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Mouth - Vortex CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.88 | 13 ratings

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4 stars That was quite a surprise at the end of the last year, when Chris informed me about a new album the band has at the start. Well, in the first place, I don't really mean to consider the relatively long hibernation since their debut in 2009 came out. A little more though I'd like to emphasize the evolution regarding the musical approach in general. Back in the days 'Rhizome' was made of heavy art rock songs, provided with an eclectic touch ... but 'Vortex' yet is full of psych and kraut rock stuff, sort of sounding like an early 1970's treasure, incidentally detected somewhere in the attic or cellar recently.

Superficially it seems so, but it's not. Hailing from Cologne multi-instrumentalist Christian Koller is the driving force when it comes to this new songs, which were recorded between 2011 and 2015. He's handling the guitar, bass (mostly), vocals, diverse keyboard instruments and is responsible for the music and lyrics. The concept expresses a time and space travel right up to a dystopian future, the Vortex precisely. This will end in an epilogue which describes a hopeless, disenchanting state of affairs. Well, somewhat trendy, or what? While possibly born out of more and more mixed feelings our society provides in these days. Which, at least spontaneously, doesn't force a very positive expectation really.

Come what may, I will take this as a warning to mankind. And the music will not get you down, promised. As the word has different meanings, music-wise you can also see this as a vortex of impressions, emotions, at best presented by the extended title track. Besides the tricky guitar work, here we have plentiful mellotron, hammond, moog and piano underway. March Of The Cyclopes appears as a march in delirium mode, fantastic! My current favourite. Soaring multi-tracked guitars at the beginning. The krautish drums are perfectely complementing when the band switches into a halting groove, provided with flippy as well as hallucinogenic synthesizer adds. Incorporating a looping moog the hypnotic Parade sets the focus on the keys by way of example.

'The sun was fading everywhere' - yes, Epilogue actually expresses a rather melancholic, depressive mood right from the beginning. This will be replaced though by those inevitable hidden tracks, for example the repetitive Pedalboattrip, another highlight for sure. The second one Floating - End Theme then surprises with sitar, clavinet and obvious pop influences. As for a rough orientation this comes akin to the sound of bands like Turzi, Vibravoid, Cranium Pie and similar, also incorporating some progressivity ... of the Beatles let's say. In short, picking up the spirit of the 'old days' the album is a consistent listening pleasure, should not be ignored, at least when it comes to declared psych and kraut rock fans.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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