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Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic - Petrophonics CD (album) cover


Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic



4.07 | 47 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After Roger Miller's departure in 1987, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic had to reshape the extensive use of keybord inputs, given the fact that a new member was coming to be in charge of saxes and flute. This external modification coincided with a reformulation of the writing strategy for the forthcoming repertoire: the new strategy was more orchestral, with a major presence of harmony and melody. This release from the predominantly pulsational approach during the Miller-era came to its fruition in the band's 2000 effort "Petrophonics". What an amazing way to bid farewell to the old millennium! This album is not only beautiful in itself, but also a masterpiece in the current age of avat-prog. The namesake opener states an agile cadence, experimental yet undeniably warm. The mood shifts in the interlude serve as an entrance in solemn sounds, a bit somber, never overwhelming. 'Ptoccata II' is notoriously denser, to a certain degree, related to "Uzed"-era Univers Zero. 'One Hundred Cycles" and 'Nevergreen' adopt, with different levels of intensity, peculiar Latin jazz-based textures in order to state a colorful approach to teh standards of chamber-rock. Field's sax deliveries trace effective solos upon the bases established by the other musicians: the guitar sets eerie textures here and there. When we come to 'One Hundred Cycles' we find some funny turntable scratch effects, yet they're used not fr rhythmic purposes but as adornments for the harmonic developments. 'Nevergreen' is patently darker, but once the rhythm frame is properly stated by the combination of percussions and piano, the guitar and sax are ready to deliver their solos in a lyrical approach. 'Study of Unintended Consequences' is the album's first manifestation of abstract sonorities: totally disjointed, it is minimally focused on languid, creepy ambiences. After this display of spectral mystery, the Latin jazz element returns in 'Birdhead', after which the zigzaggin repertoire brings back some of the preceding foggy spirit for 'Allswell that Endswell in Roswell'. Unlike track 5, 'Allswell...' bears a defined composition. The last 27 minutes of the album are occupied by two Eric Lindgren-penned multi-part suites. 'Music Inspired by 1001 Real Apes' starts in a very relaxing manner, bucolic and mysterious at once, before arriving to a pulsational second section. Section 3 'Gravity Theme' sets yet another exercise on latin jazz-based avant-prog - who says that RIO can't be mobing and candid? The section's conclusive piano phrases are segued into the last one, which sets a sort of mdernized Magma vibe. This suite is almost a refurbishment of the old BOTM instilled into the new BOTM's line of work. The other suite, 'The Insidious Revenge of Ultima Thule', reflects the band's taste for loose dynamics. There is the tribal starting section adorned with flute flourishes and guitar layers; the second section is eerie and introspective; the last section makes a dramatic turn into creepy atmospheres, somewhat akin to "Heresie"-era Univers Zero and Shub-Niggurath. In conclusion: "Petrophonics" is a clear testimony of the enhanced versatility achieved by BOTM, and also a testimony of real vitality for RIO in the new millennium.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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