BIGELF – Closer To Doom (reissue)
It may have taken a long time to spark, but the buzz about California’s Bigelf appears to be blasting off – especially across northern Europe. Enough so that last year Dream Theater took the band out on their Progressive Nation tour – exposing this psychedelic progressive hard rock outfit to their widest and biggest audiences to date. So it’s not shocking that Powerage would go back into the Bigelf vaults and reissue their debut 6 song "Closer To Doom" EP from 1996, and give the fans as a bonus 8 extra tracks of demos and live material to pack more meat onto this disc.
To the uninitiated, Bigelf has as much in common with The Beatles and Pink Floyd as they do to artists like Deep Purple, Kansas and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Vocalist Damon Fox doubles up on rhythm guitar and keyboards, and his technique evokes the majestic Hammond organ era where people would experiment to get the most eerie, bizarre tones out of their instruments. The tempos are much in line with Black Sabbath or other doom artists, as they prefer to jam off big, thunderous drums and quick hitting guitar lines through winners such as “In The Void” or “Change”.
Some of the demo material has a slightly more aggressive tone, especially within the free floating bass work of Richard Anton during “Fight” and the keyboard salvos delivered on The Beatles-like “Smell The Daisies”. The album ends with a live rendition of “Baron Saturday”, recorded back in February of 1996 and only hints at the future brilliance forthcoming from the pens and minds of the quartet.
To me Bigelf are so much more than paying reverence to the 70’s hard rock/ psychedelic movement. They have this sense of writing that take them to worlds throwback acts wish they could attain. You can close your eyes and feel at one with this music – it’s played from the head and heart. Closer To Doom gives you the back story to join the Bigelf clan.