Bigelf – “Into The Maelstrom” (InsideOut Records)
Wow – I can’t say I’m a big fan of psychedelic / glam rock, let alone a retro effort, but this is nothing short of amazing, like, into the next dimension man! Even more insane is that I caught LA’s Bigelf back during 2008’s “Cheat The Gallows” but clearly a lot has gone on in the last few years, not in the least the collaboration of Dream Theatre’s Mike Portnoy, who acted not just as a sounding board for the material on this album, but also drummed on it. The result is something quite magnificent, sorta taking the best of these styles, adding some glitter of modern prog, and then putting it all into a contemporary hard rock style that is amazingly catchy! Listening to the groove and wild, trippy vocals amidst the psychedelia and glam extraordinaire on songs like ‘Control Freak’, ‘Hypersleep’ and ‘Edge Of Oblivion’, they remind me of the brilliance of King Crimson, The Beatles a la “Sgt Pepper”, Pink Floyd a la “Dark Side..” and Queen “A Night At The Opera”. Break out the glitter cos Damon Fox is back in all his eccentricity and savor the revelry of his insanity (or genius – Ed) amidst glorious guitars, pomp organ and Portnoy’s prolific drumming on this amazing trip that takes you beyond the light fantastic attaining nirvana itself!