The Importance Of Mr Bedlam is the debut album from The Paradox Twin. Originating in Berkshire and fronted by main songwriter Danny Sorrell, The Paradox Twin are a progressive rock quartet, with this release is influenced by conspiracy theories, aliens and other worldly ideas – this certainly brings something different to the table.
Low synth sounds and chanting occur at the opening of The Mir. The synth tone creates an extra-terrestrial feel; it’s not dissimilar of those used in alien invasion films and associated with alien spacecraft. Using a sound that is fairly familiar and associated with the otherworldly plays on the senses and social associations establishing the main theme of the album. Use of guitar melodies, chord sequences and accompanying scat vocals adds an uplifting, major tone to the track contrasting potentially sinister ideas with an optimistic instrumentation style. The vocal section towards the end of the track adds another layer to the song. By having the instrumentation as the predominant part of the The Mir, themes are portrayed more abstractly through the music rather than stated explicitly through lyrics. This gives the track a greater atmosphere and allows ideas presented to be interpreted by the listener.
The Importance Of Mr Bedlam features a greater presence of lyrics. The minor chord progressions, synths and background melodies create a haunting, uncanny atmosphere. Strangely enough the opening instrumentation and vocals have a U2 style to them – not entirely sure this is what The Paradox Twin were going for, but this track is by no means entirely influenced by the Irish rockers. The instrumentation and lyrics are very much in keeping to the other worldly theme. This track features melodies across the instruments, bass riffs, chord progressions, synths and lead guitars create a full sound through this spreading of motifs across all instruments. The soaring style of chord progressions, vocal lines and the guitar solo give the track a very uplifting and atmospheric sound in keeping with ideas of space and its vastness. The drum beat, clean guitar motifs and bass also suggest Pink Floyd elements – the similarities between them and The Paradox Twin are primarily their experimental natures. During the song writing process Danny attempted to remove other musical influences from him so it is unlikely that these influences were placed in the music intentionally.
Cycles is one of the tracks on this album that includes a sample of a speech. This addition of a spoken element enhances this track which is predominantly instrumentation focused. With clean guitar melodies and atmospheric chord progressions this track has a serene feel suggestive of ideas of exploration and the enormity of space. This sort of track is very easy and relaxing to listen to. Earthbound contrasts Cycles with a greater presence of vocals and experimentation with more minor and dissonant sounding melodies. The minor chords of the clean guitar and haunting high-pitched melody on the piano creates a more sinister tone. Sustained synth notes emphasise this haunting. The addition of distorted guitar melodies and bass riff that leads to a heavier rock section of the track creates a sound juxtaposing tone explored on previous tracks of the album. Haunting choral sounds form an atmospheric addition to the mix accompanying the heavier rock section.
Moonblood continues with a heavier edge through distorted guitars. The opening rhythm and vocal line suggest of ’80s progressive rock influences respecting the tone. The synth note sequences and lyrics place the track as in keeping with The Paradox Twin’s sound. Drum rhythms are given greater prevalence in this track with sections of developed rhythms. Moonblood also features a guest vocalist, Kim Seviour. The addition of female, more melodic vocals creates a softer sound to the piano section of the track in which they feature. This track involves Mrs Bedlam not believing Mr Bedlam’s alien abductions, and having both male and female vocals on this track illustrates the story behind the song effectively. John Mitchell’s guitar playing also features on this track. Planeta merges fast, intricate piano melodies with distorted guitars, giving the track a heavier rock tone. Vocals suit this track well entwining cohesively with the instrumentation to create a dramatic sound. This track also includes speeches taken from the likes of Lloyd Pye, with the excerpt in the final sections of the song includes Pye’s assertion that “aliens do exist”.
Gravity Time Dilation opens with the ticking of a grandfather clock. Accompanying reverb guitar melodies and synths create an abstract, immersive atmosphere. The vocal line with the echo effect contributes to the otherworldly nature. The subject of the track of leaving Earth is displayed thoroughly in the instrumental tones used. The heavier distorted guitar tones and soaring vocals add a dramatic element. The contrast of this full sound in the chorus, and the reduced instrumental layers in the verse emphasises the impact of the chorus. Haunting melodies in the guitar during the bridge adds a sinister tone, the blues-like guitar chords that follow add something different – this genre influence is somewhat unexpected. Soaring notes in the guitar solo create impact that follows through into the final chorus. The calmer motif with hits of heavier chords creates a dramatic punch to the reducing outro.
The Importance Of Mr Bedlam explores the enormity of space, alien conspiracy theories and all sorts of otherworldly ideas through contrasts, instrumental developments and varying use of vocals. The soaring sequences present throughout the album in various forms creates an epic sound that works cohesively with the ideas behind the album. The minimal use of vocals in some tracks allows themes to be explored in ways other than focusing on lyrics and shows off the importance of the instrumentation. For a first release, The Paradox Twin have established a high standard of song writing abilities.
For fans of: Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Coheed And Cambria
Words by Holly Royle
‘The Importance Of Mr Bedlam’ by The Paradox Twin is out now.