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Thinking Plague - A History of Madness   CD (album) cover

A HISTORY OF MADNESS

Thinking Plague

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.07 | 65 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Unreasonably difficult and stinking of something gone bad in the corner is Thinking Plague's fifth... it's only later you begin noticing the strong jazz underpinnings easily missed, the high level of musicianship masked by odd moods and settings, and clear if stark visions of a music liberated from even its own Avant Garde origins. Mike Johnson plays acoustic and electric guitars for these gypsys and also handles bazouki and various light percussion, carried just right by Matt Mitchell with his buggy piano and synths, Mark Harris on reeds, Dave Willey's bass and ants-in-your-pants accordion, Deborah Perry's unstable and brainsick soughing, and of course the drums of Dave Shamrock. Plus six others handling everything from trumpets and fiddles to bass, samples and percussives. 'Blown Apart' with its jazz lines, Perry's unglued triplets and Mike Johnson's irritated plucking breaks into a great monster of a jam for the second half of this 8-minute opener. 'Consolamentum' and 'Rapture of the Deep' are pure nut house, and 'Gudamy Le Mayagot' shreds, wriggling under your skin with a mad fiddle from Jean Harrison. More of this in 'The Underground Stream' and pianist Matt Mitchell outdoing himself with a tremendous opera seria piano passage, and 'Lux Lucet' is a standout, edging this distraught record past typical avant prog. Faint influences from the Crims and Univers Zero but not much like either and though it contains a lot of hidden beauty, this is one bad acid trip of modern experimentalism and will surely piss you off.
Atavachron | 4/5 |

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