progressive rock arrangements and compositional idioms. Its musical neo-classism is portrayed interestingly on the album covers, outer sides relying to Hieronymus Bosch's illustration (a minor detail from "Garden of Eden" painting), and the inner booklet adventuring on Kezia Terracciano's sympathetic drawings. The long album flows trough vast array of stylistic solutions, from Mellotron-driven solemn sceneries to Van Der Graaf Generator reminding saxophone assaults, not forgetting piano sequences visiting both jazzy and Renaissance-reminding symphonic passages, nor the few spoonfuls of heavier guitar riffs as a spice. The record is mostly instrumental, and I admit the maestro's vocal lines seem to be the weakest element on the technically skilful recording. I recall exchanging few messages with Mr. Britton about his Emkog-label's earlier albums I had heard, and remember he would have mentioned been studying music in Russia. The song titles have references to the place names and myths surrounding the mighty Urals, but mostly the album feels like a free ride possibility to the imagination of anybody open for this music. Really I do not find anything wrong with the album, but there seems to be also a drawback on this; I can't also find anything very special from it, and the technical virtuosity can't substitute for myself sensations of spirituality, human sincerity and spontaneous self-expression. I however underline, this perception opens only from my own personality, and based on this debut album I would certainly recommend this group to anybody open to adventurous, symphonic and technically well-crafted music. On the time of writing this, Birds and Buildings' second album "Multipurpose Trap" is also already released, which I have not heard though. From Emkog's production effort's seriousness might be carved to the release plans on their 2010 sampler, having release plans for 2015. The preliminary stated and possibly too optimistically estimated release years also tell their tale about the often invisible difficulties of getting already recorded songs to the markets as finished products. I personally respect the union of ambitious aims and pedantic orientation to handling of practical issues, though these factors might sometimes be not feasible on art creation process itself. There is a visit from singer Megan Wheatley on this album, and I adored her voice on the more ethereal album of group All Over Everywhere. I believe that band is my favourite of the Emkog label's groups, and I can sense the quality and stylistic diversity residing pleasantly on their release catalogue.
Eetu Pellonpaa | 3/5 |


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