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Henry Cow - Unrest CD (album) cover


Henry Cow



3.50 | 171 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars This album has its moments, but is not nearly as good as the debut.

"Bittern Storm Over Ulm" Right away, one realizes that Henry Cow is heading for more experimental waters, even though this track has its own appeal.

"Half Asleep, Half Awake" Lovely piano beings this piece, followed by more typical Henry Cow music. This is one of my favorite Henry Cow works, as it blends danceable and experimental qualities.

"Ruins" The longest track is atonal, but not painful to listen to, a synthesis I find rare. Soon, the music becomes more like something in the vein of Kansas and Gentle Giant- melodic, but eccentric. The instrumentation retains that quirky, yet constructed quality, even as the violin enters. The beginning of the second half of the piece alternates between heavily panned strings and strange instrumentation, then goes into something even more weird, which evolves into something unpleasant.

"Solemn Music" I particularly enjoy the music here, and, as always, it's too bad the band didn't capitalize on this strong composition.

"Linguaphonie" This is the weirdest track on the album, and is probably best passed over unless the listener is interested in odd vocals and seemingly random music. Part of it is like a kiddie program, teaching the young viewers their vowels while frightening them at the same time. The female vocal is interesting, but the rest of the music just goes downhill from insanity.

"Upon Entering the Hotel Adlon" Actually, things get even crazier, with a wild female vocal screech and some insane drums and incomprehensible guitar work. The music is far from enjoyable, as everyone but the bassist seems to be doing whatever the hell they want. On the upside, the brief music in the end is exceptional listening.

"Arcades" This short piece consists of varying, but sparse instrumentation.

"Deluge" The music is borderline jazz, borderline eclectic progressive rock, but is staggers in the limbo somewhere between those genres. The main bass line is similar to the final piece on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. This track is neither here nor there until the final moments, when it would have become a fantastic way to end the album, except someone decides to sing, at which point the music sounds like someone has taken a portable tape recorder into a lounge of a drunken cruise ship.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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