Modest Midget - The Great Prophesy Of A Small Man
2010, Multi-Polar Music
The Netherlands' own Modest Midget is back with their first full length album, The Great Prophesy Of A Small Man, the follow-up to their 2008 EP, Partial Exposure. Classic and progressive rock guitar are at the roots of The Great Prophecy Of A Small Man, as guitarist/singer/songwriter Lionel Ziblat infuses the album with his unique style and sound.
After the brief encroachment of "Follow The Noise", Modest Midget breaks into the wonderfully angular "Contemporary Ache. The guitar work here will remind you a bit of Steve Howe from some of the classic Yes albums as Modest Midget walks you through a brief and dark-timbered history of popular music from the roots of Jazz to today. "Troubles In Heaven" has a highly melodramatic feel, like something that might come from a stage show. The guitar work is again a treat, as Lionel Ziblat refuses to be boxed into a niche as a guitarist, drawing on different styles and influences with each song. "Coffee From Yesterday" continues the guitar goodness, a two-and-a-half minute instrumental that builds like a modern rock symphony, keeping the energy and melody high aloft.
"Back From My Trip" is a humorous misadventure of a vacation gone awry that's simply an excuse for Ziblat to show off some more of his impressive guitar tricks. On "Home Seek", Modest Midget shows off some impressive CSNY-style harmony vocals in a heartbreaking tale of unrequited love. "Jorge Knows How Difficult A Musician's Life Can Be" finds Modest Midget going through wonderful melodic fits in the best instrumental on the album. It's progressive rock with a distinct European and Mediterranean influences in melody and sound. If you don't find yourself dancing along you might want to call the paramedics. "Buy Me!" finds Modest Midget heading to middle of the road early-1980's rock with a tight, compact arrangement full of melodic guitar and rapid-fire lyrics. "Evolution" continues with this unusual meld of styles, offering up some of the most interesting melodic work on the album. Modest Midget closes with "The Last Straw", an expansive and perhaps ill-chosen closing track. The energy and vibrancy of The Great Prophesy Of A Small Man is clouded by this track, which sounds like a musical orphan that caught on at the last moment.
Modest Midget continues the impressive display of progressive rock virtuosity that they displayed on their debut EP, Partial Exposure. Lionel Ziblat certainly knows how to dial it up on guitar, infusing new and unusual sounds into classic forms that should engender more interest in both progressive rock and the other roots he draws from. The Great Prophesy Of A Small Man is likely to set Modest Midget up for a few more nominations and perhaps even an award or two. It's that good.