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Now Hear This: Ghosts Revisited - Beo String Quartet

Rating: ****1/2

Alright y'all, this is a new one.

I'm reviewing Chamber-Alt music today. Yep. Chamber-Alt. I didn't even know it was a thing. Have I been missing out on the fresh new sub-genre that all the kids are talking about? Is this the future of music? Is it the past? I have no idea.

Straight outta Pittsburgh, PA, comes Beo String Quartet. Providing music via classic chamber music and progressive rock mash-up. It all sounds quite odd, but also quite intriguing.

I'm gonna dig in. I'm not even sure how one prepares themselves to enjoy this type of music, so I'm gonna do what I always do. Coffee and headphones. LFG.

"Prologue" starts us off and it's lovely. Dark and haunting to start, and then the strings really start to shred. It's like Megadeth meets Beethoven. It has this cool tension that builds to such a crescendo. If this is what we have to look forward to, I'm pretty stoked. "Dreaming" is next and we have vocals. It kinda threw me off at first, but I adjusted quickly. It reminded me of They Might Be Giants a little, and that's never a bad thing. As the chorus comes in, it takes a metal twist that I didn't see coming. This is different. Good, but different. "Ghost 1" is a more traditionally classic affair, but it doesn't lack intensity. This is high-level playing while still maintaining a strong melody. Impressive. "Walking" delves back into the pop-rock realm, and this seems to be the alternating theme here. It works better than you'd think, this whole Chamber-Alt thing. Solid track. "Ghost 2" continues the classical narrative, building the narrative nicely. "Dancing" might be my favorite of the lyrical-based rock songs thus far. A roller-coaster ride filled with dark harmonies and hooks. "Ghost 3" plucks along at a different rate than the prior classical tunes and it's a good change-of-pace here. Moving us along to "IntroSpectre" which might be the most effective example of what this type of music is supposed to sound like. Classical music foundation with haunting verse and infectious melody. Good stuff here. "Ghost 4" is next and it begins the album's wind down. Slower and more methodical, it feels like a farewell even though two songs are remaining. "Ghosts Revisited" sounds triumphant and presents the first "wall of sound" moments on the LP. By the time the lyrics kick in, it almost seems like an afterthought after such a powerful intro. I dug it, regardless. "Epilogue" is the last track, and it's a strong instrumental piece to see us on our way. What a ride it was.

If this is what Chamber-Alt sounds like, consider me a fan. Amazing playing in concert with interesting lyrics and vocal melodies. I feel like this will appeal to fans of both classical music and rock music alike. Very highly recommended.

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