Review Summary: A combination of orchestral swells, jazz groove, and rock and metal mentality that makes for one delightful progressive stew.
The more I listen to music, the more I realize what a rare and beautiful gift it is to be consistently awed and inspired by one artist's efforts. There are so many flukes and so many flubs in the world that it's a truly special thing when one artist can continuously expand their musical catalog and their musical borders at the same time, making each new album fresh, palatable, and unique.
I don't think anyone particularly expected that when they first listened to David Maxim Micic. But I also don't know that anyone expected Bilo
to be such a powerful and progressive debut considering it was a release that found itself improperly labelled and tossed among the mountain of "djent" that 2011 gave us. Yet there it was, shimmering, shining, and playing with passion and a slant not particularly expressed anywhere else at the time. Then came 2012's Bilo 2.0
, a drastic progression from Bilo
featuring a number of guest spots from oddball operatic Vladamir Lalic to friend and fellow composer, guitarist Jakub Zytecki. And it was amazing.
All things considered, it shouldn't come as any surprise that Bilo 3.0
is as warm, inviting, and entertaining as it is.
While Micic's debut saw more of a darker, mechanical sound that invoked images of a dystopian cyberpunk reality at times, Bilo 3.0
continues the trend in making the album brighter and more human that was started on Bilo 2.0
. From the warm, purely orchestral movements of opener "Everything's Fine" to the tinkling and airy piano and broad swells of "Wrinkle Maze" that lead into an almost Trans-Siberian Orchestra-style guitar solo dotted by choir chants, Bilo 3.0
is as introspective and relatable as it is epic in scope.
This extends into its darker territories as well, with "Smile" accenting Aleksandra Djelmas's sinister growls and cackles with genuine whimpers at the end of phrases like "I give up, the phobia is real" and seamlessly shifting into and out of a soaring, clean style. Any and all instruments know when to step back and when to step up with low, stuttered guitars frequently emphasizing Lalic's Serj Tankian-inspired vocal tone one moment, followed by a well-directed transition into any of many free-flying solos by Micic and friends from Zytecki to Jeff Loomis.
Truly, Bilo 3.0
is an extraordinarily well-rounded album from all angles bright and dark, melodic and rhythmic, with perhaps its best moments coming on "Nostalgia," a track largely guided by groovy, jazz-inspired bass and illuminated by the phaser-sliding keyboards of Vasil Hadzimanov. Yet it's this combination of orchestral swells, jazz groove, rock and metal mentality guided by a melding process that makes the hinges invisible that makes Bilo 3.0
a product of perfection. Bringing those mechanical and technical elements together with the slow, steady, and elegant classics and making it seem like a natural blend; combining vocal-driven music and instrumental tracking at just the right blend to make both aspects feel fresh at the right moment - that is the genius that David Maxim Micic has become. We'll certainly know not to doubt him when Bilo 4.0