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Gargamel - Watch For The Umbles  CD (album) cover

WATCH FOR THE UMBLES

Gargamel

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 58 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Gargamel is a Norwegian modern Prog act with a vintage 1975 VDGG sound, complete with Hammill-alike vocals. The music is largely 'Symphonic', but it moves in diverse directions and can be 'Heavy' as well as 'Spacey' on occasion. So it's not a mere VDGG copy-cat. The vocals however are the weak link, being too indebted to Hammill's approach but without the melodic qualities or fervor of Hammill himself.

The instrumental 'Tics' is easily the highlight, starting with a dark organ sound that sounds more Hugh Banton then Banton sounds himself nowadays. The track continues through multiple sections with brilliant heavy-ish prog, with influences from VDGG, Anekdoten and Genesis. 'Strayed' opens strongly with a melancholic cello part that recalls the mood of Crimson's 'Islands'. The effect lasts till the atrocious vocals join. Really, trying to mimic Hammil if you haven't got the qualities to pull it off is sacrilege. This mainly instrumental track remains strong but the grating vocals largely spoil it. 'Below the Water' is even worse. 'Into the Cold' fares better due to being largely instrumental again. 'Agitated Mind' is an attempt at writing an epic. A failed one because it goes down entirely with the preposterous vocals. Really, why didn't anyone mute the volume level of the microphone.

This kind of album automatically makes me reach out for the real thing and unfortunately Gargamel doesn't come out well from the comparison. The music on this album is excellent but with a 'Hammill' in such poor shape, it doesn't touch anything released by VDGG. The next album has a distinct improvement in the vocal department and is much better by consequence. 2 stars, 4 if you can tune out the vocals.

Bonnek | 2/5 |

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