Instrumental rock quartet continues the story of Baberaham Lincoln as she battles the insect queen
When we last left Baberaham Lincoln, at the end of instrumental rock act Matter of Planets' 2014 album, The Ballad of Baberaham, she had just crash-landed on an unknown planet after battling Narsafar, an outer-space vampire hell-bent on destroying the world.
Now, on the band's new follow-up record, Somewhere Out Among the Stars is Home, the warrior wakes to find a band of traveling gypsies, who realize Baberaham is the prophesied one. They then get her ready for a siege on the city controlled by the evil insect queen.
“For the first album, we had a vocalist, and then all of a sudden we didn't have a vocalist. So we had all the songs written, and they had these goofy titles. We wrote the story around the song titles,” said Matter of Planets' lead guitarist, Blake Herschler, seated next to bassist Roger Vincent at a Downtown coffee shop. “This time, we came up with the story first and tried to write the music around that. It made it more interesting. The first one wasn't meant to be instrumental, and this one we definitely wrote on purpose to be instrumental.”
The difference shows, as the six tracks overlap and bleed into each other to create a natural, cohesive progression for the guitar-driven, prog-rock epics, which the band will perform at a release show at Spacebar on Saturday, April 28 (drummer Joel Chastain and guitarist Joe Rosenblum round out the lineup).
By track four (“It's a Trap!”) on the release, Baberaham and the gypsies are ambushed, which leads to the shred-tastic “Flesh and Venom,” an epic battle with the insect queen and her vicious stinging tail. The album closes with Matter of Planets' most ambitious song yet — “Envenomation Syncope,” a psychedelic, 20-minute track with an experimental piano section in the middle that serves as a coma sequence for Baberaham after the insect queen injects her with venom.
“It's super trippy, and all in her head,” Herschler said. “She's learning things about what she has to do next.”
For now, the story of Baberaham Lincoln also exists only in the band members' heads, but they'd like to someday commission a comic book to tell the tale visually and in greater detail (“We can pay you in love,” Vincent said). And the narrative isn't complete yet. The band has two more releases planned.
“We can get very, very silly,” Vincent said. “We have to be serious all day. This is where we let loose.”
“We take the music seriously. Everything else we like to keep goofy,” Herschler said. “It's more fun that way.”