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The Devil's Staircase - The Devil's Staircase CD (album) cover


The Devil's Staircase


Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars This debut instrumental album was released in 2020 and features Aaron Geller (electric guitar), Ramsés Luna (saxophone, MIDI wind, electronics), Tim McCaskey (acoustic guitar), Luis Nasser (bass, holophonics), Mattias Olsson (drums, percussion, Mellotron) and Edgar Arrellín Rosas (sound design). According to their Bandcamp page, "Want to hear what Fractal Geometry, Chaos and Non-linear physics sound like when the mathematics becomes music? Climb the Devil's Staircase..." Okay, so exactly what does that have to do with utilising a slab of Gustav Holst's 'Mars, the Bringer of War'? Apart from that, the professors have taken the maths and then created music out of it, and have then explained what they did in their blog. As a theoretical exercise it is fascinating, but what does it mean when listening to it?

Firstly, everyone involved is a master musician, and while they have coming at this as a mathematical construct it also needs to make sense musically and they have ended up with an album which is highly influenced by the likes of VDGG and King Crimson. It is experimental, yet so not so out in left field as to be unlistenable and there is a lot here which is worthy of investigation. They use acoustic guitars as well as electric to strong effect, and the music is always complicated, always moving, with strange tie signatures and patterns. We get a clip taken from an early film (I think) of '1984' when Winston is told what is in Room 101 before we go into the song of the same name, which features some very nice bass and incredibly distorted wind instruments which are quite chilling.

Apart from the red line on the cover which represents the devil's staircase within a spiral staircase (connected to the Cantor set), the artwork both front and back is in different shades of grey which may look nice but does make it almost impossible to read, and we have similar on the Bandcamp page. This means I am unsure as to what other information is available on this, but overall this is an interesting debut and I look forward to hearing more.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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