Kingbathmat are a progressive rock band hailing from Hastings (UK) and initially started by singer-songwriter John Bassett. Overcoming The Monster is already the band's seventh album and to start this review with a cliché: it's probably their best one so far. The music of Kingbathmat is hard to describe as it features musical characteristics of bands like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, ELO, Porcupine Tree , Threshold, It Bites and even Kasabian! However, it's definitely prog rock interlaced with the cutting vocal melodies of classic pop, mixed with sledgehammer metal guitar riffs and hooks.
Sentinel is a great opening song as it reflects what Kingbathmat is all about: great diversity and a sound of their own. This song contains amazing guitar solos, fine melodies, strong piano passages and good vocal parts. However, follow-up Parasomnia is significantly less mainly due to the weird vocals of John Bassett. The title track that reminds me of Spock's Beard, is followed by Superfluous which I regard to be the best song of the album. It's dominated by the more than excellent guitar work of Bassett; just check out the wah-wah solo halfway! Unlike the rest of the material on Overcoming The Monster the fifth track Reality Mining unfortunately is completely superfluous as it is a dull folky kind of song. What the hell was Bassett thinking when he wrote and recorded this horrible piece?
Luckily the album ends rather well with a song called Kubrick Moon, a more than eleven-minute guitar driven epic piece with harmony vocals and sometimes tiresome melodies. Summarizing I would say that the album contains two super songs (Sentinel, Superfluous), one good track ( Overcoming The Monster), two mediocre tracks (Parasomnia, Kubrick Moon) and one complete failure being Reality Mining of course. In other words, this is a good prog rock album which should get enough air play, I hope...
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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