Worlds And Worlds

Oxiplegatz - Worlds And Worlds ©1996 Fairytale Records/Seasons Of Mist
1. Battle Of Species
2. First Contact - Conflict
3. Aftermath
4. Quest
5. Graveyard Dream
6. Usurpers
7. The End Is Nigh
8. Abandon Earth
9. Journey

Oh brother. Futuristic sci-fi death/black metal does actually hold much more appeal than any warbling power metal band shrieking about trolls and elves, but Oxiplegatz's second effort doesn't quite live up to the promise of a stunning release. Alf Svensson certainly has the noblest of intentions and hopes, but execution of these things is still not quite gelling properly. Granted, points are given to Alf for the sci-fi bent lyrics as I'm a bigger fan of Dan Simmons sci-fi than Robert Jordan fantasy. But the problem with Worlds and Worlds is that the production completely muddles and buries the elements of the music. It's like trying to stuff far too many clothes into a suitcase and then trying to cinch it shut. The music varies from blastbeat tinged harsh death metal to somewhat symphonic passages with female vocals. There are interludes that comes across as segments from a soundtrack, but the keyboard technology used is very primitive and that hokey sound does a lot to render the music less moving. Moreover, the compression of all the sounds and elements into a far too dense package buries any sort of subtle musical touches Alf might have intended. At the very most, you have to give Alf a bit of applause for at least challenging himself but in the end you may want to refer to his more recent albums for a better executed record.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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Sidereal Journey

Oxiplegatz - Sidereal Journey ©1998 Season Of Mist
1. A Black Hole Is Swallowing the Sun
2. They Learned of Its Existence
3. For Persistence
4. Bringer of Obliteration
5. Into Nowhere
6. For Persistence
7. So It's Our Final Hour
8. The Light From the Perishing Sun
9. Ahead - The Universe
10. No Longer Will We Be the Meek Ones
11. How Could We Ever Know
12. Head for That Star
13. As One Surveys This Ocean
14. The Iondrive A Silent Vibration
15. Several Planet in Orbit
16. Enemies !?
17. Once More Proven - We Are Not Alone
18. Lightspeed - Flunge Into Hyperspace
19. No Clue to Where This Jump Is Taking Them
20. Breathless
21. Turning Up the Power, Accelerating Again
22. This Time Passage Was Violent
23. Rings, Spread Like Rippled Water
24. They Stare Unblinking
25. Eternal Night
26. How Many Worlds
27. These Beings Failed and Perished
28. Ahead Once More
29. This Journey Has Taken Us
30. The Moon Was Land in Orbit
31. Can This Be What We Hore For
32. Teraform - Alter the Environment
33. And So One Day the Sleepers Waken...

Sidereal Journey is the third album to date from the wacky Alf Svensson's solo insanity, Oxiplegatz. It's a strange little album, quaintly ambitious and really bizarre if you really sit down and reflect on it. Basically the album is comprised of one song, divided into thirty-three short tracks to preserve sanity, though admittedly the album is best taken as a whole. Lyrically the album can't be beat; Svensson has an advanced command of the English language and a wonderfully creative mind (consider his artwork gracing the cover and layout). The theme is first rate science fiction with a hard "S"- no Millennium Falcon shooting around the Galaxy at the measly speed of light in these lyrics. This is genuine science fiction, not some cheese ball space opera. I'm not about to launch into a synopsis of the plot, so you'll just have to read the lyrics for yourself.

The music itself is quite diverse given its predominantly metallic nature, falling somewhere between blast-beat insanity, upbeat symphonic rock (think Nighttime Birds era The Gathering), Tim Rice style musical theater, waltzy Springtime bliss and weirdo neo-classicism (with a strong emphasis on the weird). The lead guitar is highly original, winding like a neurotic snake over really long chord progressions and snap-happy programmed percussion. The keys are strange, alternating between sweet little classical bits and warped "futuristic" experimentation (think the "Bladerunner" score on a budget and you get the gist). The music zips, the music zaps, guitar lines fizzle into hyperactive blast-beats which suddenly transform into waltzy music ready-made for figure skating in the Rhineland - all of this madness is unified under Alf's seriously deranged story about space survival.

Sidereal Journey is death metal for those who like invention over pretension, ambition over budgets. This is certainly not recommended to most people. This is for weirdo metal connoisseurs exclusively; you know who you are! Your favorite movie is "A Clockwork Orange" and you purchased the latest Korova album - and moreover, actually enjoyed it. If you like ambition without the flash, you could do a lot worse than Sidereal Journey. Check it!

Review by James Slone

Review date: 05/2000

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