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Moonchild Trio - Astronome CD (album) cover


Moonchild Trio


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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From the two albums John Zorn released with the line-up of Patton, Dunn and Baron in 2006, Astronome is clearly the better one. Although the album consists of 3 songs ranging from 12 to 17 minutes long, this one is actually more "focused" than the previous one which had shorter songs, but wandered way too much.

Astronome starts quickly and with a bang. The first thing one notices is that the album is more rockier than the previous one and in a good way. It's still avant-garde, but this one keeps you interested with some great and uncommon time signatures. In Moonchild, the vocals was the spotlight and the main instrument while the other two members backed him up. In Astronome everyone is given the same attention without showing-off, except for Mike Patton, but that's what he always does and why we know and love about him. The other instruments sound more impressive than the previous album. The guitar sounds more in family with the other two members and the drums are as good as in Moonchild, if not better. The album does has some quiet parts between the madness, but they're more interesting than in Moonchild since Mike takes advantage of it to make some even-weirder sounds (at one time he sounds like if he's trying to vomit and in others as if he was choking in water!). Again, one can't help but laugh at him doing this crazy stuff with his voice sounding like a crazy cartoon screaming and babbling gibberish. There are some good hooks in the album too and it also has some recurring themes as opposed to their previous album and it shows that it's more focused. One can actually head bang to some of this stuff, but it'll be funny as hell seeing someone actually doing it.

This is definitely a worthy listen for fans of Fantomas, the rockier side of Zorn and Mike Patton. Although it's still very hard to recommend for fans of progressive rock as a whole, this album can be surely recommended for fans of avant-garde and the weird side of music.

Report this review (#104352)
Posted Sunday, December 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars John Zorn never ceases to amaze me.

This is the most progressive sound out there.

John says he imagines this CD to be like a drug trip if listened to in a dark room with headphones. I think he is right. This music is brutal! Just listening to the things Patton is doing with his vocals make me wonder how this man hasn't died yet. The stamina of Patton is unparalleled.

Anyway, this is an Opera. As in any opera "Astronome" is designed to tell a story, although you really can't make heads or tails out of what is going on. The only hints you get are from the titles of the songs. On first listen, the album seems to just be like Moonchild ,but the more I've listened to it, the more I seem to get a grasp of the concept. It is an amazingly diverse album! While this album in indeed dominated by many brutal sections, there's a lot of odd melodies floating about. For example, 13 minutes into act two the dynamic of the entire piece changes from something that sounds like it is worthy of music to listen to in an insane asylum to something that would be played at the local supermarket (The same thing also happens at about 5:90 in act 3). The gentle atmosphere is maintained until the end of the track with some fantastic bass work by Dunn.

All musicians on this album prove to be masters of their instrument.

Zorn proves to me once again that he is possibly the only composer to rival the works of FZ.

This album is the greatest album of 2006 IMHO and probably won't be bested for quite some time. This album will leave you speechless if you have the patience to listen to it. The only down fall of the album may be that it is TOO progressive for its time...thus it gets a 4.5 stars ,but I will round up...5/5 stars.

Report this review (#104366)
Posted Sunday, December 24, 2006 | Review Permalink

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