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Beautiful Bedlam - Beautiful Bedlam CD (album) cover


Beautiful Bedlam


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 49 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars An album of delightfully diverse musical styles--each song seeming to explore something new and different, often projected by the seven different lead vocalists. 1. "Flaking Paint" (4:32) opens with a sound that is part XTC, part The Police, and part Paul Weller before the song reveals its fullness beneath the pleasant Fredrik Larsson/Carson Schnackenberg-like vocals of one of the band members (James or Ross). Interesting and engaging delivery of the lyrics. (8.5/10)

2. "Breather" (5:18) using Xen Havales in the lead vocalist slot, this jazz-rock expedition is full of melody and an upbeat liveliness that makes it a winner. It's only flaw/irritant is the heavier sections of distorted guitar chord play. (9.25/10)

3. "Life, Death & Cheers (+ Slow Creepin')" (6:05) another surprisingly 1980s jazz-pop-sounding song with a delightful feel and message. Great voice and vocal from either Ross or James. There is a wonderful NEW ORDER sound and feel to it all. Even the DEVIN TOWNSEND/ heavy pulses/sections work. The stark shift into the techno- percussed final two minutes is kind of weird, though. A top three song for me. (9.25/10)

4. "Two Thirds" (4:06) great chord choice for the electric guitar to arpeggiate in the opening is soon joined by the full band and another new lead singer--either James or Ross, the other band member. Throughout this album, so far, I am reminded of young musicians Carson Schnackenberg (THE ARBORIST), Fredrik Larsson (FREDDEGREDDE), and even Boston's oddly operatic metal band NATIVE CONSTRUCT. (9/10)

5. "Cocktail Crime Scene" (5:27) back to jazz, with an interesting layering use of MIDI-ed xylophone, piano, organ, harp, and marimba to carry the song within the bass, drum, and electric guitar power chords. (9/10)

6. "Black World" (4:26) funky grooves beneath the bluesy rock vocal of Paul Cooper. Interesting work from the bass, guitar, and keys. (8.5/10)

7. "Open World (+ Apparitions)" (5:48) opens sounding a bit like The Police's "Synchronicity" before turning into a more NATIVE CONSTRUCT/STARE AT THE CLOUDS-like atmospheric synth-metal song. Great work with the vocals-- both lead and multi-voice harmonized. (8.75/10)

8. "I Adore" (4:00) opens with a chord progression and sound a bit like AC/DC. Lead vocal duties are this time passed on to Markus Saastamoinen. Not my favorite song but interesting for the instrumental solos. (8/10)

9. "Dog's Breakfast" (2:57) sounds more like a musical idea that was only partially explored, partially developed, never taken to a serious conclusion. (4.25/5)

10. "Sweet Oblivion" (5:16) again, AC/DC comes to mind with this song's opening. Even into the development of the intro, I'm still thinking of 1970s classic rock "heavy metal" songs. Lead vocalist Richard Jeffries does little to dispel my presentiments. The angular guitar scales seem rather rudimentary as do the guitar power chords. The drumming is great and the bass and REO Speedwagon keyboard play are quite good. But, overall, there is nothing really special or ground-breaking here. (8.25/10)

11. "Silent to the End" (3:43) what starts out as an expression of theatric melodroma uses Michael Minehan's death metal voice to foray into darker territory. Entertaining but not really memorable or ground-breaking--even when Michael turns Maynard James Keenan at the 3:00 mark or when the keyboard play let's out its crazies in the fifth minute. (8.5/10)

12. "Pigment" (4:39) piano and growling vocals of Matt Belleville give this a very Gabriel Ricci sound and feel--a phenom that persists even as the song develops into a full-on metal song. (8/10)

Total Time 56:17

I am not a fan of these plastic-sounding drum skins. The bass is thick, the keyboards diverse and creative, the guitar play often too rudimentary, but the vocals and vocalists definitely make it interesting. A band with a lot of talent, a lot of ideas, a lot of promise, and, perhaps, a lot of youth.

B/3.5 stars; a wonderfully diversified collection of songs for this Australian band's debut; rated up for freshness and potential.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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