Yet again I have too many ideas of what to write about, so I pick a band that also may seem a bit odd in this blog. Well, when I come to think of it many of my picks lately might be looked upon as fairly odd. Maybe I've written slightly too little about metal, but yes I still listen to a bunch of that as well. In my headphones right now Borknagar is comforting me with their new "Urd" which I've given a couple of listens and the more it grows.
I've also taken a liking to the new offering from Naglfar, more about that later...
Picture stolen from the Internet, which I then have altered and played with.
Anyway this time I wanna give some space to Mahavishnu Orchestra, a 70's band that I had no idea about before I discovered Billy Cobham, their first drummer, through the radio shows where Mikael Åkerfeldt played some of his favorite music. He played a song from Cobham's first solo album "Spectrum" which completely blew me away. And last year I found a copy of that LP on a trip to Gothenburg and finally could have a listen to the whole thing. Oh my. That is one hell of a drummer! So much progressive fusion, a really heavy type of jazz and it gives me the same feeling as really heavy early hard rock or even heavy metal. It has so much energy!
Later I dug some deeper into it and realized he was brilliant in Mahavishnu Orchestra as well and as the months have passed I've managed to find the 2 first albums with him as a drummer, a good thing since they are cheap. BTW, one sometimes wonder how such amazing music can be so cheap?!? It is a ironic and fascinating thing that some records which are mindblowing are sooo expensive and some which are just as groundbreaking only cost a couple of kronor.
"The Inner Mounting Flame" from 1971 is not a calm release, it's fast as lightning and cannot leave one unimpressed. It's simply some sort of masterpiece, although it's almost too heavy and too much to comprehend. "Birds of Fire" released in 1973 is almost equally good and has a little more variation to it as it has some calmer moments. That does not make it boring though, the time flies by when listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra. I really like the fact that they incorporate so much violin in the complicated songs.
Jerry Goodman who plays the violin impressses as much as mr Cobham and the one who shines the brightest must be the guitarist and leader John McLaughlin as he has written all of the songs!
So, if you're open and searching for something different but want the heaviness of metal and heavy prog - search no more!
Close your eyes and relax: