Lafcadio — Sham Duvet
(Joyful Noise JNR-10, 2006, CD)
Gogglesphere — Babies in Hell: A Depiction of Deranged Youth
(Joyful Noise JNR-4, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01
One might ask why these two discs are being addressed in the same review; it’s because both Gogglesphere and Lafcadio are essentially the same band – or that is to say they have the same five members. Babies in Hell is subtitled A Depiction of Deranged Youth, a concept album of extremely twisted and grotesque imagery and a musical style to match: abrasive and extreme technical thrash-metal full of distortion at every level, with that singer who at one moment sounds like somebody’s trying to strangle him, and the next minute sounds like he’s screaming in pain with a bottle cap stuck up his ass sideways. Not an easy listen, any way you shred it. Fortunately a couple songs turn down the distortion some, slow down the pace, and stop screaming so the lyrics are somewhat understandable. But it’s not long until it slides right back into concussion-driven suicidal mania at the threshold of pain and beyond. Ahem. Some will really dig this, I’m sure.
Regrouped as Lafcadio, some elements of the old sound are still present here, but it does seem like a fresh start with a concerted effort to make a more meaningful and interesting musical statement within the boundaries of extreme technical metal. Some screaming, to be sure, but plenty of decent harmonies too, and more importantly one can actually hear what’s being played and sung without the ever-present cloud of distortion engulfing everything. Each piece is distinctly different in some way from all others, and the overall approach is a sort-of punk take on the more brutal elements of contemporary King Crimson mixed with a more adventurous variation of the math rock sound. Sham Duvet is the messianic lead figure in a concept exploring the contradictions and similarities between religious epiphany and schizophrenic hallucination; and this time the lyrics are understandable – but just in case they are all printed in the booklet. In all, this is a far more satisfying disc; here’s to the new start.
Related artist(s): Lafcadio / Gogglesphere
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more