Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Morglbl

Grötesk

Review by Gary Hill

These guys have been around for ten years and this is the first I’ve heard them. That’s a shame because Morglbl (I wouldn’t try to pronounce it as I believe it could cause tongue injury) is one of the better fusion meets prog outfits there is. These guys never fail to entertain on this CD. Wandering between standard fusion, more metallic Crimson-like territory and other textures, the music is dynamic and creative. It still manages to be catchy – now there’s a feat. However you pronounce it, make no mistake, Morglbl are a great trio and this is a disc that’s sure to please fans of fusion, instrumental prog and great musicianship in general.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Tapas Nocturne
A great, slightly stuttering, drum beat kicks the disc off in fine style. Guitar comes in with a crunchy fusion type of approach. The group launch out into a Latin textured, fun romp that feels at times a bit like The Dregs. We also get some cool King Crimson-like music in short bursts. This becomes quite a dynamic little piece with lines of sound entering here and there to take the lead for a short time. The overall Latin theme is the central structure to which they keep returning, though. It’s a great, rather lighthearted, way to start things off. We do get some scorching guitar soloing in the midst, though. Other instruments also take the opportunity to shine here. The closing segment is an odd little piece of weirdness.
L’Ami Deglingo
The funk comes in on this track. It’s a great groove that really moves, but still retains the classic fusion elements. This reminds me a bit of some of the stuff Tony Levin has been involved with over the years. They shift it to a more flowing sort of melodic fusion approach later. The guitar screams out noisy soloing over the top. Then this gives way to a motif rather akin to 1980’s King Crimson. That merged with fusion carries it onward to its conclusion.
Buffet Froid
This one begins tentatively with chiming harmonics. Sound effects oriented keyboard textures join. Eventually more melodic elements are heard, but this still stays ambient and a bit strange as it feels ready to burst up at any moment. Instead we get more stabs of strange sounds on varying instruments. Despite this odd texture the cut does begin to coalesce into a bit of fusion groove – albeit considerably more restrained than the first two numbers – before working into a far more melodic section. When it comes back out of that we’re taken back into a slightly more hard edged fusion jam and the group begin to alternate between periods of harder and softer music. At around the three minute mark this shifts into high gear with a killer melodic yet crunchy fusion guitar dominated segment. While this is captivating it doesn’t stay around long. They drop it back to a more airy sort of jazz approach as they move onward. This section feels a bit like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. It moves out towards more hard rocking territory after this, again perhaps a bit like more modern King Crimson, but then drops way back to ambience.
Le Project Pied de Biche
This is perhaps the most cohesive and accessible track on the disc. It’s a great groove with more of that Satriani type sound tempered with The Dregs. This one is not boring by any means, but it definitely stays in one place a lot longer than the other stuff here. We do get a little instrumental excursion that’s a bit percussion heavy mid-track, though. This gives way to a bass guitar lead segment that’s quite funky. After winding through some variations, they wind up back at the main song structure that made up the first half of this journey. This is one of my favorite pieces on the CD.
Lieutenant Colombin
Another killer groove leads this off and the group take us on a new adventure. This one calls to mind Bruford Levin Upper Extremities quite a bit. It alternates between mellower, but rather dark segments of cool groove and harder rocking metallic jams that are based on a Zeppelin-like riff. At about two and a half minutes in they drop it way back to spacey atmosphere. It builds back up gradually from there. In the process we get some extremely tasty guitar work and it eventually shifts out to more Satriani-like territory. They eventually explode back out into the Zepish territory and then it turns quite funky. The Zep tones, BLUE elements and the funk are all merged together as they carry it to the end. This screamer might well be my favorite cut on here.
Les Petits Nous
This is much mellower, smooth jazz type balladic number. It’s a cool tune that serves as a great change of pace from all the frantic hard edged stuff. This has a real cool groove.
The Toy Maker
A rather odd militaristic motif opens this, feeling a bit like Frank Zappa meets King Crimson. It turns more metallic as they carry forward. Then we are treated to a bit of bouncing, slightly odd, wah sounding music. The cut alternates between this wahing and the more metallic sounds for a while. Then it moves out into weirdness. First an ethnic, klesmer type music takes it. Then this gives way to more metallic (neo-classical) textures and after a time we get circus music. They use these portions as they carry on (in reprises) to break up the other two segments after they return. We get a killer melodic hard edged, dark prog section later. Still not content to sit still they continue to reinvent the musical themes, creating new ones and reworking the current to keep the listener on his or her toes. Weirdness finally closes this out.
Haute Voltige en Haute-Volta
Bass starts this in a fast paced groove. Other elements come on board gradually until this launches out in an energized fusion jam that’s quite tasty. It shifts to a melodic prog movement, but then cuts back out the main structure to continue. This sort of alternating pattern holds the number with the two styles being reworked and revitalized for a couple iterations. The bass line turns extremely funky at times later as they launch out into a smoking jam. Bass takes center stage first, then the drums and finally the guitar shreds through a fusion solo. They eventually transition through a series of quick sections to bring back the main “song” structure to end this.
Février Afghan
More wah guitar, very quirky, leads this off in a slightly off kilter and playful jam. When they drop it back for the weird “la la la la la” vocals this feels a lot like Frank Zappa. It moves through another instrumental section followed by more “la la la…” then another comedic vocal line is introduced. This gives way to a smoking guitar solo section. When they return to the “la la…” section it feels almost like the Muppets meet Frank Zappa. They take it on a short adventure by playing further and further into that sort of approach. Then it shifts out to some seriously metallic music and we get a rather Rush (mind you Rush on iron steroids) sort of jam. This shifts out to another killer guitar solo segment, this one with more of a classic hard rock feel to it. More chaos ensues after this as they launch into another Zappa-like element. Then we’re headed into Satrianiland. The varying elements seem to swirl about, dancing and dodging around one another until they pull this out into a noisy and somewhat twisted take on old school jazz. This takes us back to the Zappa orchestrating the Muppets motif to finally end it. This is definitely a weird number, but it’s also cool.
Totale Bricole
Far more grounded than the previous one, this comes in with a killer hard rocking structure. As they move through it turns to more Dregs and Satriani-like territory to carry on. This is an accessible and extremely tasty number that still manages to pack some surprises into the mix. It’s a great way to bring things back into the realm of “normalcy” (whatever that is) after the display of strangeness that the last number was. They do incorporate some changes here and there and turn this towards metal at times.
Bello di Note
The first of two bonus cuts, this is a mellower, funky sort of piece that has a definite Latin groove to it. This is quite cool and features some awesome flamenco styled guitar. There are definite links to the music of Al Di Meola here. They twist out toward more ambient weirdness later in the piece, but never really lose sight of the stylistic basis.
Studio Délirium
This bonus track closes the CD. A Tony Levin (in King Crimson) like bass line leads this off. As the angular noisy guitar lines come into play that KC leaning is even more pronounced. They run through like this for a time and then stop. Laughter ensues and then we get another short little jam, definitely done tongue in cheek.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com