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Bigelf - Money Machine CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.62 | 66 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Can you imagine yourself being in a 60's-70's retro party with fancy colourful clothes, long hair and big sunglasses? Add to this the elements of prog and heavy guitars and it might be approximately what you feel like listening to this album... And if you are a rock/metal fan, imagine a prog version of Monster Magnet and Spiritual Beggars and you will not be too far away...

BIGELF present here an interesting mix of heavy edge riffs (Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster), hammond/keys-filled psychedelic passages (Hawkwind, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple) and a lighter prog-pop side (Beatles). The vocalist Damon Fox displays a wide range of influences and singing styles that give flexibility and variety to the final result. The use of mellotron, hammond and keyboard sounds revive the late 60's feeling which is dominant in BIGELF's sound.

The opening title track more or less sets the stage for the style expected in the rest of the album: mid-tempo composition, supported by heavy prog riffs (especially reminding of Uriah Heep in this case) and a continuous keyboard background ''rocking'' along with the main riff. The (longest in the album) track succeeds in catching your attention with the slightly dark interim guitar riffs (a-la Atomic Rooster), while the ''distorted'' theatrical vocals fit perfectly. The same recipe is used for tracks like Neuropsychopathic Eye, which adds more complicated riffs and speedier psychedelic prog passages in the vein of Hawkwind. This heavy side is also reflected in Ironheel, showing a mix of Sabbath-derived riffs on a berzerk psychedelic atmosphere. Atomic Rooster's cover of the legendary Death Walks Behind You is exactly on the same pattern and well executed by the band.

Mindbender is an excellent example of how to fit a catchy psychedelic rock piece of music in just 2 minutes. The ''other'' - lighter or poppier - side of the album is represented with the rest 4 compositions. Although not as enjoyable as the heavy aspect of the album, the lyricism of Sellout and mostly The Bitter End shows the diversity in the band's sound, producing attractive melodies. Side Effects and (Another) Nervous Breakdown are the least appealing tracks in my opinion, directly influenced by The Who and especially The Beatles. The light-hearted feel, although giving a more relaxed atmosphere between heavier tracks, fails to keep my interest at the same level.

In summary, the first full-length album from BIGELF is a highly entertaining experience and would definitely appeal to retro-prog fans that prefer heavy-edge riffs of the Sabbath/Rooster/Heep school. Although not very original in ideas, the blend of psychedelia and heavy prog is at least interesting and promising for future releases. 3.5 stars deserved.

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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