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Amygdala - Complex Combat CD (album) cover





3.79 | 16 ratings

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4 stars Berserk fusion - Buffalo roller-coaster

Have you ever heard an album that quite literally felt like a fight scene? The music on Complex Combat truly sounds like that - like being kicked around with different instruments all according to the flow of the individual track. Finishing this, is like having fought a couple of 10 minute rounds with Mike Tyson and a big angry anaconda.

Or maybe this is the secret album by the Schulman brothers - once cooked up during a feverish nightmare where the brothers had chewed on a couple of kilos of magic mushroom - for then to be attacked by an instant lust - an urge to record a twisted take on music with loads of unimaginable ingredients. One thing is for damn sure: Complex Combat has got one of the most action packed schedules, and much like the name suggests, here we are dealing with music that both roars, bitch- slaps and just gets profoundly lost in murky waters of alternating time-signatures and other shape- shifting sonic robes. This is beyond complex, but it doesn't feel academic or snobbish. It feels raw and untamed.

I guess you could call it avant guarde Zeuhl - or maybe avant fusion, but instead of going off in some obscure direction with untied hands - free to do whatever, here you get the impression that everything is highly orchestrated and planned out. It is rather strange now that I think of it, - mostly because it feels so out there and unrestrained. The first cut here actually sounds like 4 different tracks glued together to make up some weird sounding cockentrice. Attacking fusioneros drumming, lurking creeping organs - and erratic piano gulps that conjure up images of a spastic coffee fiend maniacally jumping on the keys.

BUT - once you get past the overwhelming first hand impression, the music suddenly starts to make sense, even if that probably is the wrong word for it. You hear patterns that weren't there to begin with - sounds and tempo-shifts that all of a sudden complement each other, and by golly if you don't hear something akin to a distinct concord in all of this mad contention. The pieces of the puzzle were not meant to fit in a regular way - what you really needed to do was to change your initial approach, and start gluing stuff together arbitrarily and waywardly - throwing all kinds of loose ends on the table and just casually mix it up shake it up and sit back, enjoy the tumbling ride of the buffalo roller-coaster.

Though we're dealing with a strange hybrid here, the everyday progger with a penchant for simple things like moogs and metal - will bizarrely also find something of interest in Complex Combat. Mole's Egg (Gotta love a name like that eh?) features some alluring synthesizers and if I didn't know any better, I'd say that there was a certain loose and billowing Canterbury touch going on, though that is probably pushing it a bit. The metal however is a thing that mostly gets suggested through sheer power and immersion in the guitar department. As things get heavier and louder you often get snippets of metallic riffing that counterpoint the maniacal onslaught of the drums as well as complementing the furious whirlwinds of piano and keyboards.

This is however not a record for the squeamish. As a matter of fact, I'd only recommend this thing to people who already have familiarised themselves with avant music and looney bin fusion. If you're one of these wild cats out there, then I strongly advocate this outing, as it most likely will have you running around naked in the garden wearing your cat as a hat - whilst drinking old milk frenziedly - shouting wildly about like a mental person who digs the feel of wet grass between his toes and music that literally goes berserk. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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