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Bigelf - Hex CD (album) cover

HEX

Bigelf

Heavy Prog


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joey_burn@hot
4 stars Great album from this American heavy psych-trio. Sometimes Bigelf is just too much of a Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath copy but the sound is very nice and the songs has a heavy and great sound. I hope this album will breake the band to a wider audience because they really deserve it. By the way, Damon Fox is a really nice keyboard/mellotron player. Long live Rock ´n´ roll!

Higlights on the album: Madhatter, Pain Killers, Bats in the Belfry.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#32865)
Posted Friday, October 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The saying is "third time lucky", well BIGELF's third album is a perfect example, what a thrilling experience! Their music is based upon the heavy sound of BLACK SABBATH featuring fat guitar-riffs, a leaden rhythm-section and OSBOURNE-like vocals. Other obvious influences are The BEATLES (especially John Lennon), PINK FLOYD (Gilmourian slide guitar) and KING CRIMSON (floods of violin-Mellotron). The music is dynamic and alternating, from ballads to heavy rock with a lot of progressive tendencies like the integration of keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond organ, piano and synthesizers), changing climates, varied tempos and spectacular breaks. The distinctive vocals are powerful and have often a cynical undertone. BIGELF's evolution is stunning, I'm more pleased with their progressive approach than the predictable and boring prog (metal) from a lot of known current bands. If you are up to heavy and compelling progrock, BIGELF is yours!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#32866)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
4 stars What a hex ...

This album is great because of its various styles from Art Rock up to Heavy Rock. There are many references to wellknown bands - you can discover Black Sabbath ('Madhatter', 'Pain killers'), Pink Floyd ('Bats in the Belfry II') or Beatles ('Rock & Roll contract').

But it really begins to evolve with track No. 4 by developing their own style. 'Falling bombs', 'Black Moth', 'Burning Bridges' and 'Bats in the Belfry I' is pure Art Rock at its best!

I don't know how long this will be possible: you can download the tracks for FREE from their homepage ...

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#51678)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Enter the Pleasure Dome

Bigelf's _Hex_ is the equivalent to a day at the amusement park or eating sweet, rich cake. Pure guilty pleasure. Brazenly unashamed of showing their influences, the band produces a sound that combines modern production with 70's rock sound and attitude to produce an aural experience that is, at least for me, almost euphoric.

The opener, Mad Hatter, begins with a clear nod to Sabbath and Ozzy, with a near quote of Iron Man. The verse melody abruptly breaks into another near lift, from Another Brick in the Wall. Within 30 seconds you know what you're going to get - an in your face, balls to the wall, rock-n-roll ride that combines the two most popular headtrip bands of all time into one monstrous, colorful musical feast. Over the next few songs, the final elements of Beatles' vocal harmony and melodic sense, along with singer and keyboardist Damon Fox's take on classic prog Hammond and mellotron come in to add in more flavors. What remains hidden is that some might fine prog will be the dessert course.

Some will be annoyed at how derivative the music is, but sometimes you just want to rock. And rock this does, and the retro feel has so much more heart than much of the cold, nihilistic expressions of raw aggression of modern heavy music. Unlike fellow retro-rockers Wolfmother (whose music caught my ear on first listen but quickly lost my interest after that), Bigelf's music is huge, thick, and complex. The compositions become increasingly prog-like as the album goes on, with some off-time sections, psychedelic sound-effects, rapid shifts in mood, and huge keyboard solos. Sabbath gives way to Gentle Giant, but what remains throughout is a huge dose of Floyd.

The band offers a shortened version of the two part track Bats in the Belfry on their website, which is a good indicator if you'll enjoy their sound.

All in all, this is some energetic, trippy, delicious rock and roll comfort food. Enjoy.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#209320)
Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars It took Bigelf three years to release a follow-up to their masterful Money Machine and they came back with a much longest release which clocked at an hour's length.

The new addition to the band comes in a for of Ace Mark on guitar which now makes this band of semi-Finnish descent! Considering that Bigelf have spent quite a few years recording and touring Sweden they have definitely spawned roots here in Scandinavia so I'm not really sure that the whole California band-tag is really applicable anymore.

Hex begins with probably the most well recognized composition in the band's repertoire entitled Madhatter. The song has so far been performed at every Bigelf show that I've attended and it's also notable for Damon Fox disguise since he usually wears a tall hat when the band performs the composition. Being a huge fan of Gabriel eras-Genesis I really appreciate this nice touch because it definitely touches upon the whole '70s art rock phenomenon that is so close to my heart.

It's great when a band records a lot of material but at the same time it becomes a bit of a problem here since Hex is far from a linear album in its design. I love almost all of these compositions although there are a few straightforward rock tunes that I could have done without, but that's a natural consequence of trying to appeal to a wider audience. The album does have two quite interesting ideas working for it where the first one consists of the Bats In The Bulfry song trilogy. The first two parts are featured on this album while part III is available on The Madhatter EP which was released just before this studio album. The fact that part II comes before part I actually makes this whole concept a reverse such and it confused the fans who bought the EP only to find out a song titled Bats In The Bulfry III on it. If anything, at least it's a brilliant market scheme that definitely appealed to collectors like me.

The album ends on a short bonus track entitled $ which is preceded by a short silent track. Everyone who has heard the band's latest studio offering will probably recognize this track as an early take of Money, It's Pure Evil which is also the first single from Cheat The Gallows. This is actually a very interesting addition to the album especially considering that the band took a brief hiatus before releasing their follow-up album.

***** star songs: Bats In The Bulfry I (7:43)

**** star songs: Madhatter (4:18) Bats In The Belfry II (3:30) Pain Killers (3:20) Disappear (6:33) Falling Bombs (4:58) Black Moth (6:06) Carry The Load (5:37) Burning Bridges (6:51) $ (2:08)

*** star songs: Rock & Roll Contract (5:30) Sunshine Suicide (4:16)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#268701)
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When Floyd met Sabbath...

The band's influences are blindingly obvious, not only in the music, but also the lyrical themes. However, they are not totally derivative with plenty of intricate synthwork mixed in with those dirty guitars. For the longest time 'Cheat the Gallows' was my favourite Bigelf album, but more recently I am starting to prefer 'Hex'. Whilst none of the tracks are as good as the likes of Hydra, just about all of the tracks are better than (the rest of) the second half of 'Cheat the Gallows'.

The main attraction with 'Hex' is that it is consistently consistent, I can listen to it from start to finish and enjoy every minute. For this reason I find it hard to pick stand-out tracks and my favourites fluctuate with every listen, but at the moment they include Madhatter, Rock & Roll Contract and Carry the Load.

The Verdict: An excellent addition to any hard rock music collection

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#770223)
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars BigElf or Black Sabbath revival. I knew a couple of songs of Bigelf and thought they were good. As it usually happens with a prog rock album, it is necessary to listen to it completely to understand the essence of a band. It happened to me and I got the album Hex and wow, impressive way of playing. The sound is very retro, simulating the heavy riffs of heavy rock of the seventies, especially Black Sabbath, but personally I would say Bigelf surpasses much their possible idols. The style of playing is, as I mentioned, pretty similar to those heavy riffs, but the musical arrangements and especially the use of mellotron makes it different and of course really high quality, now I'm craving to hear the first and the third album, but Hex is widely recommended!

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Send comments to Memo_anathemo (BETA) | Report this review (#1012807)
Posted Wednesday, August 07, 2013 | Review Permalink

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