black midi — Cavalcade — Album Review

Experimental | Alternative | Rock

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Okay, I admit; I am a little bit late to the party with this one. However, this Friday just gone felt a lot more scarce than usual, when it came to brand new music that I had been anticipating. That being said, I thought it to be a better time than ever, to finally review an album from the much beloved black midi.

Besides which, I did review and enjoy the Black Country, New Road album For the first time; so why not review a brand new album from the very band that Black Country, New Road gave their nod to in their track “Track X”?

Having begged that question to that myself, however, black midi’s previous debut album, 2019’s Schlagenheim, became one of those “albums I nearly reviewed”, and looking back on that album once again, I really got the chance to appreciate how dynamic and layered that album sounded. But, as a reviewer, I have to admit that the past is in the past. Either way, I feel that it is not too late to review the newest album from black midi, titled Cavalcade.

Cavalcade is the sophomore studio album from black midi, and arrived towards the very end of May this year. Having said that, I feel that it was still released late enough in that month, that it would easily fit into being in my album reviews catalogue for June. But, I digress. The most important thing, in my mind, is that I didn’t end up missing out on the incredibly versatile and chaotically surreal sounds that this album offers.

The main thing that I picked up on about black midi, thanks to Cavalcade, is just how seamlessly the band ebb and flow in and out of intensity. One moment, the listener is being bombarded by an arsenal of noise, and the next, Black Midi replace said bombardment with an unsettlingly subtle sound.

In terms of a set atmosphere, Cavalcade is certainly a bit mish-mashed, with a clunky mixture of out-there, chaotic numbers, and far more elegant anthems. This will likely divide listeners, I’d assume. But the way I see it personally, this odd mixture allows the album to rarely have a dull moment on there.

And as far as dull moments go, they feel very few and far between. I would say that it was only the more stripped back and ambient tracks like “Diamond Stuff” and “Ascending Forth” that just felt a little patience testing for me. Besides those however, the remainder of Cavalcade stands as an excitingly dynamic listen; one that greatly reflects the experimental genius and insane chemistry shared between the members of black midi.

Favourite Tracks: Chondromalacia Patella | Slow | Hogwash and Balderdash

Least Favourite Track: Ascending Forth

black midi | Rough Trade Records

Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10

Uniqueness: 10/10 | Satisfaction: 8/10 | Narrative: 7/10

Final Score: 8/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.