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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 5 March 2014
I never liked Cheat The Gallows. There, I said it. Although it contained two cracking songs ( Hydra & Counting Sheep ), the production let the album down badly.
Five years later, Ace Mark & Froth have left. Damon remains in the camp, handling vox,keys,guitars,bass & production.
The trump card is Mike Portnoy on drums. For several songs Duffy Snowhill plays bass.
Yes, but what about the songs ?
The shorties are OK - Incredible Time Machine, Theatre Of Dreams , Control Freak........
...........but the long stuff is Beatle/Focus/Genesistastic Mate. The Madman, High, Harry McQuhae ( listen out for the Bitter End ), Edge Of Oblivion ( sounding like White Russian ) & the tilte track are absolute belters

We have a production that is crisp & bright, sounding much more like Doom & Hex; so lots heavier, that keeps an Opeth fan happy.

Damon Fox - part Emmerson, part Oldfield, all Madhatter.And now for the tour..........
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on 11 May 2014
After hearing the single 'Already gone' on the radio recently, I picked this up... it is the first album of theirs I've heard, and I now intend to pick up a few more from the back catalogue.

Other reviews describe Bigelf as 'The Beatles vs. Sabbath'. That's pretty spot on. I'd describe it as melody-driven prog metal. There is a healthy dose of theatre, and most of the tracks work well. There are a couple of weak links, though, which prevent it getting the full 5 stars.
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on 29 March 2014
Imagine getting in a 'Time Machine' going back to 1973 & crossing The Beatles with Black sabbath........& there you have it !!!!!!!!! :)
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on 7 March 2014
I was really gutted when I heard about the troubles that Bigelf were having as they had become one of my favourite bands, I saw them many years ago at the Barfly in Camden and they were absolutely awesome, worthy of a far bigger venue more befitting a band of their calibre and talent. So when I heard they were releasing a new album I was absolutely over the moon and couldn't wait to hear it.

I don't agree with the previous reviewer regarding Cheat The Gallows, I thought it was an amazing album and don't really understand what he is referring to in terms of the production on that album as I thought it was fine. Personally Hex is my favourite album, very closely followed by Cheat The Gallows, this album, Closer to Doom and Money Machine (in that order).

The reason I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Hex and Cheat The Gallows for me is down to the lack of a proper guitarist. Guitar parts on this album are undertaken by Damon Fox himself with occasional input from additional guitarist Luis Maldonado and whilst both are competent, neither of them are Ace Mark. His guitar playing on the previous albums are what gave many of the tracks on both Hex and Cheat The Gallows that extra bit of genius, I really loved his playing style, a kind of mix of Tony Iommi, David Gilmour and Brian May and I think his presence is missed on this album; I find it gets to the bit of the song where you would normally have a really cool, measured solo that perfectly fits the song, such as the solo on "The Evils of Rock & Roll" off the Cheat The Gallows album and it isn't quite there which I find a bit frustrating as I just think to myself "damn that would have been such an awesome song if it had an Ace Mark guitar solo on it!".

That being said there are some really cool songs on here and I really like this album (took me a few spins but now can't get Incredible Time Machine, Control Freak, Hypersleep [damn evil sounding riff - like Black Sabbath does Hawkwind], Mr Harry McQuhae and Alien Frequency out of my head), but for me it's just slightly behind Hex and Cheat The Gallows because of the above gripe. I hope Damon Fox gets a full time guitar player on board for the next album as he clearly still has the magic that made Hex and Cheat The Gallows so great.
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on 17 July 2014
Been a fan for some years and have really liked what they have done so far. I was disappointed when I first heard this and it has not improved much with subsequent listens. Going watching them later in the year and after seeing the songs live maybe I will take another look and the review and change my opinion. Could have been better after the long wait.
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on 29 January 2015
Another top album by Bigelf, I have all their albums and went to see them recently and they were brilliant. I picket up the special edition with extra tracks, they aren't really that special just different versions of the album tracks but hey it's Bigelf.
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on 4 November 2015
Take some early Sabbath, add some Magical Mystery Tour and a touch of Roy Wood glam, all mixed up with a big top feel and out pops Big Elf.
Its a good analogue sounding cd, although a little compressed.
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on 29 December 2014
I was a little concerned that the absence of Ace Mark (guitar) from this album might be a problem. It has taken a few listens but I am getting to like the new sound.
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on 16 October 2015
I have no idea what everybody raved about. The whole album is samey with poor vocals.
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on 24 July 2014
Oh God. I hated it. But I can't easily give any artist one star.

I figured Wizard might be a source for the inspiration for Big Elf but this being the first purchase I really thought it would be better.

But nope, it was just...awful.

And the thing that really got me - and I got the vinyl edition with the free CD included...was it sounded like it had been mixed by a four-year-old.

I dunno if Damon took some time off on holiday after the album was recorded, but it sounds like it was recorded in the basement with the mics in the 1st floor bathroom, then handed to...what? The family dog, the gardener, a 4-year-old?

I know absolutely nothing about mixing music tracks (beyond home-use Ableton) but I will quite happily perform the mixing of Big Elfs next release for half of whatever Damon would otherwise pay - and be certain of doing a better job. I could always do a course beforehand, or read a book on the subject - or just ask someone who knows!
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