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

Invisigoth

Alcoholocaust

Review by Gary Hill

I know all you prog purists out there will be saying that this disc isn't progressive rock. Certainly it doesn't fit into any sort of narrow vision of the genre. Instead Invisigoth challenges the borders of what is prog and brings in elements of goth rock, epic metal and other sounds. While I'd have to say that not everything on the disc really grabbed me, there is enough strong material here to make this a worthy purchase. The cover of Led Zeppelin's “No Quarter” that closes out the disc is alone worth making the expenditure. You may question whether Invisigoth is prog or not, but you won't question their talent or the power of this release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Stripsearch
This track combines gothic elements with neo-prog sounds in a moody and dark structure that works quite well at establishing a tone and mood. At about a minute and a half in it shifts out to a killer dark prog jam for a time. Then they drop it back to the sounds that preceded and begin a new journey from there. While this is definitely not your Father's prog rock it's quite cool. It alternates between slow and grim to crunchy and powerful. I'd have to say, though, that this song is a bit monolithic to have been the opener.
Ancient
This starts off in the same general motif (at least in terms of the more sedate sounds of the first cut) as we've become accustomed to from the last track. Don't think it's part 2, though. No, this composition rises far above that opener. Shortly after the keys lead this off they power it out into an Eastern tinged jam that's still dark, but is also extremely powerful and intricate. This thing is simply awe-inspiring. Amazingly enough they also manage to throw in an extremely catchy chorus. I would have opened with this one instead. I've always been a sucker for Eastern modes and this song is full of them – and does them exceptionally well.
Talitha Cumi
While this one starts off with similar moody sounds to what we've heard to this point, they shift it out after a time into a more dramatic stripped down texture. At just before the two and a half minute mark they power out into a killer prog jam that has element of Led Zeppelin and Hawkwind, all interwoven into a fiery excursion that works quite well. They alternate the tones and motifs of the track as they carry forward. This is another strong one, and turns into a pounding rocker at points.
Serpentine
Here they begin as tentatively as we've heard. As they rise up, though, it doesn't take long before we're hit with some of the hardest edged rocking of the disc. This has a suitably slithery texture. It wanders between dark prog and heavy metal territory with seeming ease. Perhaps the most effective section on this one is a brief drop back to more balladic elements that's repeated a couple times during the piece. While this seems like quite a simple song on the surface, if you really pay attention, it's full of frequent twists and turns. I'd say that this is a good track, but it's definitely not one of my favorites on the CD. Some of the keyboard sounds on this are a bit cheesy, too.
Poison Drip
A killer keyboard sound leads off on this one. They bring it up with keys only for a time before launching out into a more guitar driven jam that's quite strong. Then it moves out into a killer hard edged prog jam before dropping back to more gloomy sounds. The verse structure comes in as gothic rock meets metal in a prog motif. This cut is dark and a bit weird, but also extremely cool. There is a lot of techno texture on the overall sound, but the chording pattern on the chorus reminds me a lot of something from Rainbow's Long Live Rock and Roll album. They pull this out later into a killer neo-classically tinged journey. It turns after that into some of the most “normal” sounding hard rock of the whole album.
The Everlasting
Pretty keys are the first thing we hear on this one. That sound holds it until a pounding riff take it around the 20 second mark. This becomes an epic metal sounding track from there. They turn it towards space and then drop to odd keyboard sounds. The song proper comes in after this with a slightly off-kilter jam that's part metal, part gothic and all extremely cool. A twist to faster, more technical sounds comes later. This is another that doesn't grab me quite as much as some of the other music here.
My Absinthe Lover
Starting with a dramatic keyboard line, they build on this in a prog meets epic metal way. I'm reminded quite a bit of Transiberian Orchestra on this neo-classical jam. This jam eventually gives way to another Eastern tinged journey. This thing is epic in texture and quite powerful. They move it through a number of minor changes for a while, but include another neo-classical jam later in the track. They also drop it to just percussion and those Eastern elements at the end to great effect. This is one of the standouts on show here.
Soft Asylum
The short intro here reminds me of an orchestra tuning up. It's not long, though, before they move this out into another crunchy and epic textured segment. This is another extremely powerful piece that has a lot in common with epic progressive metal. Still, after some vocals they drop it back to ambient weirdness. Then a dark ambient texture accompanies the next vocals. This is gloomy and dramatic, but also pretty in a bleak way. It builds up into some of the more pure prog sounds from there. I love the way they describe the digital age with the line, “In this world of ones and zeros.” This thing is weird and experimental, but also very effective. It's another standout. It's quite dynamic with varying segments and song structures weaving in and out of the composition.
No Quarter
Considering how well these guys pull off Eastern sounds I would have thought that if they were going to cover a Led Zeppelin track it would have been “Kashmir.” Well, it's always good when bands avoid the obvious. Such is the case with this rendering of the Zep classic. Ambient, techno keys with what sounds like echoey voices laid over the top start. Then spoken words come barely up in the mix. From there the familiar organ refrain rises. They build this slowly and beautifully in a very prog rock arrangement of the well-known piece. They truly make this one their own. I have to say that the vocals really capture Robert Plant's style. In fairness a lot of the disc has included singing that calls to mind Plant quite a bit, so it's not surprising. I've always felt that you shouldn't cover a song unless you can bring something new to the table with your interpretation. By that criteria there is no question that this one is a valid contribution. While I don't think anyone but Zep can put together the powerhouse that was the original of this track, the version here is really strong. In fact, I'd say that even if the rest of the material here was bad (and it's not), this song alone would be worth the price of admission. This is definitely my favorite piece on the album, and it's a great way to end things.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock

Ultimate Indie Bundle Banner
 
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