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John Zorn - The Garden Of Earthly Delights CD (album) cover

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.56 | 13 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars There aren't too many musicians as prolific as John Zorn when it comes to releasing albums year after year. I think he's released 3 so far in 2017. My only taste of Zorn's music was "Naked Gun" which just didn't do much for me. Fast forward to early this year and a buddy gives me a copy of "The Garden Of Earthly Delights" and to be honest I wasn't expecting much at all. My mind went "pop" when I spun this for the first time and I kept waiting to be disappointed as it played out but I was only deeply impressed with what has to be described as Avant-Garde Metal. The band that came to mind most often was KAYO DOT as in "Choirs Of The Eye" although this isn't that extreme and there are no vocals except for the angelic female ones on the final track. The big surprise is how prominent the organ is by John Medeski, so impressive. This is complex and challenging yet there is variety and plenty of non-metal pieces as well. So much atmosphere on this album as well.

"Angels And Devils" has this insane intro that will make your hair stand up with how avant and powerful that guitar is, so experimental with dissonant sounds. The organ and drums seem to come out of this insanity to lead the way, killer bass too. The guitar is lighting it up after 1 1/2 minutes. So much depth to the sound here as themes start to get repeated late.

"The Infernal Machine" is where they take a step back as we get plenty of atmosphere that is dark and haunting. Headphone music right here until the riffs kick in around a minute reminding me very much of KING CRIMSON. Drums follow then organ. Fuzzed out guitar before 2 minutes then another guitar starts to solo over top. Back to the riffs 3 minutes in then an all out assault follows. Nasty organ runs too. So good!

"The Dragon Tree" has such a great sounding rhythm section. I mean the bass and drums kill throughout this album but man they slay here. Avant guitar over top but this is all over the place including being heavy and extreme. Organ before a minute as it settles back yet there's so much going on. Intensity returns before 2 minutes, then the guitar rips it up, soon it's the organ doing the same. Love that calm late to end it. What a track!

"Paean To The Prince Of Hell" has relaxed organ to start before a catchy melody takes over of picked guitar, drums, bass and more. This is good. Soon the organ leads the way as the bass and drums also impress. I like the Symphonic vibe after 2 1/2 minutes then later before 4 1/2 minutes. In between we get a change after 3 minutes to an experimental sound that will turn powerful. A favourite.

"Music Of The Flesh" opens with atmosphere and picked guitar. A great headphone song with all those interesting sounds. Organ joins in around a minute. It brightens before 3 minutes somewhat as we get some picked guitar which impresses. Suddenly 4 minutes in we get a wall of sound. Insanity! The guitar is shredding big time 5 minutes in. Atmosphere, guitar and a calm end it.

"Eve And Adam" is a beautiful track with picked guitar, bass, a beat and an organ melody. This is really good. The organ leads briefly when the guitar steps aside. "Mirror Image" starts off sounding similar to the opening of this album with extreme guitar and more. Like taking a brief beating before it settles in with floating organ and a killer rhythm section. Man this sounds amazing here. Soon the guitar replaces the organ before 1 1/2 minutes. The organ is back as they trade off before joining forces.

"The Garden Of Earthly Delights" is dark with tons of atmosphere to begin with and it's quite eerie too. The speakers are vibrating big time right here and there's mechanical noises that scrape along. Soon the guitar starts to come out of the approaching storm. The guitar speeds up before 2 minutes. This is like a soundtrack for a movie where there's lots of suspense. The organ arrives around 2 1/2 minutes, experimental stuff. It becomes more stripped down late with guitar and atmosphere.

"The Circuit" is a short, just over 1 1/2 minute piece. Avant guitar and complexity beyond imagination. The organ comes in taking no prisoners. Some jazzy bass lines will follow as the outrageous sounds continue. "Out Of The Eternal Sphere" ends it and man what a way to end it! Gosh I'm so moved by this beautiful song. Sara is the guest vocalist here with vocal melodies. Gulp! Gorgeous guitar melodies, subtle bass lines and floating organ as Sara arrives with her moving vocals. She stops before 2 1/2 minutes as the organ replaces her and man how good is John Medeski? She's back before 4 minutes to end it. Nice.

Darn near perfect as far as I'm concerned. If Zorn has anything else close to sounding like this one please let me know. One of the best from 2017 right here.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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