Review

Blind Idiot God
Before Ever After
2xLP (Indivisible Music)

It’s been 23 years since the last record from instrumental power trio Blind Idiot God, but you wouldn’t know it listening to the new double LP, “Before Ever After.” Their blend of aggressive rock and dub, infused with a harmonic vocabulary that draws from modern classical influences, sounds as fresh, unique and forward thinking as it did in decades past.

Blind Idiot God Before Ever After-coverFounding members Andy Hawkins (guitar) and Gabe Katz (bass) sound as confident and telepathically connected as ever and new member Tim Wyskida (Khanate) fits in perfectly behind the drum kit, whether driving the band toward forceful climaxes or breezy dubplate atmospheres.

While Blind Idiot God continues to unearth musical riches in familiar terrain, “Before Ever After” also exhibits evolution along several fronts. Blues influences surface more frequently this time around in numbers like “Fub” and “Earthmover.” On the opposite side of the stylistic spectrum, pieces like “Voice of the Structure” embrace an almost electroacoustic approach. Few bands can move from Stockhausen to brutal prog to blues in three tunes, but it works beautifully here. And Andy Hawkins’ guitar tones have matured into some of the best-sounding guitars ever captured on wax.

Bill Laswell renews his post as producer, pursuing more of a live band sound than 1992’s “Cyclotron.” With lots of dynamic range left in the mix, this is an album meant to be played as loud as possible, though you’ll never match the legendary stage volume of this band at home. But lose yourself in the gorgeous triple-gatefold artwork by Seldon Hunt for a while, and have
fun trying.

–Scott Scholz