Bigelf: Into The Maelstrom

Psych-prog voyagers bring Mike Portnoy along for wild ride

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We often wonder what substances inspired the music we're listening too; in this case, whatever it was, it was *strong*.

Opening track Incredible Time Machine sets the agenda well, as old dusty computers whirr back into life and propel us into galaxies beyond where the past and future have become one and the same, and culminating in a bombastic blur of heavy psychedelia and crackling fuzz. Already the fourth full-length from the LA-based progressive doomers feels like their most batshit insane offering yet, and you can almost taste the sticky fumes emerging from ringleader Damon Fox’s top hat. Hypersleep & could be Electric Wizard covering Rush but with added theremin, while Already Gone and Alien Frequency sound more akin to the bohemian glam of early 70s Alice Cooper and David Bowie. Into the Maelstrom’s grand ambitions are matched by an even grander execution that will make this one of the most unforgettable records of the year.

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).