Album Review: Algebra – Chiroptera
Reviewed by Carl Black
Please stand behind your desk.
I will have silence before I can start the lesson.
Thank you. Please, be seated. Today’s lesson is on Algebra.
No, not the mathematical discipline which replaces numbers with letters, no. Today we will explore Algebra, the Swiss four piece who have been together for fourteen years. More precisely we will focus on their new release called 'Chiroptera'.
The band are aptly named. Much like the complex brand of maths, 'Chiroptera' is complex, difficult to understand, and needs to be worked at to gain the full benefit.
The album chops and changes between riffs with ease. The transitions are seamless. The going is heavy and concentration is required. Opener 'Resuscitation' typifies this concept, with little repeat and technical, progressive, aggressive music interchanging riffs at will.
Hands up if you know the singer of Helmet?
That’s right, Page Hamilton. It would do you some good to revise some early Helemt as the singing on 'Chiroptera' matches this style. Harsh, tough and unforgiving.
The title track introduces layered guitar work that blend nicely with the changeable arrangements. They experiment further on 'Suspect' with trippy guitar work twined with fret board tapping. "Speak up… yes…much like the late great Eddie Van Halen… house point to you… well done."
To sum up todays lesson, Algebra’s 'Chiroptera' is a clever, well worked, dark at times record, that blends dark and light with lightening riff changes, bonded together with shouty, audible vocals. It’s not mass appeal and needs to be focused on to truly get it.
Homework for today, listen to Algebra’s 'Chiroptera' four or five times before making a judgment. Please do give it full attention, no listening whilst driving or running, you will not get the full benefit of the work. I don’t want to see any short cuts please.
Please stand behind your desks… Class dismissed.