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The Devil’s Staircase: The Devil’s Staircase

If you’re looking for old-school prog -- and love mathematics -- this debut self-titled instrumental album will not only engage your ears but also your brain. Indeed, The Devil’s Staircase is a five-man band helmed by acoustic guitarist Tim McCaskey and bassist Luis Nasser of Sonus Umbra and Might Could, that writes and performs songs inspired by math and science.

How do these guys pull that off? I’ll refer you to McCaskey’s blog, which features the mathematical stories behind the songs. Suffice to say that, like high-end math, this is complicated often chaotic stuff. But it will appeal to a broad range of listeners, whether you were raised or King Crimson and Gentle Giant or are simply into vintage-sounding prog played with a high degree of musical dexterity.

Songs like "Morse" (based on a binary sequence, just like Morse code) and “Cantor’s Dust” (based on fractal geometry) are highly melodic, technically challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. Elsewhere, squawking off-kilter jams and angular arrangements require the listener’s full concentration.

But best of all, you don’t have to understand anything about math to appreciate what The Devil’s Staircase has managed to accomplish over the course of five tracks and 41-minutes. I abhor math yet actually kind of adore this album.

Track Listing:
1. Gravitation (Parts 1 and 2)
2. Rule 34
3. Room 101
4. Morse
5. Cantor’s Dust

Added: June 11th 2021
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: The Devil’s Staircase on
Hits: 366
Language: english

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