[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
TRACK LIST: 1. Meeting House Green-1 1:22 2. Scene-1 0:29 3. Rumors 10:09 4. Scene-2 0:47 5. Accusations 9:18 6. Meeting House Green-2-3-4 5:22 7. Scene-3 0:27 8. Verdict 3:03 9. Scene-4 0:30 10. Incarceration 2:36 11. Scene-5 0:22 12. Voyage 2:58 13. Meeting House Green-5 0:27 14. Ghost 10:26 15. Scene-6 0:54 16. Exoneration 4:49 LINEUP: Robert McClung guitars, bass; violins; keyboards; flute; vocals With: Chris Bonito drums Colin Edwin bass Ty Tabor guitars John Cardin trumpet Nik Turner saxophone Jaimee Joroff Celtic harp Ryo Okumoto keyboards Trent Gardner keyboards Ryan Thomson accordion Valerie Vigoda violin Kristen Miller cello Jenna Green vocals &: Many additional musicians and singers
Prolusion. The US project TELERGY is the creative vehicle for composer and musician Robert McClung. His aim is to create and release conceptual productions under this name, utilizing guest performers for various instrument and vocal roles, in some ways comparable to the Dutch project Ayreon. The first Telergy production, "The Exodus", saw the light of day in 2011. "The Legend of Goody Cole" is the second album of this kind to be released under the Telergy name, self-released in 2013.
Analysis. Telergy's second production is, apart from a fairly star spangled cast, one defined by taking on a real life story. Eunice "Goody" Cole is a historical person, and from what sources can tell about her not exactly a nice person to have around. An elderly lady with a long history of quarrels with others, at the bottom of the social hierarchy when she lived, prone to becoming involved in conflicts with others. She was also accused of witchcraft, and at least on one occasion found guilty of witchcraft. 300 years after her death, in 1938, her name was cleansed of that accusation. This album tells her story, up to and including the historical event that saw her name cleared of what modern society regards as a fictional crime. The story itself is told in a succession of songs named Meeting House Green, acoustic guitar based compositions revolving around a set theme and vocals. Supplementing this framework is a number of fairly brief atmospheric pieces featuring some voice acting on top of a simple but effective cinematic sound and instrument constructions. In between those we have eight compositions of a more regular kind, and mostly instrumental at that. The greater majority of them reside within progressive metal in terms of style, sporting energetic drums and matching guitar riff constructions alternating between slower paced, majestic constructions with symphonic backdrops as a key ingredient, hammering drum and riff based themes with dramatic keyboard effects on top and occasional more pace-filled sequences closer to power metal in style with little use of keyboards supplementing. Frequently with prologues, inserts or epilogues of a more atmospheric nature broadening the overall scope of the composition. The most impressive of these comes towards the end of the album in the shape of Ghost, featuring a nice mellow opening that develops into a compelling run through varieties of these metal based constructions, with backing vocals and choir enhancing the proceedings in both the calmer and harder hitting sections. There's also a few cases of compositions that shy away from this formula that merit mentioning: the uplifting folk music going folk metal of Voyage, the mellow Incarceration where the violin and cello combination conveys a distinct mood of sadness, and concluding composition Exoneration where acoustic guitar, flute and violin combine to end the album on a melancholic note. This blend of narrative songs, cinematic supplemental constructions and longer compositions conveying the moods of the story primarily by way of instruments alone works very well. The narrative songs become the constants, the distinct sound and theme explored there fitting the purpose they have beautifully. The brief, theatrical-oriented mood sequences are trimmed down to contain only what's needed to set a certain mood, a less is more approach executed to perfection. And those not to keen on the story itself can choose whether they want to listen to it or if they prefer to hone in on the songs that focus on the music rather than the conceptual tale.
Conclusion. Telergy's "The Legend of Goody Cole" comes across as an accomplished production on all levels. The manner in which the story is told is economical and logically assembled, the theatrical intermissions are well executed, and those who prefer to enjoy the story without the latter can do so easily. The music itself is of a high quality throughout, the star spangled cast of guest musicians contributing in a manner that elevates the total experience of this primarily progressive metal output. An album easily recommended to those who prefer their progressive metal to be a part of a conceptual framework.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 15, 2013
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]