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Fright Pig - Out of the Barnyard CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE BARNYARD

Fright Pig

Symphonic Prog


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AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Fright Pig is a full blown prog band that utilises the symphonic ELP sound of Hammond organ with heavy distorted guitars and dreamy vocals; a little like Kansas, or Shadow Circus. 'Re: Creation' kicks "Out of the Barnyard" off with a synth soaked song, replete with Porcupine Tree style vocals and lifting into layers of heavy guitar riffs and odd nuances that are reminiscent of Gentle Giant or even the theatrics of early Gabriel era Genesis. It is an unusual blend of styles but certainly captures the attention of the listener. The time sigs spiral all over the place and the musicianship is a tour de force of keyboard finesse and rhythmic bass, drum and guitar foundations. There are some wonderful harmonies and layered vocals throughout and a solid melody drives the song. 'Incident at Pembroke' is an instrumental that opens with a Flamenco guitar vibrations, in many ways akin to the Celtic sounds of Ayreon's 'Loser'. The distorted guitar chords break in to remind us this is no ordinary artist. Fright Pig merge styles constantly and are hard to pin down but captivating all the time. There are some great lead breaks on this track and the maypole dance jig gives it a curiously Irish flavour.

'The Meaning of Dreams' is a song about nightmares of dark and disturbing things. The Hammond is a dominant force and the melodic singing is more forceful here, and again multilayered with nice harmonies. The guitar is solid and at one point chugs out some metal sounds as the keyboard playfully runs away. It is great when the band take off, especially with extended keyboard and guitar trade offs. The twin lead guitar break is fabulous, resounding with high string bends and fret melting speed picking. This may be the best track on the album; a sheer delight.

'Barque at the Lune' is as whimsical as the satirical title that stabs at Ozzy Osbourne's infamous song. It is basically a reimagining of the lead break from that song with some added bells and whistles. Killer lead guitar throughout.

'Darkest of Forms' is a progalicious track with more Keyboard attacks and guitar crescendos to savour. 'Presumido' is an instrumental with tons of heavy duty guitar riffing and some gorgeous acoustic guitar. There is a Spanish feel towards the end when the high speed guitar picking takes over. The grandiose track is supplemented with splashes of Hammond and waves of galloping metal chunks.

'The Claustrophobia of Time' ends the album with pigs slopping, and grunting, mimicking the album cover. Then an Emerson like Hammond run cranks along til it breaks into angelic synth tones. The vocals are welcome and speak of weird symbolic experiences; "the good, the bad, sublime and sad, all make their presence known." An extended instrumental break has some spacey sounds and a psychedelic vibe for a while, then it breaks into glorious swathes of synth, till a grinding guitar riff is heard and an ascending Hammond.

Overall "Out of the Barnyard" is a tremendous Symphonic Prog album with a myriad of styles culminating in one amazing aural soundscape. The musicianship is extraordinary and it has enough variation to appease any proghead who enjoys musical innovation, Hammond mixed with heavy guitar, and a bold inventive approach to the genre.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#1028673)
Posted Wednesday, September 04, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very interesting album that deserves a great deal of attention here. The music is a kind of a mash up including strong strains of ELP, Kansas, Gentle Giant, Symphony X - the thing is that it works, man does it work. My ears pricked up right at the beginning of the album and they stood to attention throughout the entire 44 minute duration.

"Recreation" - Starts off softly. I'm reminded of Styx in sections of the track when it warms up and then of Uriah Heep as well in parts. It's all threaded together in a very interesting way,

"Incident at Pembroke" is an instrumental with a Celtic feel to it - very nice - brilliant percussion work - I'm reminded of Blackmore's Night a little without the syrupy vocals and on steroids.

"The Meaning of Dreams" - very ELP sounding track to start that encroaches on almost metal territory halfway through. The Hammond organ is brilliant in this.

"Barque at the Lune" - A strange, instrumental, version of "Bark at the Moon" (Ozzie Osbourne)? Interesting track that starts off with a classical piano sound until it becomes a parody of metal (if that makes any sense). These guys know how to play their instruments - very impressive.

"Darkest of Forms" - Keyboard spacey opening followed by some very nice lead guitar work. Spoken lyrics lead into a strong reminder of Symphony X in creative mood. The drums on this, again, are impressive.

"Presumido"- Acoustic (classical) guitar start, leading into metal territory. Interesting blend of middle eastern music with a Spanish flavour later on in the mix.

"The Claustrophobia of Time" - Farmyard sounds to start. I can't begin to describe the sound of this. ELP meets Gentle Giant meets Frank Zappa meets Kansas. It's a sound clash but it works.

A very interesting album and I enjoy it for throwing something new at me. It's complex and it's full on progressive heaven. These guys did not come in out of the cold and just release this as a début act new to the game as it is clearly apparent that they know exactly what they're doing musically. I'm kind of wondering who the members really are. I personally can't pin a musical genre onto this as it is all over the place but in such a way as to be very interesting - it works. Regarding the rating, for me this is easily worth 4 stars.

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Send comments to sukmytoe (BETA) | Report this review (#1029480)
Posted Thursday, September 05, 2013 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A pig that won't end it's days as bacon

Let's be honest, when Out of the Barnyard was suggested and read the musicians pseudonyms all related with pigs, thought that this was another bad joke and only listened it because it's my duty, but in the moment the music started my opinion changed in 180° degrees. For God's sake, the record is not only is elaborate, intelligent, daring, but also like a breeze of fresh air......This is how modern Symphonic must sound..After 30 years of Prog listening, I should have learned not to judge a band for their eccentricities, because this weird characteristics are part of what makes them unique and brilliant.

The album is opened by Re Creation, and at this point I'm already speechless, after a soft and mysterious introduction where Pig Maillion demonstrates the versatility of his voice, they shoot us with heavy artillery, the band gives everything they have, from some sort Indie related Prog, to lush keyboard sections, acoustic guitars and almost metallic riffs with nice choirs and strong melodies, but blended in such way that nothing sounds out of place, this is a brilliant opening.

I've been searching a phrase to describe Incident At Pembroke, but after several listens, I could only think in something like "Frantic Symphonic-Celtic Prog Metal with Flamenco Leanings", yes I know that this makes the same sense as an astronaut in a barnyard, but if you listen the track, everything is coherent, the blend of such incompatible genres is made with such good taste and dexterity that I can't imagine changing a single note. One word to describe it....BRILLIANT.

The Meaning of Dreams is some sort of SYMPHONY X nightmare (But hey I like nightmares), as if the FRIGHT PIG had taken the best from The Odyssey, and added GENTLE GIANT dissonances plus a bit of GENESIS, simply delightful. A special mention to the guitar work, really broke all my schemes.

I won't make comparisons with the Ozzy song, Barque at the Lune is on another league, from the nice piano intro to the elaborate synths and killer guitar, you can feel the quality, a perfect blend between Symphonic, Classical piano and Heavy Prog, make of this song one of my favorites of the album.

Darkest of Forms is a Proghead's dream, just ask for something and you'll find it, and works perfectly when placed side to side with the contradictory (again, contradictory is good) guitar based Presumido (Cocky) with the collision between Flamenco and Hard Rock, two tracks that must be listened together. No matter how hard I try, can't find a weak moment in the album.

The Claustrophobia Of Time is the cherry on top of that pie called Out of the Barnyard, one of the best tracks I heard in the last years, don't want to spoil the listener's experience with cheap words, so will just recommend to listen that Hammond.

I Never give 5 stars to a debut, because there's no worst course for a new band than a brilliant album to start their career, but this time I will make an exception, because any lower rating would be unfair, and I'm 100% sure that FRIGHT PIG will be able to pass the bar they set so high with this outstanding record.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#1032123)
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars These "pigs" take me "on the wing" of their amazing album ! Oink ! It's a delicious energy and beauty for the listener, who likes classic rock, prog, metal, spanish guitar, Moraz/Wakeman, Queen's choir, to sing loudly, to joke around classic music... What a mix! I can't describe it in a few words and even to say "it's like Yes / Gentle Giant/ Genesis/Jethro Tull" etc. To find totally original way today with the great and unique music - bravo! I mean, there are so many "progressive-depressive" releases we have got now and a real energy and beauty are more than WELCOME! I can compare this album (with a mood, power, "speed of thoughts" and originality) only with another masterpiece that was released so long ago - 1971, Mainhorce with Patrick Moraz ;) It's time to "fresh" prog impressions, but with modern vision and style - so many sides to enjoy here! Wonderful variety of music themes and styles are very harmonic together and they move and change so dynamic in every song - really I listen to this album "on one breath". Vocal - ah! Remember Kansas Left Overture?! And what a d-r-r-r-rums! Some 'hi-hat" moments simply superb :) It's in addition to what I say (shout!) about keys and guitar: the most tasteful prog bacon was prepared from highest class ingredients only! Parts, playing (all (anonyme !!!) musicians are virtuosos!), brilliant sound and record... And I wonder how musicians can "bring" these such a serious themes in lyrics (it's a hard life (and... death?!) within the Pig's mind!) without "crying" but... with a smile! It works better, I am sure. Artworks show this idea as well: from the idyllic cover art (a bit "lazy and crazy" with this Cosmonaut at the Barnyard!) and its "disaster antipode" in the digipack's inside, to fractals, nightmares and monsters in the booklet... The album was designed by well known artist Ed Unitsky, who captured album's messages perfectly. I am highly recommend to add this more than "nice" digipack to your CDs collection: great album, brilliant sound/record, lush packaging! HUGE thanks to the musicians for preparing this delicacy with a really necessary prog-energy (now I can overcome the grey Monday and "will move the earth")! By the way, I am not "frightened"? only delighted! Qink !

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Send comments to Olgaodessa (BETA) | Report this review (#1033489)
Posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
5 stars What do you get when you combine symphonic soundscapes, thundering instrumental passages, a hefty touch of American folk music, and a slightly disturbing pig pseudonym? Fright Pig! Like others have said, I was afraid this pig would be nothing but a bunch of bologna, but this band has completely convinced me that they have a sound that is honey- cured and slow-roasted. In fact, this music is as tender as it is meaty.

Had enough of the puns yet? I sure hope not. No, seriously, I'll stop. Fright Pig is a large group of musicians (I have no idea how many) that have taken the challenge to create something fresh and new in progressive rock. They have gone places where others do not dare to tread, and they have taken normal progressive standards and performed them to the max. First of all, this album is mostly instrumental. About half the tracks are completely instrumental, and some of the others are mostly so. I honestly am kind of disappointed by this, though; as the vocalist has a ton of range and a clear, tone-rich sound that comes from his pesky snout. No squealing, I promise.

On the other hand, I'm glad that the album focuses so much on instrumental passages, for these animals have the chops, the compositional know-how, and the pure gusto to relax you and get your blood pumping at the same time. Keyboards have a huge range of sound, from a creepy carnival style to electronic to blazing piano lines. Simply incredible. Guitars are steel-hard and so ominous at times that I feel I need to duck as they fly overheard. The bass notes are very dark and lend to the overall shadowy feeling, even during the brighter moments. And the drum---THE DRUMS. Holy pork rinds, Batman; I think this may be the best drum performance of the year. This guy has the gull to give us impossibly complex blast beats in a symphonic album---one with squaring-dancingly good times in it, as well. How dare he!! The guy's a genius, and I can't get enough of the drums.

So, don't let the admittedly scary piggy alias drive you away from this masterpiece. With such incredibly composed instrumentals as "Incident at Pembroke" and "Barque at the Lune" and "Presumido", this album just doesn't miss. The vocalist, too, nails his performances, especially on "The Claustrophobia of Time" and "Re_Creation". If the rest of the world wants to eat their swill, so be it. I'll be eating this fine tenderloin. (puns, puns, and more puns) And, no, I have no problem giving a debut album 5 stars.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#1037381)
Posted Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The mysterious Fright Pig's debut album is such a confident tour de force that I'm forced to wonder whether we will discover more familiar prog names behind their porcine disguises somewhere down the line.

The album is a marvellous example of what I consider to be the most interesting strand in progressive rock at the moment - as exemplified by the most recent albums from Phideaux, Big Big Train, Galahad and even Marillion - with bands tearing up the genre rulebooks and feeling free to mix and match classic prog sounds with cutting edge musical techniques derived from more modern (and in some cases not even especially rock-oriented) musical genres.

Here the inspirations range from the folky to the electronic, underpinned with a piggy playfulness (see, for instance, the band's delirious reimagining of Bark At the Moon's riff...). Here's one prize porker that's no boar, and I hope to get more fine cuts from the Fright Pig in future.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1046147)
Posted Friday, September 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Fun, funny, witty, and excellent mimickry! The band sounds like a refined Iron Maiden. As other reviewers have mentioned, the musicianship is top notch, the singing impressive, the compositions very fresh and interesting, full of unexpected twists and turns. Where I have a problem with this music is that it draws from a lot of the kind of metal and prog metal for which I do not/have never found an affinity. The acoustic and Spanish guitar parts are my favorite parts but then they usually get blended into or drowned out by the electric parts. And I also agree that this is one of the more impressive displays on the batterie I've heard this year. Great 'start' from what sounds like a VERY seasoned 80s metal band. I'll wait till the next one to see if this is a fluke, all a fun-in-cheek parody, or the work of some serious prog artists.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#1046956)
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Fright Pig is the name of an American band which has recently released their debut record "Out of the Barnyard" 2013 and the recond has got credits from many persons. The cover is quite finny with a pig mother feeding her children, an astronaut and a farm. The band seems to be anonymous.

I won't agree with all those people who have been praising this record. Over all the music is too heavy and metal like for me. I hear tendencies I like in every track but it doesn't work for me. My favourite track is the first "Re: Creation" which had a lot of great instruments and a sweet heavy sound but perhaps I got bored quickly. Then I think the music gets worse all the time. "Baroque at the lune" with its classical approach could have been interesting but a metal-like guitar destroys my view. I have problem with the music being so heavy.

The qualities are sweaping long tracks with variation and rather pleasant vocals. Though I feel the music is forced into heavyness and this isn't a musical landscape I will flee to. It's in no way bad so three stars is what I am going to give.

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#1057602)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
4 stars Fright Pig is a band (if we can call them like that) like no other in the Prog world. There are no names involved, at least not real names, and the real face of Fright Pig (the guy behind the project) is also unknown. Their line up (according to the booklet of the CD) is comprised of: Fright Pig (keyboards and compositions), Pig Maillion (vocals), Thumper (drums), Hogg Wilde (bass) and Hamm Onwry, Makon Baykon, Inna Pigsie, Pig Lee Whigli, Ray Zorbak (guitars). The album was also mixed by Porcio Royale and mastered by BaconHead?

Out Of The Barnyard (2013) is a weird album in concept. All the info about the band is like a big riddle and the artwork of Ed Unitsky on the cover and booklet is also weird, to say the least. When it comes to the music, they're not really weird. They're more likely to follow a pattern of vocal and instrumental songs and a pattern when it comes to the overall sound of the album.

Track one 're:Creation' is indeed an amazing opening track with a damn catchy melody and keyboards that keep getting me back to The Flower Kings sound. On track two, the instrumental 'Incident At Pembroke', we have a weird mix of Heavy Prog with folk Scottish (?!?) music. But there's no mistake that Out Of The Barnyard (2013) is a keyboards driven album, which is always good if well written.

By the time of 'The Meaning Of Dreams' we have a clear influence of Emerson, Lake & Palmer on the track. One more weird thing about this album is the lyrics. I couldn't quite figure out if they were serious about it or if it's some concept with the pigs on the cover and in their names. I keep imagining a kind of Prog Rock conceptual story about Babe (Babe is a children movie where a real little pig wants to be a sheepdog). Leaving this aside, Fright Pig's music continues showing us its high quality in the next instrumental piece 'Barque At The Lune'. Initially a piano classic piece that soon changes and becomes a Prog Metal track.

The follow up track 'Darkest Of Forms' begins almost as a kind of Depeche Mode song and soon moves to be a Prog Rock in the 90's vein with a heavy approach. The vocals begin as a gloomy narration with some sort of somber mood that once again ends up being a Prog Metal theme with some interludes here and there. 'Presumido' continues the album routine of instrumental track after a vocal track, this time they begin with an acoustic guitars in the intro. But soon Fright Pig embarks once again on the Prog Metal formula, which turn out to be a bit tiring and quite predictable.

Final track on Out Of The Barnyard (2013) is 'The Claustrophobia Of Time' and finally we can actually hear a bit of the damn barnyard. This track is more Symphonic, but still charged with heavy distorted guitars. When the vocals start you can feel some Agents Of Mercy on the overall sound. But in the end, it is the mix of Symphonic keyboards and Prog Metal guitars that rules it all.

Out Of The Barnyard (2013) can be tiring with the Symphonic/Prog Metal formula, especially because they pretty much appear on every song. But Fright Pig is quite a unique character and they have done pretty much alright for a debut album and there's plenty here for you to sink your teeth in. That's why I think you should go for it!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#1068399)
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Out of the Barnyard is technically impressive, energetically produced and tongue-in-cheek (Barque at the Lune - that's pretty funny), but hardly a masterpiece of form and substance. It feels like a musical lesson, a rather random demonstration of all the popular techniques of prog (mainly from the 70s) plus assorted classical and traditional bits and pieces (a classical piano, a spanish guitar, a fiddle, a Celtic melody), in what only nominally could be called songs. It's pretty rocking, but I would disagree with some reviewers who complained of it being too metal. Vocals also would perfectly pass for bombastic hard rock. I think this a record purely for prog fanatics, who would get a kick out of all the references here.

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Send comments to Progrussia (BETA) | Report this review (#1073569)
Posted Wednesday, November 06, 2013 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars US band FRIGHT PIG is one of which we don't know too much right now. It is based in New York, USA, and appears to be the creative vehicle of the composer and keyboardist who has chosen to use the moniker Fright Pig for his progressive rock oriented excursions. This project began in 2006 or 2008, depending on which of the sources the band has made you want to believe, and "Out of the Barnyard" is his/their debut album. An album that has been met with a lot of positive attention, and which secured this anonymous band a slot at the 2014 edition of the fairly prestigious Rites of Spring progressive rock festival in Gettysburg, USA.

Fright Pig is one of the positive surprises of 2013, and their debut album "Out of the Barnyard" is a tour de force of flamboyant, challenging music residing somewhere in between symphonic progressive rock and metal with a progressive sheen to it if not progressive metal as such. This is a band that has found many fans as is, and if I should take a guess at what their key audience might be I'd say that those who love artists such as ELP, Virgin Steele and Iron Maiden with equal passion should love this band and this album through and through.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#1102125)
Posted Sunday, December 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Fright Pig is one of the newer prog bands of the scene that got last year 2013 lots of recognitions world wide, rave reviews and all. Well, definetly I needed to check this one out, since I'm a prog lover and colector. So, what we have here a debut named Out of the barnyard with a very good cover art and art work overall, nice booklet - made by already famous Ed Unitsky. What about the music, most of the time ok, even great in places, something between ELP in keyboards department with loud guitars - one of the problems of the album to me, symphonic prog going towards a more harder edge in parts, a combination between Kansas and ELP. A little problem is to my ears, that the guitars are to loud most of the time in comparation with the rest of the instruments and another thing is that the arrangements are little chaotic on some pieces, no clear direction. As a whole I like the album, no particular moments are excellent but pieces like instrumentals Incident at Pembroke, Barque at the Lune or Presumido my fav of the album shows big potential with catchy passages and nice interplay between musicians. I think Fright Pig definetly will make some more ripples in prog circles in years to come, besides their music the names they use are quite funny. Good album but far from excellent. 3 stars rounded to 3.5 because of those instrumentals.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#1141791)
Posted Wednesday, March 05, 2014 | Review Permalink

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