cover imageWhile he has been an extremely active artist in the past 20 years as the leader of Circle, as well as a member of Split Cranium, Pharaoh Overlord, and a multitude of other projects, Interlude for Prepared Beast is only his second solo work. Both of the chaotic, hyperactive sides of this tape are unquestionably unique and fit into no existing category.


"Caterpillars" starts off with a swarm of clicky percussion and choppy, almost haphazard guitar stabs in an intentionally messy mass.A second guitar track of slower, almost mournful notes comes in, diametrically opposed to the chaotic background, yet clicking together comfortably.Vocals alternate between guttural growls and monastic chants.Toy keyboards and a dense crescendo of guitar come together to create some extra weird hybrid of '70s metal and free jazz skronk, while still being greater than the sum of those parts.

On the flip side, "Here Come The Cranes" comes in full force, with shambling drums and scraping guitar, offset by a more disciplined bass line.Beyond all reason it eventually locks into a fusion jazz sound before becoming a squealing guitar and guttural vocal mess.Just as it reaches its peak of dark, ugly noise, a prog rock synth comes in and shakes everything up, with an outro of Rick Wakeman-style keyboards and dirty guitar noise.

To say Interlude for Prepared Beast ignores genre boundaries and conventions is an understatement.Instead, Lehtisalo has assembled an album that gleefully sounds like a composer in the throes of unmedicated ADHD, throwing random thoughts and ideas together that, for the most part, work.It is a messy, sprawling, chaotic work, and all the better for it.