Into the Maelstrom
03 March 2014
by Karma Bertelsen
Get ready for an astronomic intergalactic rock saga set in outer space fused with elements of 80s blues and prog-rock: after a long wait of almost six years, Into the Maelstrom is the belated fourth studio album by the ever-changing Bigelf project of eccentric frontman Damon Fox.
The alien odyssey takes off with ‘Incredible Time Machine’, setting the sci-fi feel of the album right from the start. After journeying through the intro, Fox’s vocals greet you with great resemblance to Ozzy Osbourne’s voice. Proving they aren’t just about exploring remote frequencies, ‘Already Gone’ shows off the more blues-rock side of the band, including a tone-infused guitar solo by Luis Maldonado. There’s no denying Bigelf have been implicating different sounds with this release, such can be heard in parts of (especially the beginning of) ‘The Professor & The Madman’, where there is an almost Asiatic resonance to the guitars.
Fox plays around with the stylistics of his Ozzy sounding voice, touching on that of Marc Bolan on the songs where the vocals are slightly elongated, such as in ‘Mr. Harry McQuhae’ and ‘High’. Dare I say Bigelf remind me slightly of David Bowie? Just listen to ‘Vertigod’ and you’ll hear a bit of ‘Space Oddity’ in there, somewhere. The darkest and more distorted track on the album, ‘Edge Of Oblivion’, takes a while to get you into it, but before you realise it (and after its theatrical introduction), the guitar riff turns into a primitive Machine Head-esque sound and the vocals touch up on Jack Black’s voice in Tenacious D.
With a few changes to the line-up (such as placing the legendary Mike Portnoy – yes, he formerly of Dream Theater – on drums), Into The Maelstrom is sure to raise a few eyebrows. From top to toe this album immerses a hodge-podge of effects, influences and styles. With its psychedelic aspects to its use of sounds resemblant of a theremin’s you take a kaleidoscopic journey into the unknown that is the grand production Into the Maelstrom.
Sounds Like: Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie
Standout Tracks: Incredible Time Machine, Edge of Oblivion