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U Totem - U Totem CD (album) cover


U Totem



4.24 | 93 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. I admit I had a tough time with this one but perseverance has paid off. This band is a combination of the 5UU's and MOTOR TOTEMIST GUILD. It's funny but now I don't understand what took me so long to appreciate this beautiful piece of work.

"One Nail Draw's Another" opens with various sounds with no real melody until after a minute. Drums, female vocals and sax provide that melody with piano joining in. Dissonant sounds before the song kicks in with about a minute of heaviness before various sounds come and go. Some cool vocal arrangements 5 1/2 minutes in, with lots of piano 3 minutes later. Those vocal arrangements are back 10 minutes in. I'm not a fan of the female vocals after 11 1/2 minutes as various sounds end it. "Two Looks At One End" opens with an uptempo melody with vocals that comes back later on. The rest is slower paced with different instrumental sounds coming and going. "Dance Of The Awkward" is an instrumental with piano, drums and flute leading the way. Horns late.

"Both Your Houses" features female vocals, vibraphone, percussion and horns. Someone is screaming and the male vocals sound so smooth. The drumming by Kerman is great later on. Mournful flute ends this my favourite song off of this album. Meaningful lyrics in this one as well. "Yellow Umbrella Gallery" has different people taking turns speaking as various instruments are played. "The Judas Goat" is a 10 minute track that opens with flute and horns. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Female vocals 3 minutes in with drums and piano. The song continues along without vocals until 7 1/2 minutes when they return with some strange sounds. A full sound follows becoming quite heavy. Nice. "Vagabonds Home" features many tempo changes with many sounds coming and going. Female vocals before 5 minutes. A solo flute melody 7 1/2 minutes in. The song starts to come to life 9 minutes in. Vibraphone, drums and the return of vocals create this life. A nice melody follows. Strange sounds to end it.

The playing is beyond incredible and I couldn't help but think of THINKING PLAGUE with the female vocals. A very special album.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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