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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History CD (album) cover


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



4.14 | 237 ratings

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5 stars This will be the first time ever reviewing an album so bear with me as I voice my opinion. I am always been frightened of listening to anything avagrade or rio just because I figured that it was perhaps a little too weird for my tastes, but after receiving a copy of Alamaailman Vasarat's Maahan, Höyry-Kone's Huono Parturi and finally this album its like discovering progressive rock all over again.

I have to admit, I was starting to tired of progressive rock as releases like PT's Fear of the Blank Planet and Phideaux's Doomsday Afternoon while quite excellent, and masterpieces in their own right didn't over joy me, driving me listen to it day and night like an addiction as say like when I discovered modern prog (anglagard) or Italian Prog (Rosenbach, PFM), and hell, even when I first discovered prog (King Crimson). But SGM's Album Of Natural has been keeping sleepless at nights. I was astounded this and the two other Avagrade/RIO albums so much that it has led me here with the need to write my first review.

I can't really say this is the greatest album ever as I have a few minor quibbles about the album, but when I rethink that statement, I can't say it would be better without its flaws as I have grown to love this album as more of a personality. Apart from say a Ween album, SGM has managed to not only mix several genres into one compact disk, but within many songs. Just as everybody else on this page I am left unable to file this under any category apart from my favorites. Also, unlike many albums this day and age this album has a message which is quite relevant to our current society. Of course, I'm going to review the music, if you want to know the story, there are several other reviews.

The first track A Hymn to the Morning Star, needless to say caught my attention immediately with an eerie church hymn driven by one of the most powerful voices I've heard in recent memory. The atmosphere because almost overwhelmingly thick as the bass and bizarre homemade instruments kick in at around 2:50 followed by Carla and her violin. This later diverts back into the original hymn before repeating itself once again. 4/5

The Donkey-Headed Adversary of Humanity Opens the Discussion is not only my favorite song on the album but my first serious experience with a growling voice that sounds like it could be death metal. Of course this song is anything but death metal, or any other genre of music. This song is hard to put into words with many interesting sounds which are completely foreign to my ears, although is sounds very industrial like 90's King Crimson. Just as a little note, I almost skipped this one out of fear that it was death metal, so hang in there, you'll love it. 5/5

Phthisis brings a grand epic sound which reminds me of the power behind created by the orchestras say used by Renaissance or Devil Doll. Of course this power is generated by Carla's majestic voice which yea, I'd admit and agree with other reviews that she does sound bjorkish, but if anything, she outbjorks bjork. 5/5

Bring Back the Apocalypse is a strange collage of sounds which starts off rather slowly but builds into more chaotic sounds and chanting, not very well liked by most, but I have no problems. 3/5

FC_The Freedom Club is quite a long song that showcases the band's talent in playing at several different paces, with different voices and different instruments without anything seeming out of place or unnecessary. Unlike many bands that seem to just have 2 different paces. SGM seem to have no real limits in their abilities. 4/5

Gunday's Child, is another one of those songs driven by Carla's great voice and great violin playing. Has a little nursery rhyme in the middle that I first thought it could do without, but I rather like it now as it adds to the atmosphere. 3/5

You can debate whether The 17-Year Cicada is some excellently executed piece of musical art, but to me, sorry, its quite unnecessary, although, its not that bad, and not that long, although I do like it when I listen to the album as a whole. 2/3

First thought that came to mind when I started The Creature, was, aw, here we go, something that really sounds analytical of King Crimson, the song Dig Me in fact, but lo and behold, it goes off into god knows where as one of the most atmospheric songs I've heard in ages, I loved it. 4/5

What Shall We Do without Us is easily overlooked as it's very short, and 80% of it is just noise linking it to the other songs, making the song very very short. Despite it lacking in length, it is still highly enjoyable. 4/5

Baby Doctor is one of the creepiest songs I have ever heard, and seems too built up momentum in parts that really seems to go nowhere, although this is hardly a flaw. Best way I can destribe it is they they are teasing you, like a girl who starts off strong, getting you all excited, then she just stops, begins again and stops until BAM!!! the song's climax. This song is quite long, somewhat strait forward and doesn't really break any new grounds. 4/5

Cockroach is a satirical song that should be listened to for the lyrics only, although, if I wanted silly over the top satire in songs, I would have listened to Ween. 3/5

Untitled... uhmmmm, this really isn't a song

Highlights for me include the incredible range of voices used throughout the album, the intelligent lyrics, original homemade instruments and most impressive of all, creating a sort of death metal that I didn't immediately shut off and laugh my ass off. Although, these death metal parts arise rarely, it's really not death metal, its just. different and I extensively enjoy it.

rambaron | 5/5 |


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