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Schizoid Lloyd - The Last Note in God's Magnum Opus CD (album) cover

THE LAST NOTE IN GOD'S MAGNUM OPUS

Schizoid Lloyd

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.02 | 20 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Another one of those bizarre and utterly unique avant-garde metal bands in the vein of Mr Bungle, Sigh and Unexpect, SCHIZOID LLOYD may get lumped into good company but sounds like no other. This Dutch band was formed in Haarlem in 2007 and soon won the Rob Acda Award which allowed these circus freaks to release its first EP titled "Virus" in 2008. Assisted by Ayreon and Within Temptation producer Oscar Hollemann, SCHIZOID LLOYD received a few positive reviews for its bombastic experimental metal that was part Queen, part Frank Zappa and part Mr Bungle all the while incorporating as many other inspirations as possible.

It took a few years but the band that featured Remo Kuhlmann (guitar, lead vocals), Ruben Kuhlmann (drums, keyboards, backing vocals), Thom Lich (guitar, vocals), Daan Divendal (keyboards) and Guus van Oosterum (bass, vocals) to release its first full-length titled THE LAST NOTE IN GOD'S MAGNUM OPUS in 2014 but hasn't been heard from since despite no official announcement of breaking up (as far as i'm aware.) Having signed to the infamous Blood Records which specializes in all things metal especially in the experimental realms which includes Sigh, maudlin of the Well, Lykathea Aflame, Ihsahn and Thy Catalfalque just to name a few, SCHIZOID LLOYD couldn't have found a more perfect fit but in reality sounds very unique in its approach despite similarities.

While some avant-garde metal these days drifts off into bizarre jaggedly atonal soundscapes and more alienating than inviting to the uninitiated, SCHIZOID LLOYD successfully crafts its composiitons with strong melodic hooks that come right out of the classic Queen playbook along with a crisp production job that allows the myriad elements of death metal, progressive rock, folk, Pink Floydian space rock, symphonic touches and even circus music along with a tiny bit of hip hop to exist side by side with really nothing sounding forced and cliche in the least. For the careful listener you will hear all kinds of references to many, many artists of the past including not only the most obvious Queen but also Faith No More, System of a Down, Opeth, Gorguts, Leprous and what many deem the band's closest genetic relative Diablo Swing Orchestra yet curious there is no jazz, no swing and no opera!

THE LAST NOTE IN GOD'S MAGNUM OPUS features ten tracks and extends past the 57 minute mark and through its run takes the listener on a roller coaster ride of wild adventurous metal-infused progressive rock and metal. The opening "Suicide Penguin" is probably the most instantly addictive as it opens with a classic Queen bombast as its compositional fortitude and adds all kinds of slick elements to give SCHIZOID LLOYD an equally instant uniqueness which is definitely something not so common in modern music where there are literally a thousand clones lingering about. Like many of these metal hybrid albums where metal is only one ingredient, it's best to consider this album a progressive rock album that implements generous doses of metal at key moments and although such extremes such as death metal are present, they are fairly rare occurrences with just as much time dedicated to classical piano ("Film Noir Hero") and bizarre musical counterpoints all the way through with special props to circus music and avant-prog Zappa influences.

For all the creativity on display here it would amount to nothing if the compositions weren't delivered properly and completed with the competency of a great lead singer and excellent musicians. THE LAST NOTE IN GOD'S MAGNUM OPUS excels in all those regards with lead vocalist Ruben Kuhlmann displaying an excellent command of his multi-octave vocal range more in the vein of Leprous than any other band but still not exactly a clone. Despite the eclectic nature of this band the instruments are still pretty much limited to guitars, keyboards, bass and drums although a sitar is used occasionally. A dense and clustered work for sure, SCHIZOID LLOYD is definitely an acquired taste for seasoned proggers who crave some of the most adventurous music that can be found but the newbie need not be worried due to the instantly accessible melodies and vocal harmonies that prevent a specialized club membership to gain access to the album's secrets. All in all pretty cool album!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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