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Jason Bieler: Songs For The Apocalypse
Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra - Songs For The Apocalypse Album Art

Jason Bieler: Songs For The Apocalypse

Progressive Rock
4.0/5.0

Jason Bieler. Do you recognize that name? Honestly, I did not. His early musical days started with Florida glam metal band Saigon Kick, a rather obscure band yet with the major hit Love Is On The Way within 1992's The Lizard. Apparently, from Wikipedia, the band is still organized. But mostly, Bieler has been doing his music via many and various solo recordings, and something called Owl Stretching.

Jason Bieler - Click For Larger Image

Jason Bieler

Now the composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, returns with another solo album, properly titled Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra's Songs For The Apocalypse. The name and project is something of a revisitation of the Baron Von Bielski adventure, circa 2013-2014. The "orchestra" is essentially Bieler and a variety of guest artists including Todd LaTorre (Queensryche), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Devin Townsend, Bumblefoot (Sons of Apollo), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), and Benji Webbe (Skindred), among others.

Musically, with Bieler and his current album I have no musical reference. I have never listened to Saigon Kick and I don't know his solo catalog. But for one, with Songs For The Apocalypse, you can throw glam metal and/or classic rock out the window. To these ears, the larger musical context is progressive rock characterized by dense heaviness from layers of riffs, synths and synth orchestration, large, yet often muted, vocal arrangements, and sometimes lingering guitar lines (which can also seme muted, but then rise). You'll hear this motif within Apology, Down A Hole, Born Of The Sun, and Bring Out Your Dead with a killer guitar solo from Devin Townsend.

Alternatively, there's something like Anthem For Losers which, while also dense and heavy, has a lively rhythm and groove, nearly sounding like fuzzed out Sixties summer music. There are a four instrumentals spattered within Songs For The Apocalypse, with my favorite being Horror Wobbles The Hippo, if only for the name and spastic guitar work of Emil Werstler. The closest thing to more traditional melodic rock might be Very Fine People where the fog of density dissipates and Bieler's vocals become more clear. For a final note, Alone In the World features vocals from Jeff Scott Soto, a longtime friend and collaborator of Bieler.

All said, I found Jason Bieler's Songs For The Apocalypse to be unexpected and different, an intriguing venture into the artist's lively and, perhaps, unique musical imagination. Explore for yourself and enjoy.




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The Bottom Line

I found Jason Bieler's Songs For The Apocalypse to be unexpected and different, an intriguing venture into the artist's lively and, perhaps, unique musical imagination. Explore for yourself and enjoy.

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