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Espers - II CD (album) cover

II

Espers

 

Prog Folk

3.95 | 38 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Second "real" album (not counting the cover album called the Weed Tree), the group took quite a while to finish up this album. By now, the group has become a sextet (including a drummer) and presented a fuller sound, but II is an unmistakeable worthy follow- up to the debut album, released three years ago. Released on a different label (Wichita), the album sports yet another superb paisley artwork (dark brown this time), housed in a digipack. Aside the irritating fashion of the 00's to give as little useful infos on the music and the group (an attitude dominating the whole Post Rock movement, but contaminating others as Wyrd Folk) thus maintaining a phoney mystery around the groups, II is a an excellent album and would be perfect one, if it had mentioned a full line- up and their instruments. All the more irritating is that we see their faces, are given their family names, but don't know the first names or who does what.

If Dead Queen could've fitted well with the first album, with Widow's Weed, the group jumps in full stride of their new possibilities, using drums (not done on their debut), but this is not really affecting their overall sound even if there are solid differences. While more electric (compared with their debut album), the music remains mainly acoustic, most tracks are ranging between 6 to 8 minutes, which always allows for enough time to expand on their ideas, but I must say that some tracks tends to overstay their welcome (the never-ending Children Of Stone, for example) partly because of the repetitive nature of the tracks. The enchantment of the debut album (due in great part to those delicate and delicious guitar arpeggios) is duplicated here, maybe a little too much despite the differences; and this could almost be a carbon copy of their debut. Again like the debut, the album glides smoothly on their delicate textures, with every songs being fairly even and uniform, none are sticking out of the sonic spectrum installed right from the first seconds of the album until its last breaths. Very slightly different is the closing Moon Occults the Sun (why didn't they call it Eclipse), where the mood seems to be on the rise for the last few minutes.

This second album is more successful than the debut, partly on the experience factor and slightly better songwriting, but unfortunately it sticks too close to its blueprint, and therefore losing in inspiration what it had gained on quality. Yet another superb album that must be heard by all progheads with folk/medieval sensibilities, but if I can suggest you to get only one of the two albums, it would save you some dough, for the other (the one you didn't choose first) will only taste and sound the same.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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