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Bigelf - Into The Maelstrom

Into The Maelstrom
by YngwieViking at 06 March 2014, 11:08 PM

There was a real BIGELF hot fashion and consensus hype around 2008 / 2010, the album “Cheat The Gallows” was acclaimed but I wasn’t sold on it, the Portnoy’s connection convinced me to try again that one… Overall, it was again a smart move for my own culture, the album hold a perfect title, as it’s a real Maelstrom of style, there's a duality between the strong dirty seventies proggy feel (“Mr. Harry McQuhae”) but also an obvious psychedelic vintage Doom phase (“Incredible Time Machine”) that leads to some Hippie Sludge (“Edge Of Oblivion”) and to an organic sixties trip (“Already Gone” / ”Vertigo”) with some sublime vocal harmonies.

Sometimes it’s quite near of the pure genius (“Alien Frequency” / ”Control Freak”) and the next minutes later the vibes are gone, the mood is extremely different and schizo, the change are on a fast pace, sometimes it’s a little disappointing or puzzling (the first part of “The Professor & The Madman”), on thing is for sure, no easy listening here, you will experienced many sonic cliff hangers, no secure path it feels like you are climbing the Mountains of LV426 lost into the ice storm still perfectly aware that you are ready to fall and you know that you’ll be disaggregated into the abyssal void of the deep space. I perceived a true attraction/repulsion phenomenon with this album “Into The Maelstrom“

However the experience seems to be positive, with the fat bass sound, the huge drums parts by the omnipresent skin basher god (“Harbinger Of Death”), the ultra-vintage Hammond sound and the multi layers of hallucinated vocals are the recurrent & positive elements… Like if you are watching a bootleg videotaped in black & white of the bastard child of Ziggy Stardust and Neal Morse under a massive acid trip, playing Melotron and singing with GHOST in a BLACK SABBATH cover band for a PINK FLOYD tribute show… The two disc limited edition is strongly suggested, as I believe that the twenty minutes of remixed and rough demos are explanatory of the mental disease of the control freak Damon Fox, his talented deranged mind is fully exposed on here.

The musicianship is first class, the arrangements are an acquired taste, as the old school noisy FX are really difficult to digest at first, yet very audacious (“Hypersleep”), but it’s also hyper addictive, elaborate and clearly flamboyant, the whole “ITM” saga is the best summary: uplifting, experimental and retro at the same time

…Adventurous and risky… Maybe rewarding at the end but I’m still confused by so much instability. My rating is varies from 8 to 5… Let’s say a good 7.

3 Star Rating

1. Incredible Time Machine
2. Hypersleep
3. Already Gone
4. Alien Frequency
5. The Professor & The Madman
6. Mr. Harry McQuhae
7. Vertigod
8. Control Freak
9. High
10. Edge Of Oblivion
11. Theater Of Dreams
12. ITM
   I. Destination Unknown
   II. Harbinger Of Death
   III. Memories
13. Control Freak (freak mix)
14. Control Freak (remix)
15. Alien Frequency
16. Hypersleep (demo)
17. Mr. Harry McQuhae
18. Alien Frequency (demo)
19. Theater Of Dreams (demo)
Damon Fox - Lead Vocals / Keyboards / Guitar
Luis Maldonado - Lead Guitar / Vocals
Duffy Snowhill - Bass
Mike Portnoy - Drums
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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