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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times CD (album) cover


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



3.92 | 120 ratings

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5 stars This album by SGM is a concept album, dedicated to Per Frikdahl, Nils's brother, who suffered from Bi polar disease, which caused to his death eventually. Per was deeply involved in the band's visions and art works, such as the museum, the adversary, and all rest. Lyrically it contains general thoughts about death, plus the personal pain of the death of the brother. Musically SGM still provide here their unique bland of RIO and metal. The overall sound here is less colorful and furious than on the previous 'Of Natural History' album, but it's quite understood due to the album concept. The exotic instruments are still here, but in less dosage, and back in the mix. The front is the vocals of Nils and Carla, well pitched and highly emotional. Excellent delivery from both of them.

The music sound more structured than before, even 'symphonic' from time to time, without neglecting the innovation and originality. One of the best tracks here is 'Angle of Repose', by Carla. A wonderful epic (mini-epic if you wish), featuring Carla on lead vocals and violin. The violin section in the middle is furious, full of energy. In a way it reminds me of Kate Bush's 'Jig of Life' from the "Hounds of love" album. But try to imagine this with a dose of speed and energy.

The overall atmosphere is much more solemn than this particular track, and the top of this maybe 'The Salt Crown' (song by Nils, music by all band). This song moves between two emotional edges, from very quite and painful to the loudness of heavy metal and growls, with philosophical thoughts of death as reflected in vision of stones and bones. Objects that changed hands, between the live one and the dead one, could not be given back to the original owner eventually. This painful reality experienced by all who lost a close and dear person, and it expressed so well in this impressive, powerful song.

To the darkness department belong also 'The Companions', 'Helpless Corpses Enactment', and 'The Greenless Wreath'. 'The Companions' is a slowly build track, up to the climax and back again to the bottom of solemnity. A trumpet plays a tune from a Mexican tradition song, opens and returns toward the end of this track. 'Helpless Corpses Enactment' based on lyrics by James Joyce. Even revolutionary Joyce didn't dream that one day his magnificent words would be shout and growled in a metal style, by a rock band. This track got much more music than it seems from first listenings. (Pardon, I'm not acquainted with metal style and it's derivations). 'The Greenless Wreath' contains interesting motives that sounds like requiem pray, start with pounding drums, and what sound to me like viola da gamba. After the trembling and tremolo sounds, as a background to the very melodic line, comes the same funeral motives, in a more rockish way.

Another 'feature' that could not be overlooked, are the phone messages from Per Frikdahl (mostly), that embedded along this album. It is rewarding to realize, and sure enough not at the first listens, how these mini art works inspired the band lyrically and musically.

A minor lack that I found here nevertheless is that in my opinion, toward the album end, there is a tendency to move to another matters and atmosphere which dim a little bit from the strong point of the album's end. But shortening this album in that manner means to drop some other excellent tracks, so it is very much a matter of an acquired taste.

In all, the music here is powerful, emotion oriented, and wonderfully built. The melodies are prominent, the harmonies are intricate, and the structures are stable. The concept works very well. There is high musicianship between all members, they all play very tight and in a high group feeling and the vocals are great. The minor lack I've mentioned before does not decrease from my final rating: 5 stars, without any hesitation.

ShW1 | 5/5 |


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