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

BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH

Birds And Buildings

 

Eclectic Prog

4.25 | 325 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

JonnyM79
2 stars What a letdown for such a highly rated album. I was genuinely excited when this dropped through the door - according to previous reviews it should be right up my street - a combination of symphonic prog with plenty of jazzy inflections, with a sound palette that would be right up Tony Banks's street. What went wrong?

Well we really have to start with the vocals. OK much of the album is instrumental, but the vocals do start to play a more significant role in the second half and.....ye gads!! Prog followers are, out of necessity, unusually tolerant to weak vocals but this really is something else. The male vocals are a dull nasal drone, out of tune at times and with so little passion that they sound like they're simply reading the lyrics off a script. If the musicians had just picked a random passer-by off the street they could more than likely have improved the vocal performance on this album. This is not acceptable if you intend to charge actual money for your music.

The second problem is the nature of the compositions. There are many moments where a good tune seems about to break through and be developed before being whisked off back to the maelstrom of tune fragments. There is no sense of progression, of themes being developed. I could accept this if the music was aiming for the fiery passion and insistence of jazz-fusion bands such as Elephant9, but no - it is a much more measured scientific vibe which makes the lack of structure or themes just seem strange and rather boring. The most heartbreaking is the fourth track, which spends ten minutes arriving at a great little melody but then, when it finally gets there, finishes immediately. A very unfocused effort.

Is there anything to enjoy on this album for me? Well yes there is certainly some musical virtuosity in display here - most notably from the excellent wind section, but this can only secure the album a solid 2 stars.

JonnyM79 | 2/5 |

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