I’ve been presented with this album in a nonconventional way (usually I get to pick, but this time a friend said please review this album it’s just up your street!) and somehow this was the perfect introduction to The Spectre Beneath and the Downfall of Judith King.
I have been challenged to review an album that cannot be appreciated in any viable way in just one listen and yet this is my task.
I therefore must remove my book of superlatives from the shelf, brush it off and plunge into the pages to attempt to somehow give a sense of the wall creativity I am presented with.
It would be easy to be lulled into a false sense of security at the start of your journey into this madness with the classic vocals setting you swaying. However, There are Cameras in the Dolls is a lesson in the brutality of prog speed metal which kicks in at a frantic pace and doesn’t let up for the rest of the song. Technical riffing and soloing of the highest level just sets us up for what is to come.
I stupidly looked down at my phone at the start of the second track Teach Yourself Guitar (step 2) thinking I’d somehow switched to a tutorial yeah you got me! It is in fact a hugely technical display the likes of Dragonforce would be proud of.
As the Crows Peck at your Bones actually starts with the sound of crows pecking at bones. There are so many time sequences working independently within this track I think I’m not keeping up and yet they harmonise in and out just perfectly to keep me enthralled.
And so into the title track The Downfall of Judith King this is an epic number and the lady in question is referenced again and again as we delve further into the concept that is being created.
So who is Judith King, a quick google search offers either a convict character from Orange is the New Black or a British zoologist who specialised in Seals. I wish for the latter but suspect the former.
At the beginning of this review I said it cannot be understood in one listen. Mrs Lovett’s Pies is a fine example, first I want to hear the story which I suspect has something to do with a killer barber. But at the same time the guitar and drum work cannot be ignored.
Ironically Fragmented is anything but maybe the most classically metal track so far and what I would consider a song suited to rock radio.
The Birth of Judith King is a bit of Ronseal (work it out)
With The Plotting of Judith King a different side is shown with a slower more melodic rock sound that while not to my frantic tastes is maybe a favourite to more discerning listeners.
So onto the final 2 tracks The Abduction of Olivia Soams & The Questioning of Olivia Soams to try to describe them individually would surly be a betrayal of the concept and yet they are different so all I can say at this point is take a listen (10 or 20 times and then you might just get it).
- There Are Cameras In The Dolls
- Teach Yourself Guitar – Step 2
- As The Crows Peck At Your Bones
- The Downfall Of Judith King
- Mrs Lovetts Pies
- The Birth Of Judith King
- The Plotting Of Judith King
- The Abduction Of Olivia Soames
- The Questioning Of Olivia Soames
Pete ‘Paz’ Worrall – Guitars / Bass / Piano
L Lockser – Vocals
Luke C.M. – guitar solos on ‘Teach Yourself Guitar (Step 2)’ / ‘As The Crows Peck At Your Bones’ / Mrs Lovetts Pies