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Amplifier - The Octopus CD (album) cover

THE OCTOPUS

Amplifier

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.02 | 484 ratings

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Porcupineapple
5 stars "The grand benchmarks against which all British progrock albums will be judged", says the opening line on the cover of the original album. Bit cheesy and exaggerative, yet not far off from the truth.

First of all... double cd rambling on for two powerful hours? Yes please! The first cd takes a strong headstart with the Pink Floyd rip-off (ok, let's say inspired by) "Minion's song", to then lead the listener back to the more Amplifier-sounding tracks of "Interglacial spell" and "The wave". After a bit of this fill, the scene is now set for a brutal prog-piece, the title track "Octopus". Certainly not throwing the listener at the deep end right away, we are talking about a very slow build-up, which ends in some extremely strong prog-atmosphere, ticking and ticking towards the refrain, which then blows up in your face like a bomb with its beautifully built riffs after five minutes of slow expansion. The rest of the cd holds some mediocre and some more amazing moments alike, "White horses at sea" certainly belonging to the second one with its dreamy Floyd-like atmosphere again.

Then as you move on to the second cd, it will be hard not to notice that the opening 20 minutes are nothing short of a sheer prog-miracle, starting with "The sick rose". Eastern sounding soundscapes butter up the way for a series of increasingly heavy riffs, ending in a jaw-dropping and epic finale... Amplifier at their best. Not allowing you to rest much, the ride takes you right on to a much more playful song, "Interstellar". It is another favourite of mine with its bubbling riffs, which are toying with the listener through half of the song, not knowing where to go, then eventually settling for a less dark but definitely groovy finale. As for the rest of the cd, whilst not much else will stand out ("Fall of the empire" has a few cool bits though and I certainly love "Oscar night") I will still give the whole album the maximum rating... because it is just so damn well put together and because some of the songs are amongst the best ones I ever heard in this genre. Amplifier wanted to make a masterpiece that they can be measured against, and they did. And whilst they could (and probably should) have got rid of some more mediocre moments to result in a somewhat shorter but more spotless album, it does not change the fact that the strengths of The Octopus make this album outstanding enough for the band to be measured against it for the rest of their career... and yes, maybe even those other British bands.

Porcupineapple | 5/5 |

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