black midi - Cavalcade
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2021 Ratings: #163 / 737
Year End Rank: #33
User Score
2021 Ratings: #9
Liked by 443 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Louder Than War
It is without a doubt one of the best guitar albums released in the last five years. The curation and musical precision of the band have resulted in a sumptuously brilliant album.
90
Uncut

There’s not a single predictable second to be found on Cavalcade.

90
Clash
‘Cavalcade’ shows that black midi is a band constantly trying to push themselves, as much as they’re trying to push us. They are not happy to sit on their laurels and release the same album again.
90
Beats Per Minute

Cavalcade is an experience album, one that lingers long after it’s over. It calls to you from the basement.

90
Exclaim!

Cavalcade is an album of extremes, fluctuating between lounging wizardry and an angular, prog-rock nightmare. It's smart and well-calculated, expressing their range as musicians. Most importantly, it's the best path forward to keep speculators on their toes.

90
Gigwise

On Cavalcade, they’ve come back stronger, with bolder experimentation, dynamic production and, surprisingly, an ensemble cast of unconventional characters. It's really all that we could ask for.

90
The Line of Best Fit

Cavalcade is a record that delights in its own darkness, and will not compromise any of its sickening, theatrical excess. It’s a triumph of the UK underground and a singular vision of a band completely detached from their listeners expectations.

90
Under The Radar

The confidence and style with which black midi has taken these risks has led to every gamble paying off. It’s hard to imagine any rock album this year beating Cavalcade in pure genius.

90
Loud and Quiet

A masterful album – one which unsurprisingly surprises at every turn. Cavalcade proves Black Midi are incapable of resting on their laurels.

90
The Young Folks

While Schlagenheim was a great initial representation of Black Midi’s potential, Cavalcade goes further thematically and sonically, exploring each and every piece of the band’s sound while creating an otherworldly space.

80
The Guardian

There’s a impressive maelstrom of moods on the Mercury nominees’ new album, building to a fantastical, absurdist whole.

80
The Irish Times

The beauty of Cavalcade is that for all its surreal strangeness, this is a remarkably focused and coherent album. It should hopefully illuminate the gradual dawn of our brave new post-pandemic world.

80
Evening Standard

They definitely haven’t gone pop – but there is a new musical maturity on display here that in time, might yet make them genuinely popular.

80
Spectrum Culture
Doubling down on the dense, avant-garde clamor of their debut, black midi further asserts themselves as one of the boldest new voices in rock.
80
Pitchfork
The UK band stakes out even more ground on their glorious second album. The chord changes are more elaborate, the rhythms more twisted, the pretty parts prettier, the heavy parts heavier.
80
The Needle Drop

Cavalcade finds black midi remaining one of the most exciting acts in modern rock while going avant-prog.

80
Mojo

Certainly not easy listening ... Cavalcade harbours considerable thrills for those up to its challenges.

80
NME
Simply going down the rabbit hole with these deeply weird, brilliant musicians will never be less than exhilarating.
80
Northern Transmissions
It’s an intense, brain frazzling experience and one created by a band that scoff at the idea of boundaries and expectation.
80
Record Collector

These post-Brit School experimentalists reap the benefits of fortified focus on Cavalcade.

70
DIY
Building from a sound already so idiosyncratic and unpredictable, they end up in some head-scratching corners. It's still thrillingly entertaining nonetheless.
70
AllMusic

Cavalcade is a disorienting listening experience. Black Midi's sound on these eight songs is defined by their eagerness to challenge themselves and their audience.

70
The Forty-Five
The noisy London band traverse plenty of new ground on their second album, but the journey remains as jolting as ever.
70
Rolling Stone

You can always feel the humanity behind Black Midi’s mad scientist experiments.

70
God Is in the TV

Some of the gnarly bumps and edges that made Schlagenheim so exhilarating appear to have been sanded down – but admittedly, this gives way to a lushness on Cavalcade that wasn’t present on its predecessor.

70
PopMatters

Throughout Cavalcade, Black Midi display superlative skills, fierce chemistry, and avant-garde vision, offering spellbinding performances while also, and perhaps inevitably, falling prey to sonic tautologies and circuitousness.

65
Paste

Those fans willing to wade through the band’s murkier excursions will find a brilliant second album lurking somewhere within Cavalcade.

60
The Independent

As is customary for experimental bands of their kind, on Cavalcade, black midi feast on a smorgasbord of influences but the result at times can leave their sound meandering aimlessly.

60
Slant Magazine

No matter how maddening and challenging Cavalcade can be, the songwriting and musicianship on display is impressive.

60
The Arts Desk

Cavalcade sounds far less improvised and consequently, it also loses some of their debut’s groove and rawness.

56
Sputnikmusic

Is Cavalcade almost a good album? Well. Its moments of potential aren’t to be to be [sic] trifled with, but neither are they enough to elevate it from a stale sequence of overthought ideas.

CLJesse
91

Van Weezer

BradTasteMusic
85

bm's last album was great, but this album just does something else to me. I am in love with the chaotic freeform style this album just nails. I have a video reaction coming soon, but I will just say that this is the most satisfying shit I could ask for

Chode
90

Energy, experimentation, ambition, and a little bit of elegance.

When listening to the work of a band as eclectic in influence as black midi, any expectations you may have are to be thrown out the window. For anyone who thought there was a possibility of pinpointing where the band would move next, they’ll sorely be proven wrong as ‘Cavalcade’ manages to subvert your expectations in completely different ways than any other way the band has achieved yet. Those seeking the ... read more

helioux
83

Unpredictable and chaotic, as Black Midi always did. I was honestly disappointed in the consistency of this album, but each little piece, if consumed individually, makes an incredible listening.
___________________________________
•Vocals: 85/100
•Lyricism: 80/100
•Instrumental: 93/100
•Ambiance: 89/100
•Flow: 70/100
•Album Cover (extra): 100/100
____________________________________
FINAL SCORE: 83/100

97

Heavily tanked by the first half. The smoother controlled chaos black midi achieves in this album and the satisfying progression and ending is mostly on the second half.

Overall, I liked this album

Oenis
91

good shit

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Track List

1John L
5:13
93
2Marlene Dietrich
2:53
88
3Chondromalacia Patella
4:49
90
4Slow
5:37
93
5Diamond Stuff
6:20
84
6Dethroned
5:02
88
7Hogwash and Balderdash
2:32
84
8Ascending Forth
9:53
90
Total Length: 42 minutes
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Added on: March 23, 2021