Album Review: Welcome Inside the Brain – Celebrate the Depression

Insanity takes many forms. There’s the sort of madness where you hear voices, the type where you believe you are Elvis, or an alien, or those rather more disturbing varieties where people do odd things like getting sexually aroused by well cultivated garden vegetables. I would certainly not propose that the members of Welcome Inside The Brain are nursing any mental health issues in themselves but the music they make could easily be described as possessing unhinged, chaotic and indeed rather insane qualities. Celebrate The Depression is the second offering from this particular project, and their first full-length album, released in November last year. WITB, hailing from Leipzig in Germany, is five gifted musicians gathered for this deranged journey into prog/psych rock eccentricity and the results are quite simply stunning.

Celebrate the Depression

To describe this album as “busy” or “dense” would not do justice to the sheer amount of ideas that seem to have been thrown into the mix on this record. The music seldom settles into any recognisable pattern. Lurches in meter, time signature and rhythm are thrown at the listener in such abundance and with such energy that the whole experience is one of unhinged delirium. But there is certainly method to the madness. Just as your senses start to struggle with the amount of musical information being thrown at you a haunting melody will build out of the morass or a solidly grounded 4/4 beat will anchor you in allowing you to re-orientate yourself before it launches off once more into another nightmare tinged breakneck skirmish.

The bedrock for the album could certainly be described as traditional progressive rock but there are large doses of frantic jazz-fusion and menacing zeuhl style passages. I’ve seen the music described as the mutant offspring of King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Yes and Magma and that is about as close as it gets.

You certainly won’t be humming this stuff on your way to work in the morning. On first listen the music sounds rather impenetrable with the strong but fleeting melodies and more conventional rhythms occasionally peeping their heads above the clouds to ease your way in. Repeated listens are definitely needed to get a grip on this stuff but it is well worth the effort. Definitely one of the best progressive rock releases of the past year.

Order Celebrate The Depression from Bandcamp, and follow Welcome Inside the Brain on Facebook.