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Estradasphere - Palace Of Mirrors CD (album) cover





4.24 | 108 ratings

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Quantum Tuba
5 stars Estradasphere are a gloriously eclectic and innovative ensemble, and Palace of Mirrors is their masterpiece. In addition to revealing their virtuoso musicianship, compositional prowess, and versatility, Palace of Mirrors displays a cinematic grandeur only found on the best progressive concept albums.

Like many of their avant prog comrades, Estradasphere incorporates more musical styles into their compositions than a musicology professor overdosing on Jolt Cola. At various points, the music evokes classical orchestras, mellow soul jazz, head banging metal, and a Japanese take on gypsy. When a group incorporates such disparate influences, there is a risk of producing a disjointed mess; however, the ensemble is very deft at developing transitions, permitting their wildly diverse album to tell a coherent tale without the need for words.

In addition to being a great avant prog album, Palace of Mirrors is rather accessible to those who are unfamiliar with this style. The melodies, though complex, are very aesthetically pleasing, which makes them a good jumping off point to the arguably more difficult works of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Mr. Bungle.

The real reason this is an essential masterpiece of progressive music is simple: no other album is like it. If I find another coherent musical journey that features shamisen solos over funk grooves or thrash metal with violin and a full brass section, I will be very surprised.

Quantum Tuba | 5/5 |


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