VIDEO REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlZurEWOzrU
Ladies and gentlemen, we are fedora in epic
y'all ever heard of this epic little genre called Canterbury Scene? Well you see, about 60 years ago, British people did something unbelievably epic.... look it up.
Fast forward to today. In a world where the lamestream record labels are forcing crud pop like Olivia Rodrigo down our throats, it's only fair they throw us intellectual critical thinkers a bone too. And boy oh boy, did they ever deliver, for the EPIC QUIRKY BRITISH ROCK MUSIC IS BACK AT IT AGAIN!
Imagine if Rick Sanchez, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Demoman from TF2 formed the greatest rock band to walk the planet in modern history. Could it be?
You know it, y'all. It's black. friggin. midirino.
Explaining Schlagenheim to a beautiful broad you just met on Hinge is a one of my all time favorite pastimes. It's truly a magical experience to get to tell the history of all my favorite subgenres expressed through one brilliant, sexy band comprised of four British geniuses. But after an hour of talking, I tend to notice she seems to get a little bit.... bored? Well, no longer. We now have CAVALCADE, another fantazimo record with just as many influences on its sleeve, and now I get to even throw in the term AVANT- FREAGIN -PROG, which is definitely the coolest freaking genre I've ever heard of. I wonder what other albums exist in this genre.... not sure, but this is clearly the best one.
Anyways, this album is clearly more consistent than Schlagenheim. The production is better. The vocals are less cringe. It's more cohesive. It's genuinely got some great moments like John L, Slow, Dethroned, and the ending of Ascending Forth. I'm not crazy about the Scott Walker worship in Mariene Dietrich (omgggggg scott walker is so epic, Black Country New Road my other favorite band actually referenced them lol) and I'm really not that impressed with Diamond Stuff, and honestly there's nothing here that's ever truly god-tier. But there's plenty of great moments, and even the less impressive stuff is still good. They take a catchy, proggy guitar riff and repeat it a lot, and maybe crescendo at some point. It's a good formula that works, and when it doesn't work, the drummer still carries.
Despite the clear improvements over Schlagenhiem, I do feel like this album's ambition and general weirdness has taken a bit of a step down compared to their previous record. This feels like a significantly more straightforward prog rock album, and for all of Schlagenheim's flaws, at least that one sounded really hungry to do something absolutely nuts. Maybe Schlagenheim's desperation to be avant-garde was actually a bit of a flaw, but I actually miss it a bit in Cavalcade. With that said, I think when you weigh all the pros and cons between both records, they're about equal in quality. I think just like Schlagenheim most people won't be listening to this in a year, but that's totally OK. They look damn good on my freakin topsters!
edit: actually it's a little better than Schlagenheim.