Bagorah - The Art Of Deviant Behavior

Bagorah is one of the many bands that came to be from the new normal. As a mix of American and Canadian musicians, none lived in the same area, and each recorded their individual parts in studios near themselves. The writing process was apparently very similar to the recording process, so this entire album is basically a group project, except this one was actually done by all four people, unlike the projects in school when we all let the smart kid do all the work. The Art Of Deviant Behavior is Bagorah’s debut, but hopefully not their only, album.

Band Members:

  • James Phillips – Vocals
  • Lenny Burnett – Guitars
  • Richard Sims – Bass
  • Tom Moller – Drums

March 1, 2023


  1. LaCrossians
  2. Supernatural
  3. Secret Society
  4. The Silent Type
  5. The Humans
  6. Deviant Behavior
  7. Jennifer Wilson
  8. All Of Our Lives
  9. Video Games
  10. Last Known Survivor

The album opens with a nicely paced guitar riff. It has a great groove, settling into a nice rhythm with the bass and drums. I dig the triple strike at the end of the longer phrase. It’s different and fun to air drum. “LaCrossians” has some shifts and twists that are pretty impressive to hear, making me wonder if those are harder to record when doing this across international boundaries rather than in the same room.

“Supernatural” is another quick-starting song that sticks more to Hard Rock than anything else. Tom spends a lot of time riding a variety of cymbals, putting a lot of quick notes into the rhythm, making the song feel faster than it really is. He has very quick sticks, and yes, I know how that sounds. The clean vocals use very little grit or distortion on the leads, but add that to the backing voices, setting them apart quite well.

“Secret Society” has a darker tone to the composition. It feels a bit heavier; the rhythm has more drive to it. The previous songs had a bit more lilt to them. “The Silent Type” has a similar vibe. James goes lower in his register and delivers the lyrics differently, using a heavier cadence. I like the way he delivers the lines here, making them sound less bright and matching the tone of the instruments well.

Some of the guitar work in “The Humans” reminds me of a song by Foreigner off one of their early albums., “Cold As Ice.” It’s not a copy of the song but has a similar pattern to it. Since I love the Foreigner song, I am drawn to “The Humans.” It brings back fond memories. Then, “Deviant Behavior” has a few Rush moments, echoing some of their mid-career work. A few Progressive phrases seemed to channel a little Subdivisions (album, not song). Both of these songs show that Bagorah has an extensive range of influences.

“Jennifer Wilson” has a Punk vibe, giving another wild facet of the overall sound that is Bagorah. The song is mostly rock but throws in some extra stuff for fun. Jennifer is definitely now the subject of her own legend after walking into a room full of friends and musicians. Maybe she inspired those wild little guitar fills that are scattered throughout the song. The next track starts with some 80s-style keyboard tones. “All Of Our Lives” Again makes me wonder what the entire list of these guys’ influences might be.

For a really straightforward rock song, check out “Video Games.” This one goes to the heavier end of the sound but maintains a Rock/AOR vibe and tone, not quite crossing into Metal. The track could easily hit the airwaves in the late 80s. The sampled video game sound effects sound like older games. Finally, “Last Known Survivor” has one of the more Prog Rock sounds. The phrasing and patterns are definitely more intricate.

Bagorah is an interesting band. They formed in a unique way, wrote and recorded in the new style, added in influences from old-school bands, and even mixed up genres just for the hell of it. There is no one way to describe them; they are an eclectic blend of so many different things that there is no way to point to one and say, “there, that’s them.” It is pretty refreshing to hear something this bold, brazen, off the beaten path.

MZ Ratings:

  • Musicianship
    • Guitars – 8
    • Rhythms – 8
    • Vocals – 8
  • Songwriting – 8
  • Production – 8
  • Overall – 8.00