Title: The Monster Inside
: Spoonhead
Release Date: 2013 Nov 24
Genre: Progressive / Zenesque
License: CC BY-NC
Release Label: Ektoplazm / No Qualms Records

I don’t listen to opera very much. ¬†There are a few exceptions (I won’t go into the details here) that I feel have created historically significant works, but they are few and far between. ¬†There is a reason for my dissatisfaction with most opera: I feel that the libretto’s and the musical settings are somewhat mis-matched. ¬†Typically I get the feeling that the composer chose their libretto’s after having had an idea of what they wanted to write musically. Trying to marry the libretto to the composers musical vision typically doesn’t work well for me.

That’s also how I feel about the opening of this release. ¬†There is a spoken part, a creature / being saying “I found / I think it’s a cave where a monster lives.” that just feels awkward, and mis-matched to the concept. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, obviously the title is The Monster Inside, so a monster in a cave is exactly what release is about. ¬†However, the spoken statement feels too dramatic and somewhat awkward. I felt the same way about the spoken part on ‘Mountain Mantra’. ¬†I would have rather kept the vocal bits much more minimal, and let the music take me on the journey to find the cave and the monster rather than being told there is a cave and a monster.

I also found that the processing of the vocal to make it sound non-human distracted me, and actually annoyed me to some degree. ¬†It sounds too close to those annoying auto-tuners that non-singer hacks like Britney Spears and the Blackeyed Peas use to attempt to make their vocals sound better. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against vocal processing. ¬†I especially like doing it when there is a point, like there is here. ¬†However, just don’t make it sound like it’s auto-tuned. ¬†Thanks. ūüėČ

That being said, I like just about everything else about this release. ¬†I love the music on this release. ¬†I love the exotic feeling of the charango¬†on ‘The Armadillo’s Legacy’. ¬†I like the beats and feel of the overall release. ¬†I like the feeling of exploration I get from the tracks.¬†This is one of those releases that gets the balance between organic sounds and electronica correct on many levels. ¬†It’s a highly listenable release. ¬†Lots of fun to go on this journey inside and find the monster.

Of course, the idea of finding the monster is not necessarily a literal concept. ¬†It’s allegorical to the monster inside all of use. ¬†The creature that is in the deep forest of our very beings that can do incredibly risky, dangerous, mean, etc. things. ¬†Sometimes we tend to think of it as our darker side, although that isn’t always the case. ¬†It can be that the monster is that inner part of us that takes any form of extreme action.

And that’s where the fun of this release is for me. It’s on that journey that can be an inward or external expedition that is driven by our minds, by the relationship to the music, and our willingness to go to whatever place we want to go when listening to it. ¬†It’s an interesting place to go. ¬†I just wished I had been allowed to go there without the vocal track.

[Note: Ektoplazm is Free / Donation pricing.  No Qualms Records offers the release under Name Your Price. Both are Creative Commons licensed releases.]

Spoonhead: The Monster Inside

Free / Donation / Name Your Price




  • Annoying vocals

Posted by George De Bruin