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(44:12, ‘Nomenclature Music’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Re: Creation 6:40 2. Incident at Pembroke 5:07 3. The Meaning of Dreams 6:27 4. Barque at the Lune 4:30 5. Darkest of Forms 8:26 6. Presumido 4:37 7. The Claustrophobia of Time 8:25 LINEUP: Fright Pig – keyboards With: Thumper – drums Hogg Wilde – bass Pig Maillion – vocals Makon Baykon – guitars Hamm Onwry – guitars
Prolusion. The US band FRIGHT PIG is one of which we don't know too much right now. It is based in New York, USA, and appears to be the creative vehicle of the composer and keyboardist who has chosen to use the moniker Fright Pig for his progressive rock oriented excursions. This project began in 2006 or 2008, depending on which of the sources the band has made you want to believe, and "Out of the Barnyard" is his/their debut album. An album that has been met with a lot of positive attention, and which secured this anonymous band a slot at the 2014 edition of the fairly prestigious Rites of Spring progressive rock festival in Gettysburg, USA.
Analysis. Just how to describe the just under 45 minutes of music Fright Pig and his minions introduce us to on their first ever studio effort is something of a challenge in itself. One might state that this is a production that resides somewhere in between art rock and metal in overall style I guess, arguably a tad closer to the latter than the former. Because there's a lot of metal here, with a flamboyance and high level of dramatics to it that would have made me suspect that this project had tied to metal veterans Virgin Steele if it hadn't been for the fact that they are still an active entity. Be that as it may be, but there's a high intensity, high drama and very high flamboyance factor to Fright Pig's debut album that should give it a strong appeal to fans of bands like Virgin Steele, at least. Opening number Re:Creation is one of the few compositions that stay mostly within a progressive rock context. As with just about all the other songs at hand this is a creation that sports numerous alterations and changes in pace, style, intensity and expression, revisiting enough of them to come across as coherent and logical, but still one of many pieces where you might find yourself caught up in counting the number of changes just as much as listening to the music. A very and distinctly British sounding affair it is too, with flamboyant keyboards of the kind that hasn't been encountered too often following ELP's brightest days in the 70's and with vocal arrangements that invite and beg for a Queen reference. The following Incident at Pembroke opens up as a folk-inspired affair, shifts to folk metal at some point and ends up closer to symphonic progressive rock. With many minor and quite a few major alterations along the way, logically and fairly smoothly shifting from one theme to the next but with, yes indeed, flamboyance and dramatics aplenty. Fright Pig and his cohorts appear to really enjoy showing off. They are excellent musicians all of them from what I can hear, and neoclassical guitar soloing and quirky riff constructions both appear to be elements they are very accustomed to, as are galloping Iron Maiden-like riffs backed and emphasized by bass guitar be it in more of a classic NWOBHM manner or in a subtly more contemporary power metal expression. More or less hidden beneath the tangent excesses of Mr. Fright Pig, equally fond of symphonic inspired keyboard soloing ELP style, the mournful sound of the Mellotron or the classic organ sound from 70's hard and progressive rock. At times employing all of them, with some piano details added just for the heck of it. I might also add that in between the continuing alterations in each and every composition there's just about always room for one or more interludes of a more purebred symphonic art rock nature, something which has given this band a high level of interest in the progressive rock community. Relatively that is, as this is a debut album after all, and by an anonymous artist at that. But as seen in that context, the level of interest for this project has indeed been high. The major reason for the interest shown this band and this album is that the end result is a good one of course. Whoever is behind this endeavor are seasoned musicians with a firm grasp of what they are doing and what they want to accomplish. The quirky and ever changing nature of their compositions may perhaps limit their audience somewhat, as this is music fairly challenging due to that aspect if nothing else, and the flamboyance of it all isn't to everybody's taste either I guess. But Fright Pig are masters of their chosen trade on first attempt, and if they continue in this manner for a few albums more they will become a household name among those with a strong affection for well made, sophisticated progressive rock and metal.
Conclusion. Fright Pig is one of the positive surprises of 2013, and their debut album "Out of the Barnyard" is a tour de force of flamboyant, challenging music residing somewhere in between symphonic progressive rock and metal with a progressive sheen to it if not progressive metal as such. This is a band that has found many fans as is, and if I should take a guess at what their key audience might be I'd say that those who love artists such as ELP, Virgin Steele and Iron Maiden with equal passion should love this band and this album through and through.
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