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Regal Worm - Use And Ornament CD (album) cover

USE AND ORNAMENT

Regal Worm

 

Crossover Prog

3.96 | 26 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

MJAben
3 stars Great fun this record, no shortage of creativity and extremely well played throughout. There are some lows on the album, the floyd-like 'Apple Witch' and 'Morning Sentinel' aren't quite as strong or inventive as some of the other songs here and, as far as openers go, Zinc Ferment isn't exactly exciting or engaging and I'm not sure if it properly introduces the madness that is to come. 'Cherish that Rubber Rodent' is exciting and out there (even for this record) and the jazzy / spacey Mardi Gras has really grown on me in repeated listens.

The real highpoints on this album however are the mammoth songs 'Confessions from a Deep and Warm Hibernacum' and '6:17 PM the Aunt Turns Into an Ant' which really take the listener on a ride. The former, although opening with a melody that filled me with 80's synth drenched dread, expanded the idea through the next several moments into more ideas and themes than I can even hope to give insight to before introducing the strongest moment on the album where the female vocals come in. Wow. In the near half-hour masterpiece, the Aunt turns into an Ant, we see a development of themes ideas that take the listener on quite the ride and, although it doesn't feel erratic, you don't feel like you're listening to the same song through it.

If I had to name some issues with the album, which I'm reluctant to do given its high quality. I have to point out that the album does, at times, feel jumpy and erratic and at times it's hard to gain a real sense of what the band is, even after repeated listens. The other issue I have is that the album seems to be based off of EXTREMELY strong ideas, interluded with synth-drenched filler as connectors between these ideas. As a result I get a mixed feeling from this cd, I want to applaud it for its inventiveness, its daring nature, its genuinely crisp feel and sound. This doesn't feel formulaic, this is prog in its purest sense. By the end of it, when you've been listening to the album for over an hour, you don't feel weary or tired, the album stays at a high quality and you don't feel as though there are any filler songs (the worst you have are experiments that don't quite work for you).

On the whole though, the album is erratic and its inventiveness may in fact be the albums downfall. While you do have some absolutely brilliant moments it seems strung together haphazardly which is a real letdown. With more time in the oven perhaps, and more of an emphasis on making the songs work as songs and not just ideas within I could see this album getting an easy 4 or even a 5 star rating, but as it stands it just falls flat (which is a shame because this is a really strong record with some absolutely amazing moments.)

3/5 stars

MJAben | 3/5 |

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