JASON BIELER AND THE BARON VON BIELSKI ORCHESTRA – Songs For The Apocalypse

Jason Bieler is a vocalist that’ll be best known to many rock fans for being the frontman with Saigon Kick back in the 90s. Never the most consistent of acts, Saigon Kick experimented with various different rock and metal styles over the course of three or four albums, but managed to attract a core of very vocal fans. That love of not being pigeonholed very much informs the material on Bieler’s ‘Songs for The Apocalypse’. In the lead up to release, he likened the record to “Neurosis meets Supertramp” and “Jellyfish playing Barry Manilow covers in the style of Meshuggah”. It sounds like none of those things, and the artist is very obviously trying too hard to be smart, but it’s an impressive work, nonetheless – a record that fuses dark psychedelia with classic hard rock, melodic metal and even a pinch of a nu metal groove. It should appeal to rock fans with broad tastes – and specifically lovers of King’s X, Devin Townsend and bands like Karnivool. What it isn’t is an album that panders to most of the stuck in a rut melodic rock die-hards, despite gaining a release on the Frontiers label.

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