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Necromonkey - Necroplex CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 29 ratings

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4 stars Necromonkey is the collaboration between Mattias Olsson who is the drummer from the much appreciated band Änglagård, and keyboardist David Lundberg who you know from Gösta Berlings Saga, so it's not so surprising when the two also seem to collaborate on each other's bands lately. But please forget anything you know from the those two bands and set your mind to something completely and entirely different, this album marks one end of the eclectic prog genre as it combines a few elements from prog electronic, symphonic and post rock. Their mixing of styles, ideas and sound is something I haven't heard yet, mixing together modern technology with vintage and acoustic equipment, giving the album an exhilarating, interesting and varied sound. But don't expect any electronic experimentation or trippy ambienty stuff like in the 70's electronic albums, this is quite different, very upbeat and energetic. The music incorporates a lot of layers and all kinds of sounds from clarinets, guitars, cellos violins, piano and trumpets to a big arsenal of keyboards like mellotron, synths, drum machine and more, so there's a lot to pay attention to, a lot of details are hidden inside that big mix or just flying all over the place. Olsson and Lundberg handle most of the instruments, but there's also a good line up of other musicians who contributes on the acoustic instruments. Although there's a use of vintage keyboards the overall sound is very fresh and modern, including Olsson's drums which are not trying to sound live but instead heavily effected, which of course suits the music perfectly and gives it a very modern, new, challenging and fresh sound, and this is aside from the drum machine involved, so as it turnes out every track here enjoys a different drums sound and sometimes a few different sound within one song, very cool!.

Necroplex has a very natural and easy flow thanks to the effective arranging of the tracks. I think what makes this album a real winner is that perfect balance between new electronic sounds and vintage or acoustic instruments. The main and longer tracks are seperated by shorter tracks which are completely acoustic and helps the flow of the album and the overall varied sound. For example "Small Rome" sounds like a modern classical piece played by piano, cello and keys. "Empty Traps And Nightfall" is a beautiful fretless bass interlude with some noises behind and "Spoken" is an enjoyable narration over a weird combination of a trippy distorted piano and a rusty jukebox playing a dixieland jazz tune, I love those sounds! The other more electronic tracks are very progressive as well, they change and evolve from one minute to the next incorporating million of sounds, noises and different melodies. This is also the place to comment on Lundberg's exquisite and masterful keyboard work, which is so varied and engaging. An outstanding work of bringing all kinds of different sounds and putting them together, each in his right place and on top of that coming with beautiful melodies and themes. There's also some tasteful guitars added by no other than Einar Baldursson also from Gosta Berlings Saga, only this time his adding some colors to the picture or playing all kinds of leads and fillers, he is the one responsible for that post rock feel that the music has, so don't expect any wild solos that he is so known for.

Every track is very different from the other so the album actually works better as a whole, but still I can name a few highlights. "Every Dead Indian" is an 8 minute track which demonstrates all the great aspects of the duo. The song is divided in two, the first part is an upbeat modern psychedelic theme led by a prominent violin and all kinds of keyboard sounds, it then breaks into the second part which is very relaxed including a beautiful calrinet, excellent stuff! And check out the super cool "The Utopian And The Teaspoon" with its driving rhythm and uplifting horns theme adding trumpets, guitars and other sounds to the mix, I love cranking this one up.

So if you're already a fan of these guys here is a chance to see how eclectic and unusual they can get, pushing the boundaries of prog rock just a little more. I usually don't go for albums like this but boy am I glad I did this time! I can recommend this album to anyone who wishes to broaden his horizons and open up to something different and adventurous. 4.5 stars and very close to the fifth star. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Sagichim | 4/5 |


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