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This album leaves me a bit perplexed, as such a wild mix of different styles is not quite my cup of tea. But let´s start with the facts:
Godbless Thee, Mooseheart is a Progressive-Rock side-project of Brent Vallefuoco, a 17-year-old guitarist (who also plays in the extreme Metal band Xanthochroid). With the aim to make expansive, ambitious music, Mooseheart blends together a wide range of musical styles, also to tell powerful stories with the music, the structure following cinematic manners. Following ”Higher”, ”The Prison pt. I” is the second solo release of this young artist – and the first of a double feature concept album, a kind of prog-rock-opera, telling the story of a boy´s childhood: part I representing alienation, upcoming part II representing coming-of-age. Sounds a bit autobiographic?
The Prison Pt. I gives you a wild ride through Psychedelic Prog Alternative to Metal – Brent channels Metallica-riffing in Goodbye, Father; other associations that pop up to what I hear are e.g. Pink Floyd, Beatles, Oasis, Tool or Nirvana (acoustic). Yet a crazy trip through all the musical spheres alone isn´t the recipe for a good record... in my opinion the whole thing could have been simmering a bit longer before release. However, the division into 16 movements, and all those thematically sorted into 4 chapters, gives it a nice formal structure.
What doesn´t quite convince me are the vocals, ranging from rough to clean – and the latter get a bit too weird occasionally (The Prison). First I considered irony, because there are passages that sound nice, which means he CAN sing. But then I found this in the bio: “Also notable is the much improved vocals, compared to Higher’s nasally and awkward vocal intrusions. “ Weeell – although this album was helluva work taking up a whole year, maybe waiting a little bit longer with the release might have been better, in order to ripen the material and to train the voice. And I write this with the intention to give some constructive feedback – as the peak of a musician´s career should be in the future of a 17-year old. What cannot be denied is that this album displays a lot of talent, and I am curious what´s coming up next.
Who wants to take up this musical trip, can listen here www.youtube.com/user/MooseheartOfficial/feed or download both Higher and the first single of the new album, the title track “The Prison” for free here: http://brentvallefuoco.bandcamp.com.