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

BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH

Birds And Buildings

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 326 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

KingCrimson250
5 stars As far as I'm concerned, the whole concept of genre-bending, or "fusion," is a lot deeper than just slapping different sounds together. You want to make folk-rap, you don't just have Eminem sample a Simon and Garfunkle song. Similarly, if you want to blend jazz and prog, you can't just have a sax play over some mellotron chords; that's superficial. You want real fusion, you've got to dig deeper, you've got to get into the philosophy, the spirit, behind each style of music, and mix it all together into a new creation. You want real fusion, you want to listen to Birds and Buildings.

These guys got it right. They're a mixture of mostly symphonic prog and jazz, with some zeuhl elements tossed in, and they get right to the core of each. They take the tight compositional elements and sweeping, emotional drama of symph prog and merge it seamlessly with the soulful improvisational freedom of jazz, and the result is some of the most creative music I've ever heard, technically compelling and emotionally stirring. Fourth-stream jazz, maybe?

The tracks vary in their level of diversity, like some sort of sonic kaleidoscope covering all sorts of shades of jazz/rock. This is one of the album's greatest feats - the fact that it can shift so effortlessly without ever losing its flow is truly admirable. Some parts are just pure symph prog, and yet they never sound out of place for a second. And that's just in terms of genre. The way these guys can shape your emotions - I've felt stuff listening to this album that I've never felt before. They've tapped on something new, something otherwise unknown, and it sends shivers down my spine.

You want to hear an album that's breaking ground without forgetting to pay homage to where it came from, then pick up Bantom to Behemoth. This may be one of the most important prog records of the last ten years.

I don't want to ruin the experience for people, but if you're looking for some highlights, the complexity and creativity of the opener, the shimmering beauty of Chronicle... and the spinebreaking intensity of the solo in Battalion are well worth the price of admission all on their own.

KingCrimson250 | 5/5 |

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