Taken their name from the controversial best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code and a trio from Germany has a very strange combination of Metal, Ragtime, Gospel, Folk, Classical, Psychedelic, and Steampunk Prog is starting to receive some attention in their homeland. Yet their debut album is often, theatrical and a heavy experience from start to finish and the album, Good Morning How Did You Live? Is one of the most bizarre yet mind-blowing debut albums to come out this year so far.
The band considers Lead Vocalist, Keyboardist, Bassist Simon Moskon whose voice will remind listeners of James LaBrie meets Biff Byford with an attitude; Guitarist Martin Linke has a strong combination of Kirk Hammett, Adam Jones, and John Petrucci as drummer Ramon Fleig plays the drums like a fierce machine gun that is about rattle the windows like an explosive earthquake. It took me about three listens to understand about them and not to mention mime make-up and the 1890s Victorian portrayal that was featured in the new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog, but there are some music moments to treasure like looking through the looking glass to understand the band’s sound.
Songs like the Theatrical New Wave of British Heavy Metal-sque opener Hicksville Habitus and Itchy Feet and the jazzy 1920s straightforward feel Dance of the Strange Folk offer the flashback scenery of the silent film music scores as if Charlie Chaplin was dancing to this music as if it was his theme song when comes on the screen as they flow with fierce guitar playing and lashing some ‘70s Glam Rock into the mix that might have them listening to Bowie’s Aladdin Sane while going like a flaming gasoline fire eruption.
In taking a huge pat on Pete Townshend’s back of The Who’s music is the jumping roller-coaster journey on Free Ride while they go into a Futuristic wacky reminiscent of Hawkwind’s earlier days of Space Metal on Bagheera. Touching the deeper waters of the Acid Folk sound of the obscure sounds from the English Countryside on It’s Mine and the Australian outback to a soaring angelic mourning of Gypsy’s Lullaby that has a spaghetti western feel to serve as an Italian dish to dine in and enjoy.
Camden Town sounds almost like it was left off Pure Reason Revolution’s Hammer and Anvil with moog and guitar dueling it out while Leviathan has more of an homage to Dream Theater and Tool performing together with a vengeance and duking it out to see who is the greatest Progressive Metal band to come out of that time period. Linke really knows his love of Tool on Most Loveable Monster as he pays tribute to Jones with a half sneering guitar and half acoustic sliding blues before going into the war zone to fight for bravery as the band goes to town with a metallic punching grindcore sound.
The outro works itself with a gospel rockin’ clapping beauty that feels as if we are inside the mind of the Slaves and hear them singing while working in the hottest part of the afternoon and doing this song for freedom and sending peace to stop discrimination that sends a heartfelt closing like no other. Good Morning is not a great album, but it’s an okay album to really show how they are going to be receiving cult status in Europe.
And if you don’t know about theatrical steampunk prog, this album might be worth checking out and sink the shark teeth’s out for a wonderful mind-boggling journey you will embark for a long, long time.