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black midi - Cavalcade CD (album) cover


black midi



4.01 | 129 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I originally decided to pass on this one after reading descriptions of the music but when it finished as the runner up for album of the year on the site here I decided to spend the money. I've spent quite a bit of time with this one and I can certainly appreciate the appeal for Avant fans but I'm just surprised at how popular it seems to be with the masses based on the number of ratings they get on other sites. I mean this is Avant! Like the album cover it's like they tried to cram every idea into a small space and it doesn't work for me. Complex with lots of intricate sounds plus they layer a lot. The vocals are the hardest part, I'm just not a fan. I grew up in the 70's and the many Avant bands who add Disco or those soft easy listening sounds of the 70's to their music can keep it. Just my tastes in music.

The instrumentation listed on the site here is severely lacking. We get trombone, harpsichord, cello and violin(on more than one track) and the liner notes are so detailed with the instruments and I appreciate that and am impressed with what these guys play. The music is often nervous and hyper while the singer is loungey. Again it's hard not to be impressed with the complexity and I've heard they are amazing live.

Two tracks stand out for me and they are smack dab in the middle. "Slow" for the non-invasive vocals and the inventive guitar and check out the sax. "Diamond Stuff" for the quiet start that lasts for close to 4 minutes then it turns noisy as the atmosphere swells which sounds so good as a contrast to what went on before. Tempo picks up too. The closer might have been my third choice but man the vocals early on just sound lame. Same with "Dethroned" the other track that is right there with the other three I've mentioned. Kind of hit and miss but some really good stuff on that one like the guitar before 4 minutes.

So while I'm not the biggest Avant fan I do have 30 plus releases that I value highly and this is not one of them. Good album but not in my top ten for 2021.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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