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Seven Impale - City Of The Sun CD (album) cover

CITY OF THE SUN

Seven Impale

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 292 ratings

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ergaster
4 stars 4.5/5

This was one of those albums that came out of the blue. A recommendation from a friend, he also provided the warning: "give them a chance" -- which can be regarded as either a challenge, or a red flag. And the first time I played the album, I knew exactly what he meant: I spent a lot of the time thinking, "What the hell is going on here??" But I also got that feeling...the one where I have no idea if I liked what I heard, but there was something. Albums that start out that way, that leave me bemused and intrigued, that demand revisiting in order to make sense of them, often end up being long-term winners.

Who are they? A six-piece from Bergen, Norway. What are they? Well, it is hard to describe what they do. Psychedelic jazz-rock-fusion, lots of saxophone winding all through prog-like songs, they sound deceptively loose and crazy, but don't be fooled. What we have here is masterfully-controlled chaos.

While they do not really sound like any of those bands, they are reminiscent of Soft Machine, Quiet Sun, a bit of jazz-era Crimson. Each song is a surprise, the way the elements are all intertwined, sliding smoothly from raucus disorganized noise to nice melodic themes, changing up the time signatures but not in that self-referential way that too many modern prog bands tend to do--when it happens, it's like it takes everyone by surprise, listener and performer both.

Every time I play this album, I am surprised how much I like what I hear, because otherwise every musical instinct tells me this is not the kind of thing that holds my attention. But these guys are the real deal. They don't sound quite like anyone else, and sometimes they sound less like a band than a loose collective of people wandering in and out of the songs at random. If you do choose to listen...well, give them a chance.

ergaster | 4/5 |

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