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The Residents - Wormwood Live 1999 CD (album) cover

WORMWOOD LIVE 1999

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.21 | 5 ratings

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DantesRing
3 stars The Residents tackled their, arguably, most controversial topic, The Bible in the previous years 'Wormwood', where they set out to shine a little light on the brutality and horror that was omnipresent in the Good Book. This live recording brings a new dimension to the tale with enhanced storytelling and some signifigant creative changes in the music.

Going further out in the live version they throw a hodgepodge of traditional hymns, sunday school rhymes, and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' into the mix as well as reworking most of the tracks into a more ominous, and much more resonant, timbre. Highlights include 'Burn Baby Burn' sung by Molly Harvey in a slow dirge like version that makes you feel the terror and remorse of being burned alive (unlike the original, which had a much more upbeat, almost catchy refrain), 'Fire Fall' in which the singing Resident makes Lot's struggle at Sodom and Gomorrah sound heart-wrenching, yet with a tinge of regret. It also features the hysterical (as in insane, not funny) rants of Mr. Skull as he prefaces the tales, bringing out the major themes, so someone not familiar with the storyline can follow.

It is unfortunate that this show doesn't feature the gamalan orchestra that was featured in the early versions of this show, but the band plays with appropriate attitude, showcasing the minimalism that is prevelant in their music, yet making it feel rich and expansive.

Shortcomings would be some of the sound quality, especially in the dialogue of Mr. Skull which is muffled at times through his mask. In addition, this was a limited release that is no longer available through their web-site, but it can still be found on iTunes (suprise, suprise), but if you are looking for a nice copy with the digicase, good luck.

Not an essentail release, nor one for newcomers to the band, but an excellent addition to the fan base.

DantesRing | 3/5 |

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