The first impression you get from an album is its cover and the second are the words written on it. When I received The Legend Of Goody Cole, the second album of the American one-man project Telergy, I read on the back of the cover that six out of sixteen tracks were narrative parts, so I knew this was something special to review. The CD title suggests that this is going to be one of those ancient heroic stories that are told in many small American towns for the people who live there. And indeed, this is such a story. The protagonist Goody Cole was accused of witchcraft and was sent to jail, but after her death her ghost reappeared every now and then. I'm sorry if you like these kind of stories, but they just bore me.
However, it's all about music on this website, so looking further I discovered that a number of guest musicians who participate are pretty interesting. Robert McClung, multi-instrumentalist and initiator of Telergy, asked some fine musicians to add their skills to The Legend Of Goody Cole, like bass player Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and Emmanuel De Saint Meen, who used to be the bassist for Delusion Squared. Contributions on guitar are provided by Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger) and Ty Tabor (Kings X). On the keyboards we hear Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard, K2) and Trent Gardner (Magellan). Nik Turner, former member of Hawkwind, delivers some saxophone parts. Furthermore the album includes many other instrumentalists and singers, but these names are the most prominent ones.
If you're interested in listening to the whole story then start from the beginning, but the album becomes really interesting by skipping those spoken parts and move to Rumors. After an obligated start with choirs and gothic elements it really breaks loose. On top of a heavy riff many keyboard solos can be heard, which is too bad for the background choirs, but personally I appreciate this kind of heaviness. During Accusations I enjoyed a very emotional and perfect guitar solo alongside a soaring saxophone, while in Verdict the music almost changes into nice and powerful instrumental death metal. With Voyage you find yourself in an old Scottish or Irish bar; it contains a fine combination of classic folk and electric instruments. The longest piece Ghost is quite heavy, although I find the choir rather annoying. Exoneration is the acoustic end of the album with violin and acoustic guitar, which sounds great but not in a way that I would push the repeat button right away.
By omitting the story, the vocal parts and the narrations I had left some fine instrumental parts that I really like. I would like to advise Robert McClung to write more of those instrumental parts and let some outstanding guest musicians, like the ones on The Legend Of Goody Cole, play all the solos. I guess I would buy that one.
**+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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