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The Arthur Brown Band - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown: Strangelands CD (album) cover


The Arthur Brown Band



2.92 | 19 ratings

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2 stars ...and along came Arthur, one of the most extravagant and brilliant musicians of the day. From the bluesy origins of the british boom he took the bold step into territory rarely tread before him. Mad as a hatter, obviously, but equipped with the most focused of minds, visionary and brave he set forth digging out a piece of the musical world that belonged to him and him alone.

The first album was a sort of compromise between blues and progressive rock which turned out really well. I suppose the album made quite an impact with it's theatrical vocals and scary, to be frank, compositions. Yet I cannot feel that the album was anything but a compromise where Brown constrained himself beyond his strength to make an album that would appeal to parts or any of the audience. Why? Simply because the next album he recorded, yet never saw released back then, was a chaotic piece of musical tapestry far beyond any normal mind. The album was in fact abnormal. The only sane thing about it is it's title, Strangelands, which encapsulates everything the album is. Strange and set in a strange land.

To listen to this album you need to be prepared for something beyond complex. There are no songs or epics in the normal sense. What you get is a bunch of musicians painting a canvas of distorted, twisted and deranged motives, with colours able to scare you. Sort of like a horror movie twisting your brain. You will not find structure. Well, that's not completely true. I will explain.

The Arthur Brown band of 1969 is the equivalent of modern day Mayhem, the norwegian black metal band. The reason for this statement is the immaculate ability to walk the ever so thin line between utter chaos and some sense of structure. Buried between the chaos you do find traces of order, proof of the true visions and musical skill possessed by the band, or both bands in this case. That is the scary part, the slight presence of order in a chaotic setting. Sort of like a workplace for orchs, really. Amidst all that chaos and devestation they do manage to build something that's both functional and impressive, given the circumstances.

With all that said, I must bear witness and let my personal feelings fly high, which, all things concerned is the purpose of reviews, and proclaim that this is not particularily enjoyable. I find it intriguing and interesting but not enjoyable. There are no real paths to follow and no real songs to endear me. The only real reward is after the album is over is the feeling of being impressed by how anyone is able to produce something like this. That is impressive but does not transform the music into anything other than noise, albeit with a sugar coating. (Though the coating must have gone off.)

I recommend you, if you like Arthur Brown, to give it a spin or two since it is a sort of progressional phase. "Galactic zoo dossier" was totally different and "Kingdom Come" (my favorite) is a sort of blend between the latter and "Strangelands". Purely an interesting note in the annals of Brown.

Conclusion: I'll give this album two stars, based only only on the fact that it is an impressive piece of work. That's all.

GruvanDahlman | 2/5 |


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