Overcoming the Monster

1. Sentinel
2. Parasomnia
3. Overcoming The Monster
4. Superfluous
5. Reality Mining
6. Kubrick Moon

John Bassett - Bass, vocals
David Georgiou - Keyboard
Lee Sulsh - Guitar
Bernie Smirnoff - drums

Son of a Nun (2003)
Crowning Glory (2004)
Fantastic Freak Show Carnival (2005)
Blue Sea, Black Heart (2008)
Gravity Field (2009)
Truth Button (2013)



Released 2013-07-22
Reviewed 2013-07-16



The king of bathmats are back with a monster, their second album of the year and their seventh album so far. Overcoming the monster, I think it might be about the fight to overcome one’s inner monster or something hidden in the psyche of man. Like Truth Button before it, this album has a distinctive looking album cover art. Maybe a blindfold is the best way to deal with that monster so that you can avoid being turned to stone by seeing your reflection in the bathroom mirror. On the face of it, it looks very exciting and dramatic but is it really?

Earlier this year or late last year even, I got to know this band with that excellent Truth Button which pushed the right buttons for me. This album is different but the same in a way, the band is unpredictable as before but I think this is a bit more straightforward than Truth Button. In a way it reminds me of Yes in the past, like Starship Trooper but with more psychedelic influences and a bit heavier in the heavy parts. And of course a bit more modern. It is quite complex and diverse, of course very melodic, the singer is excellent and so is the production. The album has six tracks where most of them are very long with only one track having a playing time of less than seven minutes, but the fifty minutes playing time flies by listening to the album. Not only is it an impressive production it also moves enough away from the past album, that is impressive considering that there has only been about half a year since the album before it. They are quite industrious these guys.

Overcoming the Monster is an excellent album, but is it better than Truth Button that came before it? The answer to that is that I don’t know if it is, they are both brilliant in two different ways and whichever is best depends on the mood of the day I suppose but both pushes the right buttons so any of them goes at any time. This may be simpler to take in than the previous album but it is still a complex album and it requires time and attention to really sink in and it needs to sink in to really be appreciated. When it does, it has all the ingredients of a great progressive rock album but of course I may be biased so it might possibly only appeal to us fans of progressive rock.

I find the ending eleven minute epic Kubrick Moon is the best on the album, it is a song that summarises the album in an excellent way. Then I also like Sentinel, the opening track which is a really good song that impresses a lot. The rest of the album is varied, exciting and and excellent musical journey through moods, emotions and fights against the inner monsters. Is it a way to overcoming those monsters? probably not, but I suppose it will get you part of the way there as it at least improves your mood.

This is music when it is at its best level, a solid album with no major weakness and anyone calling him-/herself a fan of progressive rock have to check it out because it is a monster of an album. I am impressed by these guys and I suppose that I someday will have to check their back catalogue, unfortunately I don’t have the time now due to all the albums I have to review at the moment. Lets just hope they keep releasing albums at this rate as it won’t be a problem then. Anyway, without loosing focus further I will just say that this is a great album that you really should have a closer look at if you call yourself a fan of music.




Label: Stereohead Records
Three similar bands: Pink Floyd/Spock's Beard/It Bites
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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