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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times CD (album) cover


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



3.95 | 115 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The final studio album from the Oakland, California art-metal eccentrics was another winner, albeit not for every taste. There's very little middle ground here: the music can be loud and abrasive, or (less often) subtle and melodic, but is always pitched to the ragged edge of sanity.

Don't be lulled into false security by the slow opening verses of "The Companions", kicking off the album like an ominous invocation more than a genuine song. It may sound more subdued than usual for this band, but it's the uneasy calm of a boa constrictor that just swallowed a live pig and is looking for its next meal.

The album is certainly extreme, and yet at the same time incredibly eclectic, with a strange theatrical flair making it resemble the original cast soundtrack to an off-Broadway musical about zombie death cults, as scored by Gentle Giant. Old-school progheads are hereby put on alert: don't expect any concessions from a group using arcane instruments identified as Sledgehammer Dulcimer, Electric Pancreas, and the always inscrutable Thing.

The song titles tell their own explicit story: "Helpless Corpse Enactment", "Putrid Refrain", "Ossuary" et al. But there's an unexpected air of refinement behind all the thrash-dada intensity, with lyrics borrowed from the writings of James Joyce and poet Wallace Stevens. The awesome guttural aggression of singer Nils Frykdahl was likewise diluted by the occasional lead vocal by Carla Kihlstedt, although Frykdahl proves (in "The Companions" again) that he can do much more with his voice besides growl like a starving cannibal.

It's too bad the group couldn't stay together long enough for an encore. But maybe three full albums of hardcore progging was enough; any more would have risked complacency, something musicians and fans should always be on guard against. SGM set a good example by quitting while ahead: how many other bands listed on this site do you wish had done the same?

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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