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Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.69 | 121 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars On this third album (from 2008) by the exciting USA progrock formation I notice more variety and less emphasis on a bombastic vintage keyboard sound than on their previous two albums. Just take a look at the huge amount of guest musicians, especially the The Gallows Orchestra, The Section Quartet and The Kung-Pao Horns. Due to their contributions Bigelf sounds like The Brian Setzer Orchestra (brass in Blackball) and ELO (omnipresent violin sound in Gravest Show On Earth and The Game). And often Cheat The Gallows sounds like a tribute to many sixties and seventies Classic Rock Bands, I notice hints of Marc Bolan (Superstar), Black Sabbath (Blackball, Race With Time and Hydra), The Beatles (Money, It's Pure Evil), The Doors (Blackball) and Pink Floyd (Race With Time).

But Bigelf succeeds to sound like Bigelf because of the way they blend their distinctive elements like the compelling atmospheres featuring strong vocals (with that cynical undertone), heavy guitarwork (I love those fat Black Sabbath inspired riffs) and a lush Mellotron sound, especially on The Evils of Rock & Roll (fiery guitar solo), The Game, the dynamic and alternating Race With Time (delicate Floydian slide-guitar and sensational interplay between powerful guitar and intense violin-Mellotron) and Hydra (great break with synthesizer flights and heavy guitar riffs). The two dreamy tracks are very tastefully arranged: flute-Mellotron, fiery guitar and an orchestra in Money, It's Pure Evil and acoustic rhythm-guitar with choir-Mellotron a long a wonderful, very moving guitar solo in the emotional No Parachute.

The long final composition entitle Counting Sheep is their most ambitious work, it sounds like a mini rock-opera with lots of shifting moods, multiple breaks and captivating musical ideas, Bigelf in its full splendor as a progressive rock band and for sure Bigelf has progressed on Cheat The Gallows!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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