Two years in the past, Saigon Kick singer/guitarist Jason Bieler made fairly the impression with the debut LP from his newest challenge: Jason Bieler & The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra‘s Songs from the Apocalypse. Filled with endearingly histrionic selection and ambition, it was among the many most commendably daring and eclectic new tasks in metallic. Expectedly, Bieler and firm have performed it once more with Postcards from the Asylum. In each identify and elegance, it is a clear successor to that first assortment, with the identical types of gratifying musicianship, playfulness, and boldness permeating the expertise. Thus, it is one other unmissable entry in Bieler‘s constantly fascinating catalog.
As with its predecessor, Postcards from the Asylum encompasses a host of company, together with drummer Marco Minneman (The Aristocrats, The Mute Gods, Steven Wilson) and Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard). In reality, virtually each tune—if not each tune—has a novel bassist and/or drummer, which fits a good distance towards making certain that every composition is sufficiently distinctive. Even the press launch notes: “The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra‘s music has been described as Nordic Ambient Submit-Classical Satanic Love Songs for Nomadic Peoples Residing Above the Arctic Circle catering particularly for many who employees Musk Oxen Rescues and put on hemp based mostly sweaters.”
Um, yeah, that is about proper.
Naturally, a lot of the LP harkens again to Bieler‘s onerous rock/heavy metallic origins. As an illustration, “Sic Riff” oozes sludgy guitarwork, manic percussion, ruggedly multilayered vocals, and myriad eccentric results and change-ups. As such, it embodies Bieler‘s knack for quirkily refined and imaginative compositions within the vein of Haken, Steve Vai, and Devin Townsend.
Elsewhere, opener “Bombay” is delightfully hectic but melodic, with irresistibly catchy hooks and harmonies amidst its theatrical manufacturing and zany twists and turns. In fact, another tunes—”Numb,” “Heathens,” “Beneath the Waves,” and “Feels Simply Like Love”—chart a comparably simple and acquainted late ‘80s and early ‘90s enviornment rock path; nevertheless, even they incorporate sufficient peculiarities (horns, interlocking vocals, and so on.) to seize Bieler’s spirited creativity.
The wholly madcap prog metallic odyssey “Flying Monkeys” deserves its personal tip of the hat, because it’s simply essentially the most splendidly intricate and unusual piece right here. With its colourful timbres, playful lyrics, and off-kilter rhythms, it would as effectively be the newly found and rebranded musical love little one of Guns N Roses and Mr. Bungle. Whereas every part on Postcards from the Asylum is nice in its personal methods, it is tracks like this that finest display what makes Jason Bieler & The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra so praiseworthy.
It isn’t all bizarre and frenzied, although, because the document homes a number of fantastically heat odes as effectively. The Bon Jovi-esque arid reflections of “Mexico” and “Human Head” are clear highlights, with beautiful acoustic strums, harmonies, and strings peppering its basic serenity. Afterward, “Birds of Prey” harnesses an analogous vibe however with a whimsical smooth rock aesthetic (oddly sufficient, its introductory piano chords evoke Kate Bush‘s beautiful “All We Ever Look For,” too). Then, “The Depths” is hypnotically ominous and sparsely nuanced, whereas “Candy Eliza” and “9981 Darkish”—that are admittedly the 2 least attention-grabbing inclusions songwriting-wise—nonetheless standout as a result of their vibrantly adventurous preparations.
Identical to Songs from the Apocalypse, Postcards from the Asylum is a brilliantly exploratory and urbane voyage as solely Bieler and firm may make. It is simply on par with its predecessor—if not barely higher—and it showcases Bieler‘s aptitude not solely as a fascinating composer and performer but in addition as an skilled at selectively using the attribute skills of his company. Better of all, Postcards from the Asylum reveals new layers with every hear, so it is virtually endlessly rewarding and interesting.
It might have solely two releases beneath its belt, however Jason Bieler & The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra has already solidified itself as a reliably particular treasure.