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Dutch goofballs Schizoid Lloyd give us one of Blood Records' many bizarre prog metal releases. This is an album that feels like Mr. Bungle and Queen welded onto a backbone of Leprous and Haken. As progressive metal albums tend to be very ambitious, we're given plenty of songs with wildly varying degrees of intensity throughout. Or at least that's what we would be getting if the fine boys in Schizoid Lloyd didn't blow this album's load so damn fast. There is great music on here and when it gets strange, it's delightfully so. But overall this just feels a bit like it got padded out too much.
The first song, "Suicide Penguin" is manic and frantic in the delivery of its sheer chaos. I would call it an eruption of insanity with how much effort is put into making that song capture madness. There's fierce guitars, a chilling choir, deranged vocals, and smashing drum work. It's all handled so well. The next three songs after that feel like lighter fare, but are ultimately similar and enjoyable, even if they are forgettable. Then we get to "Film Noir Hero" which just puts me to sleep with how long it is, how soft it is, how sparse it is, and how long it goes on for. The songs after this seem to be largely bloated affairs with small hints of wackiness taken up by a pretentious faux-opera and soft sounds with sparse guitars that make me wonder where the "Schizoid" in Schizoid Lloyd had gone. The metal stops for extended periods in many songs in a progressive metal album and that is never a good thing. Sure, there's nothing annoying or nagging in this album, but it goes from wacky Mr. Bungle style circus-core to a drawn out shell of that former style. There are songs with decent melodies (mostly near the beginning) and ones where the guitars get reduced to chugs near beneath other instruments. The long song lengths don't help as they have a problem with filling the time and long keyboard pieces are often dragged out. Occasionally something weird pops out in the middle of a song that shocks you back into interest. These parts should be more common. When this sounds weird, it sounds great, but when the songs slow down and go on for too long at too soft a volume, you forget this album is there. Suffice to say, my feelings are mixed.
Something great could have been done here. More engaging songs in addition to the first one would help. Make more stuff on the level of "Suicide Penguin" and I'll be interested. Fast, concise, tight, manic, and memorable. That's what I want out of you, Lloyd. The long but simple songs just don't do it. A denser atmosphere would also be welcome, since an atmosphere that's rather thin won't hold. Atmosphere, variety, structure, and a bit of catchiness are the ingredients for a great prog rock song. You used them all to their best on "Suicide Penguin" and left some ingredients out on other songs to their detriment. I know you guys have potential, so use it and make the next piece of music you make less drawn out and bloated.