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


Birds And Buildings


Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 461 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It gets hard to review an album when you've listened to it 40 or 50 times. You start to accept its faults and the things that used to excite you merely become comforting to listen to. While Bantam to Behemoth is one of these albums for me, I feel that in honor of Multipurpose Trap coming out this year, I have to justify my absurd amount of spins of this and review one of my favorites.

Bantam to Behemoth is the debut album from Birds and Buildings, one of Dan Britton's many projects. For those familiar with Dan's other band, Deluge Grander, I feel that this is a logical bridge between their first and second albums. Not as symphonic as August in the Urals, but not quite as layered and intricate as The Form of the Good. For those not familiar with these bands, you can expect some pretty crazy and fast music.

This album in particular is at its best when the band is going a mile a minute, quickly trading off passages between the guitar, sax, and one of the many keyboard sounds. The opening track is by far the best to be found here, and is an incredible introduction to everything that the band can do. There is a really driving harmony played on a mallet- sounding keyboard, and a strong melody that gets tossed around between every instrument throughout its 9 minutes. The energy starts off high, and really never drops as the song weaves its way through its passages.

Smartly, not every track is like this; that would certainly be an overload. The next three songs present a lot of really different textures and feel from the opener, and it's impressive to see the range of the band. The middle three songs consist of slower developing passages, which serve as a nice break from the fast-paced songs that bookmark the album. However, they do start to drag a little, as the middle of the album takes up half of the time, and it seems long overdue when the energy really kicks back in. A couple of these songs actually sound like they would fit in better with another of Dan's projects, All Over Everywhere, which is not a negative point, but they sound a little out of place here.

In addition to this, although Bantam to Behemoth is largely instrumental, the occasional vocal passage does aid to break up the music and create diversity. Unfortunately, the quality of the vocals doesn't match that of the instruments, but luckily they're not pushed up so high in the mix so that they take away too much from the music they are over. Most of the singing is handled by Dan himself, but there is a female guest on one song, which is nice. The lyrical content is interesting, and if you're willing to put some time into deciphering it and the artwork, there's a cool little story to be found.

While Bantam to Behemoth may have been better without the middle tracks and less singing, that doesn't stop it from being one of my favorite albums. It has a lot of really great and exciting music, with something new to be discovered on each and every listen. This album is a great addition for any prog fan, and hopefully their second album can live up to the high expectations set by this one.

m2thek | 4/5 |


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