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Antidepressive Delivery - 2008 - "Chain of Foods"

(47:41, Musea Records)


*****

Prolusion. The Norwegian band ANTIDEPRESSIVE DELIVERY (hereinafter ADD) was formed in 2002. They secured a record contract with the US label Laser's Edge in 2004, and their debut album was issued by them in September of the same year. 2006 saw the band leaving the label and subsequently splitting up, but soon they reformed and started recording new compositions. In the beginning of 2008 the band signed to Frances Musea Records, and their sophomore album Chain of Foods was released shortly after.

TRACK LIST:
           
1.  Starchaser 6:23
2.  Desert Machine 4:02
3.  Accordion Woman 5:26
4.  Terminal 3:57
5.  Blood Is Blood 7:17
6.  We Will Crimson You 2:31
7.  U 4:58
8.  Undead 5:55
9.  Nothing New 7:08

LINEUP:

Pete Beck  bass; vocals
Christian Broholt  guitars
Haakon Pettersen  keyboards
Terje Krabol  drums                

Analysis. I was lucky enough to hear most of Museas releases. To cut a long story short, this disc sounds as if it came from the precincts of Record Heaven the Swedish recording company whose main specialization is exactly the style that ADD plays. Sometimes I even experience a sort of deja vu while listening to it, and potentially I could copy a solid part of probably any of my recent label-related reviews (this one, for instance) and paste it here to give you at least a general idea of the hero of this occasion. Naturally, Chain of Foods is a vintage symphonic hard rock album with some classically progressive tendencies, such as massive arrangements, differently vectored solos and intricate tempo changes. None of the nine tracks here are weak, at least within their genre category, but from a progressive standpoint the recordings development bears in many ways a sinusoidal character. Three of the first four songs, Starchaser, Desert Machine and Terminal, remind me of a crossover between classic, early 70s, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple except for the vocals which, although not arousing any direct associations, are in delivery much closer to those in the former ensemble. No, ADD doesnt sound like imitators of any of the bands used as reference points here, but anyhow all the said songs should easily appeal to fans of both of those, and by the way this remark remains by and large relevant to all the yet to be named ones also. While, as hinted above, the album reaches its progressive climax in its core, I think Id better describe its standout compositions after touching on what happens as its curtain falls. The last two tracks, Undead and Nothing New, are tasty, truly sympho-prog ballads, both being constructed in a fairly complicated way, particularly the latter. Besides the sonic landscapes that either latently or directly evoke Uriah Heep (and which turn out to be the most widespread on this recording in the end), these two also have moments that bring to mind some art-rock creations. Undead has an acoustic guitar-laden interlude which is slightly reminiscent of Entangled from Genesiss A Trick of the Tail, while Nothing New one time echoes Life is Like Oxygen from Sweets (purely symphonic and at the same time most progressive recording) Level Headed, and another time the title track of King Crimsons Discipline. The specific guitar technique pioneered by Robert Fripp when creating his milestone solo effort Exposure, and which has been the trademark of his main band since its third incarnation in 1981, can also be detected on the sole instrumental here, the seemingly aptly-titled We Will Crimson You, though as a matter of fact its just a brief digression from the pieces primary style, which is progressive, at times positively eclectic, Doom Metal influenced by Black Sabbath. U follows the instrumental and except for the vocals is much the same story overall. However, the best compositions on the CD would be Accordion Woman and Blood Is Blood, each combining progressive hard rock with sympho-prog and jazz-fusion arrangements in the style of ELP and National Health, respectively. Haakon Pettersen appears to be a highly versatile organ and electric piano player on these two, and I regret he wasnt allowed to improvise on all the other tracks also.

Conclusion. ADD is not the only modern-day band that can play symphonic Hard Rock in a typically vintage manner, but their performance mastery as well as ability to overstep the limits of the idiom raises them quite much above most of their contemporary brothers in style. Chain of Foods is a mature effort, and it was gratifying to listen to it.

VM: October 25, 2008


Antidepressive Delivery - 2008 - "Chain of Foods"

*****

Analysis. The 70s are back in fashion, which is a good thing for this Norwegian band. And among all the performers replicating the sound and style of the great prog and hard rock acts active close to 40 years ago, ADD stands out for blending a wider variety of influences in their compositions than most other bands exploring this territory. A key feature on this release is the Hammond organ. If you love that sound, stop reading and get this album. You won't be sorry. In this case the instrument isn't given a strictly dominating role, but is blended in with other instruments first and foremost guitar. There's a good deal of variety to this exploration though. The most obvious influence that comes to mind after listening to the parts where these boys rock out is Deep Purple: crunchy, 70s-style hard rock riffs with heavy Hammond in melodic tunes, and a skilled vocalist with a powerful voice. The only element lacking is the classical influence in the guitar work, but apart from that it's music quite similar to Deep Purple Mk II. There are some slightly mellower segments in these songs as well, which are closer to Uriah Heep in style. There's more to this release than hard rock songs with Hammond, though. More carefully planned mellow segments, often with symphonic keyboard layers and undistorted or acoustic guitar licks present, really take us to quite different sounding musical territories, and acts like Genesis, Camel and even the earliest releases of Eloy came to mind in these parts; although somewhat different in style to these fine acts, in sound they remind me of those indeed. An additional trait in many songs is distinct jazz influences, with keyboards and guitars often the main providers of some melodic, psychedelic-tinged fusion as they made it in the 70s. Add in some atmospheric guitar soloing and Latin-flavored rhythms, and I'd bet it's a good chance that these guys are familiar with a certain Carlos Santana. And they add by name another influence to their sound by way of a song, We Will Crimson You. How much of an impact Robert Fripp and his various bandmates have on the style pursued on this album I can't pinpoint, but I presume King Crimson heads might want to check out this release to find out about that particular aspect.

Conclusion. There's a great deal of variety on this CD, but the dominating traits are the ones first mentioned: hard rock with guitars and Hammond as the dominating instruments. This sound is a compelling one, a band like Deep Purple made a career out of it. And most people into classic Deep Purple will probably enjoy this release, especially if they don't mind listening to a band adventurous in their explorations.

OMB: October 25, 2008


Related Links:

Musea Records
Antidepressive Delivery


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