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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times CD (album) cover

IN GLORIOUS TIMES

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

RIO/Avant-Prog


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5 stars In Glorious Times is an amazing album to say the least. Be cautioned, though, that some may need to take their time with it, the album is intricate and intense, more than that of their previous releases. SGM shows no boundaries, they can be black metal (Helpless Corpses Enactment) and then turn around one second to sound shoegazing and/or post-rock (The Greenless Wreath). Not only that, but their styles change even within the songs themselves, featuring the most diverse songwriting SGM/Idiot Flesh has ever brought to the table. IGT, for me, took me at least 15 listens to really understand each and every song, and believe me, the first listens in I was a little iffy but still positive mainly because I couldn't quite grasp it all (Puppet Show and The Only Dance in particular). Everything feels a bit more complete this time around, whereas Of Natural History had a couple filler tracks and the field recordings which really didn't do anything for the album.

Some things you'll notice are more Carla, better drumming, and more "insane" moments (some of this you'll notice more once you really take the album in). First off, Carla sings a ton more, her voice is beautiful just as before. She sings lead in Formicary, Angle of Repose, The Only Dance, and Widening Eye, as well as harmonizing with Nils most of the time giving the album somewhat of an operatic feel sometimes. Not to mention, she's included more with violin in the songwriting, a lot of the time, you'll actually hear the it being the lead instrument. Also, either the drummer has recently realized he can play around with the toms or he has simply just gotten a lot better, its much more exciting to hear, it's louder, fiercer, and more technical. By "insane moments", I mean the type of parts you've come to expect in SGM, when they force their songs to explode out of nowhere and build huge walls of sound. You'll be hearing more of that. Like Of Natural History, the second song is heavy right away, straight through the song. UN(UN!)like Of Natural History, the first song goes into a frenzy as well in the last few minutes, the song starts out soft, and after small half-second pauses, the music gets louder and louder and louder, then AGGHHGHGHGHGH!!!!. I won't ruin all the surprises for you, but just know that these will become more apparent after repeated listens (believe me).

Overall, this is a great surprise, I half expected SGM to go soft for this album (just because a lot of bands do after a while), so it was a pleasure to see that I was wrong (half wrong?). This album seems more experimental, even to the extent of how Idiot Flesh was.

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Send comments to mecca (BETA) | Report this review (#120627)
Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Jawdropping.

I have been looking forward to this ever since I was floored by Of Natural History. Thankfully, SGM did not disappoint.

The general concensus is that this album has a very steep learning curve, but I was in love from the first listen. Repeated listens do help you pick out the intricate layers, and believe me, to find all of them would take an unimaginable amount of listens.

The pace of the album is not necessarily as breakneck as say "The Donkey Headed Adversary Of Humanity Opens The Discussion", but it is the often more plodding tempo that adds extra heaviness. Now from a prog standpoint, this is a much more metal effort than their previous releases. My initial impression was Zappa creating an extreme metal side-project. The band tends to be a lot more dischordant, but the melodies still shine through. The musicianship is unbelievable as usual and the album greatly benefits from a more prominent use of Carla Kihlstedt's beautiful vocals.

Ultimately, if you like your prog with a generous serving of metal and don't mind moments of complete insanity... then this is the album for you. 5/5.

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Send comments to lightbulb_son (BETA) | Report this review (#120629)
Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
thellama73
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Another unbelievably good record from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. I had been anticipating this album for a long time, and I was terrified it wouldn't live up to my expectations. Thankfully, though, those fears have been put to bed. I must admit however, that on my first listen I was a little disappointed. This is because, as others have said, the album is denser and less accessible than "Of Natural History," but after a few repeat listens I realized my error.

I have seen the band live a number of times, and so I had heard a lot of these songs as they developed along the road. It is a treat to hear them so thoroughly fleshed out in a studio form. The only disappointment is that the percussion guitars don't sound quite as massive on record.

"The Companions" starts things off wonderfully, beginning slow and brooding and then exploding into chaos, concluding with a beautiful Spanish feel. Nils is in fine voice and Carla has never sounded better. In fact, her versatility is showcased in the stellar "Angel of Repose," my personal favorite track on the album, where she shows herself capable of both soft cooing and full on belting. I didn't know she had it in her.

The Greenless Wreath is another highlight, but really there's not a weak moment on the album, not even the full on death metal of Helpless Corpses Enactment or the twisted answering machine messages. On the whole, it's slower and more meditative than their previous outings, but it's as least as good as anything they've done to date. Let's hope they keep it up!

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Send comments to thellama73 (BETA) | Report this review (#124606)
Posted Monday, June 04, 2007 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 3 years have passed since SGM released their magna opus album that is "Of natural history", an album so diverse, so original, so intelligent and weird that it would give second thoughts to continuo to most bands, because. how do you top that? There is no way the same band could top it, no chance at all. So, what then? Should they have call it a day after it? Hell no!!! The Sleepy are way too good and way to intelligent to continuo without looking at the past, and that's what they did. "In glorious times" is a step back in order to take two steps forward, it seems SGM got rawer, simpler and more direct with this one. but only, and I repeat, only on the surface. Just like in the rest of their catalog it takes quite some time to fully grasp the world that is every song in this album, how deep it all goes and how good it really is. Guitars are more predominant here, as well as Carla´s vocals (which are getting better and better and it seems she has finally found her own style instead of the Bjork derivation from previous albums). But the album does suffer from one thing. While "Of natural history" had a swamp of homemade instruments which made some of the most unusual sounds ever heard, it seems this time they aren't that predominant. Of course this is all in the "not do the same thing twice" policy in which this guys, and gal, work, which is more than respectable. but I do miss them a bit.

The album starts with one of their best songs, the longest one too, I mean of course "The companions". Nil sings with great emotion and also comedy (very typical in him) which gives the music a whole other dimension. The music itself is slow and low at the start, but it builds up, pretty much through out the whole song until it hits a chaotic climax with Nil and Carla doing some of the most haunting vocal harmonies ever heard. and they are in Spanish too, which is quite new in them. An excellent and over the top way to start an excellent and over the top album. "Helpless Corpses Enactment" is by far the heaviest tune of the album, and quite possible of their entire carrier. The whole thing moves around some crazy metalish riffs, Nil's growling vocals, Carla's falsettos and that locomotive like percussion. Another stand out. "Puppet show" is one of those songs that are almost an abstract reunion of sounds and dissonant melodies which could be a disaster in strange hands, but sounds quite impressive done by the Sleepy´s. Another of their trademarks. "Formicary" is the first song where Carla takes the lead. It's a fun song about a man that would be king, and save the world because of how good of a person he is. but of course, this can not happen because. he is too good of a person for this world. Only the Sleepy. "Angle of repose", Carla's second leading song has her stretching her voice from one end to the other, from a soft and high pitched start to a violent growl near the end (if you think a male growl is scary, prepare for a female's). Another stand out and Carla's best vocal job ever! "Ossuary" is just crazy. just crazy. To explain it would take quite some time, crazy is truly the best way to describe it. "Salt crown" is the first segment, along with "Only Dance", "Greenless wreath", "Widening eye" and "Putrid refrain", of a monstrous piece of music, but don't think that this is a sort of epic, it's more like several songs that go good together and have some sort of connection. On a more lyrical and conceptual point of view they might be even more connected, and a story might even be told, but that is a job for a future reviewer, as I don't have the lyrics with me. This piece of music goes all over the field that is SGM, from their slow build ups, to the most bizarre instrumental sections, to phone calls (apparently it's Nil's brother who speaks through the phone here.), to everything expected and of course unexpected from this guys. The last seconds of "Widening eye" and the whole "Putrid refrain" are reason enough to listen to it. But keep in mind that it's not a bit 30 minutes epic song, but a. thing. some creature the Sleepy have developed. listen to it and you'll see what I'm talking about.

To summon it all up. this is some crazy [&*!#]. but it's some of the best crazy [&*!#] out there. Extremely recommend to anyone into the more bizarre realms of music.

As a side note; this is my first review as a Prog reviewer. how exciting!!!!!!!

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#125461)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars I was out browsing stacks the other day and picked up two new CDs: Polyphonic Spree’s ‘The Fragile Army’ and this album. The Spree CD included a DVD, while this one didn’t.

Now, while I wouldn’t mind seeing the Spree in concert, I don’t rank it among my higher aspirations in life. They’re fairly predictable even if their current album is surprisingly edgy for our favorite little Texas cult. But I would have much preferred that Tim DeLaughter spared me his histrionics and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum shown me theirs instead. Like their ancestors Idiot Flesh these guys really have to be seen to be appreciated, although I’m not sure if they are supposed to be taken seriously. I guess probably not.

These guys are a little more coherent than Idiot Flesh, but not by much. The opening “the Companions” is a ranging, intense work that shows the band hasn’t slipped into any kind of predictable pattern yet. “Helpless Corpses Enactment” is another change-up, very heavy and almost metal.

The most interesting work comes pretty early with “Formicary”, a blend of almost wistful vocals from Carla Kihlstedt with a disjointed cacophony of unidentifiable sounds that sometimes sound like music; while “Ossuary” goes heavy again with some throaty growling and painfully harsh violin.

Anyway, if you’ve ever heard these guys you know that this isn’t the kind of music that can be easily critiqued. The stuff is all over the place, rarely wanders into a range of anything resembling most other music you’ve ever heard, and sometimes even sounds like noise for the sake of making noise (which of course is really what it is).

I can picture “The Only Dance” performed live with marionettes on stilts, musicians wandering about the stage in dull white hospital gowns and painted faces, and flashing lights piercing the darkness. That’s probably how it gets delivered in concert I would imagine, and followed by “The Greenless Wreath” as a mad-ranting dirge of agony. This stuff really takes time to digest, and I probably will end up revisiting this review in several months or years and fleshing it out some.

But in the meantime I’ll just say that if you are looking for something very, very different, check these guys out. I don’t have any of their other albums, but I don’t need to to know that they probably are just as raw and calculated as this one.

Not for the faint of heart, and would never be mistaken for anything resembling a classic vision of progressive music. But worth picking up anyway, and easily four stars just for the effort and the fresh sound.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#126488)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The theatre of grotesque and bizarre delivers another heavy, creative and original sounding show

Theatrical: that would be the first attribution I'd give SGM and their music. Others would use the usual words like avant-garde and rock against rock pioneers etc. But in the end, this is a show. A show varied in musical styles, instrumentation and in approach to composition. Their albums are a show in which you travel through the different auditory acts. However, this particular release isn't a concept album as was Of Natural History, with its provoking and intelligent story line. Here every song stands by itself lyrically and the booklet has a short note on each. But, I would not want to compare this too much to its predecessor, as that album is a fantastic album that I feel is hard to surpass. This album follows in the tradition of SGM's sound and attitude, if I can call it that.

There are several facets to SGM's music and it's no different here; there's the more metal oriented as is heard on "Helpless Corpses Enactment" (growls, heavy distortion, fast riffs); there's the quirky avant-garde rock side (both in song structure, instrumentation and overall musical approach) in which they show another creative aspect in their music as is heard on "Puppet Show"; there's the more straight forward side such as in the opening song "The Companions" (and to a lesser degree in "Formicary"), where not much madness and quirkiness (in their standards) is portrayed and not much of the two aforementioned styles are prevalent. Just as a note, I'll mention that "Formicary" (aside from being similar to the song "The Creature" from Of Natural History) reminds me somewhat of U Totem's self-titled album (the female vocals, the slightly poppish sounding tune with the avant-garde edge, the type of playing).

SGM's previous release, Of Natural History, is one of my favourite albums, and though I don't think this one reaches the same peak as that one, it is a very strong and good album in its own right. In Glorious Times might not be, to me, as superior, compelling, heavy and boundary pushing as Of Natural History but this is only a relativistic issue, if you will. After all, I can't think of many (or any) bands composing and playing this type(s) of music, so powerful and creative, not afraid to go further on, experimenting, going wild, and bringing various styles into their music and creating their own new style and for that they deserve much respect and praise.

If you're an SGM fan, or simply liked their previous albums, then there's no question about it, go get this one! If you're not familiar with their music, this is actually a very good album to get acquainted with their music as I find it more accessible then the others; not as deterring as the previous albums might be to new listeners not used to their style. Either way, this is an album to experience; a show that is put on for you the listener to discover a different way to make music.

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#134926)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "In Glorious Times" is the glorious third effort by the demented US ensemble, developer of a clever, complex rock inspired by thrash, experimental metal, chamber-rock, Henry Cow/Art Bears avant-garde, radical psychedelia, Goth and musique concrete, all of them converging in a peculiar progressive framework. "In Glorious Times" bears an unmistaken aura of aggressiveness and gloom that flows all through the album's repertoire, but the band also introduces some other mysterious, restrained nuances, strategically inserted in order to both work on variation and enhance the power of their most extroverted side. The band creates a very consistent scheme with a wide room for variation among the constant darkness. The album's firs t10 minutes are occupied by 'The Companions', an eccentric display of emotional darkness that goes on articulating its own crescendo from its tortured interiors toward a psychotic delirium hardly tied up by the precise boundaries of the basic musical ideas. This helps to make the transition onto the closing reprise very natural. With a similar cadence but also with a bigger presence of the metallic and Goth elements, 'Helpless Corpses Enactment' offers a wicked homage to James Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake', bringing an overwhelmingly creepy spirit to the words. Those moments in which the guitar riffs and violin phrases come to their mutual fruition may remind us of Kayo Dot at their wildest. 'Puppet Show' is like the soundtrack to a circus of horrors, full of sinister numbers performed by avenging specters (perhaps an extension of the ghouls' dance in the 1962's film 'Carnival of Souls'?). This opening trilogy sets the purely SGM-esque atmosphere, meant to establish the conditions for a possible communion with the listener: the one who is open to the idea of music waking up and exorcizing their most excruciating fears will go on through the remaining repertoire. 'Formicary' is definitely not as explicitly psychotic as the previous three tracks - it is closely related to the playful sense of adventure of Art Bears, with an added touch of frontal grayness, created out of the merging of experimental metal and Crimsonian psychedelia. This is the first track with Carla assuming the lead vocalist's role, paired with bass player Dan Rathbun. The following track finds Carla as the sole lead singer, enthusiastically delivering a sensual mixture of Anna-Sofi Dahlberg, Daghmar Krause and Björk (actually, over-Björking Björk). It is indeed a monster number, one of the album's undisputed highlights. The confluence of Crimsonian sonorities and Gothic sonic flows adopts a special intensity with the inclusion of urgent country-meets-Celtic ambiences; the climax that is increasingly building from minute 4 until the electrifying closure at minute 8 is captivating in its neurotic splendor, magical in its desperate manifestation. The first section of 'Ossuary' has a notably less dark air to it, even perpetuating the folkish aspect that had been introduced in the previous track. But this moment of peculiar serenity doesn't last too long, since the visceral guitar riffing and Nils' nihilistically guttural singing erupt to bring some more darkness to the fold. 'Salt Crown' is the album's second epic, which is cleverly sustained on a fluid linkage between the languid moments and the explosive ones, with clever variations in between. The continuum is very well accomplished, the mid section bearing a mesmerizing fire: very clearly, the musicians are in total control of the noise they create, making it seem so easy to make highlight songs out of the longer ones. Definitely, it is another highlight. 'Only Dance' finds the band leaning close to the standards of post-rock, opening a window to the band's reflective side (not a sweet side, anyway). The placement of this piece makes it work as a bridge toward the following song 'Greenless Wreath', which gets started as a sort of sad liturgy in homage to a dying world - the purgatorial side of classic Univers Zero is easily noticeable. The track's closing section is an exercise on atmospheric psychedelia, not too frantic, built on a semi-tribal rhythym section. 'Widening Eye' has a more progressively demanding structure - an amazing instrumental piece partially inspired by 73-74 era King Crimson, with added touches of UZ (again), plus the usual radically experimental metal thing defining the overall frame. With its less-than-3-minutes span, 'Putrid Refrain' picks up the closing riff of 'Widening Eye', dissolving it into a minimalistic set of layers and messages on the phone. "In Glorious Times" is an affirmation of SGM's peculiar genius in the field of current experimental rock - a very recommended gem for this year 2007.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#138016)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars What can you say? Another excellent, atmospheric, eclectic, disturbing, demanding, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable release by SGM. The range of styles employed on this album makes it harder to "get" than Of Natural History and at times I didn't know whether I was coming or going during my first couple of listens. But that is what this kind of music is about, challenging the listener's perceptions and SGM have woven an at times bleak, at times uplifting album that succeeds at doing just that.

This is an excellent album but, be warned, there is some growling and a few musical passages that make you feel as if you're head is imploding. Buy it. Be challenged by it. Enjoy it!

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Send comments to scarista (BETA) | Report this review (#139076)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This effort by SGM didn't impress me quite as much...it is a prog album that does sort of blow you away on first listen but doesn't really gain as much on further listens, particularly because the metal moments are only good for the shock value, I know this sounds really closed-minded, I just think that they have better work before them. However, there are some very very good moments! I would recommend this to the fan of this band but not as the first one to pick up from this group of talented musicians.

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Send comments to endlessepic (BETA) | Report this review (#144215)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I guess that it's safe to say that this Sleepytime Gorilla Museum-release is not as good as the two previous studio albums although it definitely has its moments! Like, for instance, the great Helpless Corpses Enactment, a track that has to not only be heard but even be seen. I strongly recommend for everyone to check out the videos for Helpless Corpses Enactment and Widening Eye to get a better understanding of the band behind this impressive body of work!

So why is this album a letdown in comparison to the last two? I'm actually not really sure but from what I've heard the band abandoned their homemade instruments for the more conventional ones on this record and that has definitely something to do with it. But that in itself was the result of signing to The End Records. In result, most of the performances feel a lot less daring than the work they carved out on Grand Opening And Closing and especially Of Natural History.

Let's just hope that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum will achieve a new creative peak with their next release and that In Glorious Times was a transitional album that helped the band readjust themselves in the new setting. A good, but non-essential release.

***** star songs: Helpless Corpses Enactment (5:57)

**** star songs: The Companions (10:06) Formicary (5:52) Ossuary (4:37) Greenless Wreath (6:50) Widening Eye (5:24) Putrid Refrain (3:01)

*** star songs: Puppet Show (4:16) Angle Of Repose (7:23) Salt Crown (8:27) Only Dance (5:21)

Total rating: 3,71

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#256170)
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album by SGM is a concept album, dedicated to Per Frikdahl, Nils's brother, who suffered from Bi polar disease, which caused to his death eventually. Per was deeply involved in the band's visions and art works, such as the museum, the adversary, and all rest. Lyrically it contains general thoughts about death, plus the personal pain of the death of the brother. Musically SGM still provide here their unique bland of RIO and metal. The overall sound here is less colorful and furious than on the previous 'Of Natural History' album, but it's quite understood due to the album concept. The exotic instruments are still here, but in less dosage, and back in the mix. The front is the vocals of Nils and Carla, well pitched and highly emotional. Excellent delivery from both of them.

The music sound more structured than before, even 'symphonic' from time to time, without neglecting the innovation and originality. One of the best tracks here is 'Angle of Repose', by Carla. A wonderful epic (mini-epic if you wish), featuring Carla on lead vocals and violin. The violin section in the middle is furious, full of energy. In a way it reminds me of Kate Bush's 'Jig of Life' from the "Hounds of love" album. But try to imagine this with a dose of speed and energy.

The overall atmosphere is much more solemn than this particular track, and the top of this maybe 'The Salt Crown' (song by Nils, music by all band). This song moves between two emotional edges, from very quite and painful to the loudness of heavy metal and growls, with philosophical thoughts of death as reflected in vision of stones and bones. Objects that changed hands, between the live one and the dead one, could not be given back to the original owner eventually. This painful reality experienced by all who lost a close and dear person, and it expressed so well in this impressive, powerful song.

To the darkness department belong also 'The Companions', 'Helpless Corpses Enactment', and 'The Greenless Wreath'. 'The Companions' is a slowly build track, up to the climax and back again to the bottom of solemnity. A trumpet plays a tune from a Mexican tradition song, opens and returns toward the end of this track. 'Helpless Corpses Enactment' based on lyrics by James Joyce. Even revolutionary Joyce didn't dream that one day his magnificent words would be shout and growled in a metal style, by a rock band. This track got much more music than it seems from first listenings. (Pardon, I'm not acquainted with metal style and it's derivations). 'The Greenless Wreath' contains interesting motives that sounds like requiem pray, start with pounding drums, and what sound to me like viola da gamba. After the trembling and tremolo sounds, as a background to the very melodic line, comes the same funeral motives, in a more rockish way.

Another 'feature' that could not be overlooked, are the phone messages from Per Frikdahl (mostly), that embedded along this album. It is rewarding to realize, and sure enough not at the first listens, how these mini art works inspired the band lyrically and musically.

A minor lack that I found here nevertheless is that in my opinion, toward the album end, there is a tendency to move to another matters and atmosphere which dim a little bit from the strong point of the album's end. But shortening this album in that manner means to drop some other excellent tracks, so it is very much a matter of an acquired taste.

In all, the music here is powerful, emotion oriented, and wonderfully built. The melodies are prominent, the harmonies are intricate, and the structures are stable. The concept works very well. There is high musicianship between all members, they all play very tight and in a high group feeling and the vocals are great. The minor lack I've mentioned before does not decrease from my final rating: 5 stars, without any hesitation.

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Send comments to ShW1 (BETA) | Report this review (#260128)
Posted Saturday, January 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars When I listened for the first time to "Of Natural History", I didn't like it. It then grew up on me. So when I picked up "In Glorious Times", and when I realized at my first listen that I didn't like it, I thought it was eventually going to grow up on me. I was wrong. Still today I can't enjoy this album much, probably because of it's excessive experimentation in some parts (don't get me wrong, I love experimentation in music, but at a certain point: when it starts to be barely tolerable, I can't stand it.), and also because of the growling of the singer, even though I never really mind this type of vocals.

Despite these things, there are some good moments: the first song, "The Companions", has some great haunting moments, "The Salt Crown" is another great piece that reminds me of "Babydoctor" a little. "Angel Of Repose" is excellent as well, since the melody is surprisingly cathcy and the experimentation is incredible.

These are the best moments. But the rest is easily forgettable, and, in my opinion, not really worth the whole 67 minute listen.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#285288)
Posted Sunday, June 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
frippism
COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars You can see an improvement in every Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum album. Their first one "Grand Opening And Closing" was a bit of a mess, though definitely shined in many places. "Of Natural History" is one of my favorite albums of all time, yet "In Glorious Times" is more or less perfect. The sound is definitely the same, yet has been dramatically altered. The music has a more organic, and simpler feeling most of the times. Yet SGM uses the simpler elements in their music to push with sonic experimentations and more or less perfect songwriting. There's no insane shows of skill like in "Of Natural History" (well there are in some parts but not as showy and all displays of virtuosity are to advance the song itself). In many ways it just feels like SGM took what made it great and made it even better.

For one, Carla Kihlstedt's voice has gotten itself a whole lotta more personality. I really like her voice in the first album, but it did sound bit like Bjork's. Here she has really gotten her own style. She roars and screams (Wow... "Angle Of Repose" is a good example...). Her violin playing is definitely excellent just in all the other albums. Nils' voice is one of the better one's in all time. It's like the gods of metal were all: "WE HAVE DECIDED UPON A COMMONER WHO WILL BESTOW HIS AWESOME VOICE UPON ALL WEAKLINGS AND IT SHALL MELT YOUR FACE AND YOUR BRAIN SHALL EXPLODE AND BE COLLECTED BY A WALKING TURTLE ZOMBIE WHO WILL ASSEMBLE IT AGAIN ONLY SO YOU CAN HAVE IT EXPLODE AGAIN" more or less. Though for the most part he doesn't sing in the metal voice I have explained above. He displays his truly, just unnatural vocal range, reaching high squeals which just give you chills. Truly one of the greatest vocalists the world has ever known. The musicians are all incredible. I particularly like multi-instrumentalist Michael Mellender, who displays a wide range of instruments (it does say ALL THINGS under what instrument he plays on the album page so um... dude). Matthias Bossi returns with incredible drums ("Helpless Corpses Enactment" is like kapaow!) and Dan Rathbun's on bass. Dan's a mostly streamlined player though considering the more laid back feeling of the album in general it's the music beautifully and his choice of notes is really touching. Oh and Nil's guitar work is even better than "Of Natural History". Loud screeches and insane arpeggios and lines are awesomely awesome in this album.

The songs? Like Shwowzies. Each song I can really rave about for ages. I mean it starts so beautifully with "The Companions" which the lyrics are song at times in Spanish and are great. "Helpless Corpses Enactment" is the only true heavy metal song and the album. And it is metal (Accent on the t (one of the funniest comments in Youtube were about this song and I didn't write this all credit goes to yaddah yaddah but he's a genius: "I don't know. This just might be all the Metal I need... this video is like "have you had enough Metal?" and you're like... "naw, I'm good. Really, it was great. Thanks". And then the video is like "No, I don't think you've had enough. Here's some more Metal." and you're like "whoa. Uh, dude..?". Except you say it in kind of a quivering voice. And then it gets in your face and is all like "RrraaahhhHHHHHH!!!")). Other incredible highlights are "Formicary" which is creepy as crepes. Mellener's vocals are incredible. Ossuary is a great oriental sounding instrumental. I want to mention also very warmly "Salt Crown", which is really beautiful. Nils' vocals there can drive you to tears. And "The Only Dance" which has one of the more beautiful melodies I have truly ever heard (it was actually stuck in my head for months before I remembered what album it was and when I found it again I was hyper for a few days listening to that song on repeat).

To conclude I can really say that this is an overhaul of "Of Natural History". Just a truly perfect album (well no album's perfect but this is damn close). I mean it takes a few listens but not many to truly appreciate this masterpiece for what it is. All prog fans should like this and not only RIO fans. This album has just the right amount of experimentation and melodies to make it a very powerful and emotional piece of work.

P.S. The lyrics here are also some drastically better. The album is a concept about Nils' brother who died due to complications from bipolar disorder. I won't lie there were times I was almost driven to tears (but I'm a man and am super tough so I wasn't.) the lyrics are sung with a lot of passion and a lot of energy, and deserve an honorable mention.

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Send comments to frippism (BETA) | Report this review (#414057)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's In Glorious Times finds the band in a slightly less theatrical mode than their preceding album, with the music seeming more real and immediate; if Of Natural History was a Vaudeville conception of avant-metal, this is more of a gritty and realistic movie soundtrack. Musically speaking, the band seem to be out to fuse the disturbing territories of Mr Bungle with the creepy chamber rock of Rock In Opposition legends Univers Zero, though the bizarre vocal approach is a 100% Sleepytime Gorilla original. Either way, the album is another successful experiment in balancing musical complexity and experimentation with way-out-there creepiness.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#724170)
Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 | Review Permalink

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