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Birds And Buildings - Bantam To Behemoth CD (album) cover


Birds And Buildings


Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 461 ratings

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5 stars [Review 7] Birds and Buildings - Bantom to Behemoth

An onslaught of saxophone, guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards and mellotron, this album should instead be called Behemoth to Behemoth as the music slams into the listener with wave after wave of instrumental density, intricacy and intensity from beginning to end. If I didn't know better, I would just assume this was a modern-day King Crimson album. Here is why:

1) King Crimson in a way was a study of contrasts. Unlike the other bands of the 70s, King Crimson deftly moved between order and chaos, ugliness and beauty, melancholy and bliss. Larks' Tongue, a chaotic and brutal track, gives way to Book of Saturday, a track as beautiful as any Genesis song. Birds and Building does the exact same thing. The aptly- titled Birds Flying into Buildings is a monster of a track that transitions from order to chaos to order numerous times and gives way to the beautiful tracks that make up the center of the album.

2) Just as King Crimson was not beholden to a genre, Birds and Buildings plays around with symphonic, jazz, and Zeuhl as well as some more calming atmospheres in the center of the album.

3) Just like King Crimson, every musician on this album demonstrates their unique and exceptional skills. I may be prone to exaggeration, but I honestly feel I have not heard drums (McDuffie) this forceful and intricate since the height of the 70s prog giants. The saxophone (Falkowski) is reminiscent of King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator, a tool of both beauty and ugliness. The mellotron (Britton), normally an instrument of somberness or epic grandeur, is absolutely menacing and haunting. While the guitar and bass (d'Anon) are usually behind the saxophone and the keyboards in the mix, they are essential to the fullness of each track and transitions from section to section, often giving a jazzy feel to the music. These descriptions are an injustice to the musicians however, given that each instrument is used for a multitude of moods and styles. Honestly, every instrument is absolutely key to this album and is played with such skill that each player is irreplaceable ? and that is the markings of a great band.

For me, it is quite difficult to describe this music. It is impossible for me to describe the range of mood and styles Birds and Buildings leads the listener through over the course of an hour. This is not retro prog. In my opinion, Bantom to Behemoth is a modern-day King Crimson in attitude, but not sound, and is easily one of the best prog albums since the fall of the 70s giants. My only qualm is that due to the density of the music, an hour of it can be a bit rough, but I'll blame that on 80-minute CDs, not the artist.

Highlights: Birds Flying into Buildings, Chakra Khan, Battalion

Kestrel | 5/5 |


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