black midi. It's hard to imagine that a band like black midi could feasibly exist and make the kind of music that they do. The labyrinth of music they navigate is something which should technically fail on several levels.
Yet black midi manage to do it somehow.Throughout 'Cavalcade' they weave multiple distinct genres together to create a fully formed album that feels both intricate and simultaneously substantial. Whilst there is always the possibilty that taking this approach to music can result in a vague sludge of an album that feels blotchy and incoherent, black midi manage to capture the chaos in their work without it descending into a mess.
The opener 'John L' is a good signifier of how the album pans out. It makes broad sweeps through vastly different genres as the band works to assert themselves, only to break their own status quo as the album veers into 'Marlene Dietrich' which is pure indie folk with its soft guitar and gentle drum beat.
This is followed by 'Chondromalacia Patella' which is an album highlight with a funk inspired guitar riff that gradually succumbs to a variety of sounds and augmented screams that sometimes resemble a herd of goats.
'Cavalcade' ends with a 9 minute slow build on 'Ascending Forth', where Geordie Greep's crooning rises throughout. The song fades in and out before reaching the crescsendo and the piece comes to a chaotic and tiumphant end.
Whilst it may be hard to pin point where black midi stand genre wise, this is largely irrelevant. They have crafted an album which may seem chaotic but uses recognisable rock staples to create something cinematic. 'Cavalcade' is a hugely fulfilling album.
Main Image: Anthrox Studio