Review Summary: Post-Grind-Disco-Sexy-Organ-Core
Blowout sales at music stores can have strange effects on people. Albums that you would normally write off in an instant somehow become “must buys” when they have a 20 percent-off sticker on them. During a final visit to Tower Records (RIP), An Albatross' Blessphemy...of the Peace Beast Feastgiver and the Bear Warp Kumite
was one of these sale-induced purchases. Remembering that the band had toured with Daughters, and me (at the time) being an avid fan of Daughters, it seemed like a match made in heaven. I had no idea the aural cluster*** I was soon to behold.
If the album's title wasn't a clear give away, like most of the newer style of grind bands that have emerged over the last few years, An Albatross do not take themselves seriously. At all. But then again how could a Grindcore band who's distinguishing feature is the circus merry-go-round style organ that is showcased in nearly every song take themselves seriously in the first place? That being said, Blessphemy
is a fun album. With its swirling “Flight of the Bumblebee” guitars, carnival romp derived organ, danceable drumming, and undecipherable screeching An Albatross have created a chaotic mess of an album that somehow, despite all the odds, works.
Even though the album as a whole works, there are some tracks that, despite their short running lengths, are just a chore to listen to. The most egregious of these is Sacred Geometry. Clocking in at almost four minutes long, it is one of the longer tracks on the album and it truly works to its detriment. The song remains stagnant and the 30 second bridge of static doesn't help to break up the monotony, it only ups the annoyance factor by multiples. Luckily these songs are lumped together on the latter half of the album so they are not detrimental to the frenzied pace that drives the first half of Blessphemy
An Albatross is a band best received in short doses and the second half of the album is testament to this. The second half of the album just lacks the “umph” and creativity that is found on the preceding half. The ideas and main goals of the songs are the same but by the time that the second half rolls around it begins to sound derivative. The schizophrenic pace at which the first ten or so tracks develop is also lacking resulting in a repetitive mess that will garner a few welcomed presses of the fast forward button.
With Blessphemy...of the Peace Beast Feastgiver and the Bear Warp Kumite
An Albatross have created a drug induced cavalcade of avant-garde Grindcore that, when its successful, displays a band that are willing to be fun, inventive and who live and die by the term SNAFU (Situation Normal: All ***ed Up). Luckily when it counts An Albatross are, for the most part, “on”.