Exposé Online banner

Cabinets of Curiosity — The Chaos Game
(Bandcamp no#, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-09-26

The Chaos Game Cover art

Listening to Cabinets of Curiosity, it is necessary to leave expectations and preconceptions behind, as they’ll only hinder the experience of listening to this remarkably diverse album. And now I’m going to throw out a list of bands with a similar boundless spirit as a kind of “recommended if you like”: Bent Knee, Charming Hostess, Clearly Beloved, Curious Grace and the Black Rabbit, Schooltree. Cabinets of Curiosity doesn’t sound much like any of these, but shares a similar scorn for typical boundaries, as well as the presence of powerful female vocals. Speaking of powerful vocals, The Chaos Game starts with “Death, She Walks On,” which is a mesmerizing arrangement of multiple vocal parts, apparently all performed by Natalie Hornyak, possibly using a looper. Then they dive into “Angular Sterility,” which features a really powerful distorted bass, some crazy sax lines, and disjointed acoustic guitar parts. Hornyak’s voice comes in, executing really challenging melodies with ease, bouncing through wide intervals with dramatic vibrato and bringing to mind such RIO bands as Thinking Plague or MoeTar. With “Fractals and Coastlines,” the longest track at over 12 minutes, we get a suite of multiple sections and the prominent use of pipe organ sounds, along with lovely flute, screaming guitar, more heavy bass, and muscular horn parts. The following tracks bring in still more differing sounds, with some melodic tracks, atmospheric passages, and more. Composition credits are spread around, with Hornyak on four, two for guitarist James Naprawa, one each for Jared Hirst (bass) and Anthony Warga (saxophones), plus three tagged for the group as a whole — that includes Brian Blackmire (guitar), Justin Jones (keyboards), and Kristina Bacich (flute). (There is no credited drummer, and I’m not sure what that means.) In spite of the distribution of composition, the entire album presents a story written by Hornyak — I won’t go into the details, but I can report that this is not a case where a concept album is diminished by a pretentious or silly story. Most of the tracks function perfectly well on their own, though listening to the whole hour at once is worthwhile. The Chaos Game is a powerful statement for the band’s debut, and who knows where they can go from here?


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Cabinets of Curiosity

More info
http://cabinetsofcuriosity.bandcamp.com/album/the-chaos-game

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Peter Hammill - Clutch – You can count on the words to be insightful, sometimes bitter, and never trivial. The music always seems to serve the words, not the other way round. With many songwriters, you find lyrics that only...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues