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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Album Of The Day-Madking Ludwig-"Seven Stairways" (2008)

The Album Of The Day is "Seven Stairways" by Madking Ludwig.

Overview:

Madking Ludwig’s sound comes straight out of their own
Bermuda Triangle, emanating from somewhere between desert
rock, progressive rock and metal. Originating from Montreal, they
have been creating their style of music since 1997, a very
refreshing blend of male and female vocal harmonies and
woodwind instruments, supported by a wall of heavy fuzzed rock
guitar grooves.

The band is back three years after their debut album with a
new offering, “Seven Stairways”. Recorded at the infamous Wild
Studio in St-Zenon, QC by ex-Obliveon and A Perfect Murder guitarist
Pierre Rémillard (Gorguts, Cryptopsy, Krisiun) and Martin
Dupuis. Renowned engineer Glen Robinson (Queensryche, Voivod,
Gwar) handled the mixing and mastering duties at Studio Multisons
in Montreal, QC.

The album marks the debut of new singer Leïla Jolin-Dahel,
taking over from Sophie Bourassa who has taken a break from
the world of rock ‘n roll.



Review:

As we make our way through the second half of 2008, one thing’s become clear: It’s a great time to be a metalhead with eclectic tastes! Whether we’re talking the return of the mighty HOLLENTHON, the stoner rock turn of American black metal outfit NACHTMYSTIUM or the debut of British jazz proggers TO-MERA, there hasn’t been a shortage of new, groundbreaking material to capture our imaginations. Well, it’s not over yet, folks, because one more name we have to add to that list is Montreal’s MADKING LUDWIG. They wowed us back in ’05 with their self-titled debut, and now with “Seven Stairways” they’re not just out to redefine multiple genres, but they’re gonna make it into plenty of “Best of 2008” lists while they’re at it.

Like any truly progressive band, the sound of MADKING LUDWIG is hard to pinpoint. To give folks a (very) rough starting point, though, imagine if Wino, JETHRO TULL and CRUACHAN crashed in somebody’s basement, smoked a whole bunch of grade-A hash, and started writing tunes. The uniqueness of this disc becomes immediately apparent as the intro of opener “Kursk” creeps along with brittle riffing intertwined with fanciful flute. As the song reaches its climax, the vocals of Stéphane Bellemare (he also covers the woodwinds) and the smooth-as-silk Leila Jolin-Dahel. meld together flawlessly. From there, Ms. Jolin-Dahel really shows what being a female rocker is all about (read: NOT just vocal and/or visual enhancement) with her ballsy performance in “Cease Not Desist” and jazz freestyle in “Speed of Ice”. Stylistically, these guys make damn sure not to get pigeonholed. The frantic pace of “Division Sun” effectively clears them of the stoner rock label, and the multidimensional riffs of “Dermatobia Hominus” come straight from the playbook of VOIVOD. Finally, “Seven is the Number” injects the album with a healthy dose of bluesy soul.

The only reason “Seven Stairways” doesn’t get a perfect 5 is that, at just over 35 minutes, it is on the short side. That’s it, though. That’s the only negative thing that can be said about this one. Otherwise, we have what could very well be this year’s definition of “something for everybody”. Speaking of which, there are limited physical pressings of this album, though digital download through iTunes is readily available. Just remember that it doesn’t matter how you get it… just get it! (Cardona, Peacedogman.com)

Track Listing:

01. Kursk (7:57)
02. Division Sun (4:03)
03. Speed Of ice (4:41)
04. Dermatobia Hominis (4:19)
05. Cease Not Desist (5:27)
06. Alone W ith Us (2:38)
07. Seven Is The Number (6:43)

Musicians:

Stéphane Bellemare: Vocals, Flutes, Clarinet
Raphaël Corbeil: Drums, Vocals
Patrick Falardeau: Bass
Leïla Jolin-Dahel: Vocals
Stéphane Vigeant: Guitar

Listen

MySpace
Official Website

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