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Third Ear Band - The Magus CD (album) cover


Third Ear Band


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.44 | 13 ratings

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2 stars The lost 4th album

Simon House recalls his time recording with the TEB in their Basing Street studio: "Upon opening the door, my eyes, ears, and nose would be simultaneously assailed by plumes of sweet hashish smoke, entwined with tirades of Paul's oboe notes..As Ron's wicked spliff did its worst, I would join the others, take out my violin, switch on the VCS3 and start making sounds, ancient and modern with equal abandon, as we sailed off into the night exploring uncharted reaches of music..we only managed to do these few (songs) before fate would have its inexorable way and 30 years would flash by." [Simon House]

As Simon alludes to, this project stalled in the early 70s and it was decades before their proper 4th album surfaced. On this one the band has opened up the sound with more traditional sounding vocals and a wider array of instruments, including electronics. Because of this the sound occasionally veers into early Popul Vuh territory with trance music and electronic sounds. There's still plenty of droning including now in the lifeless vocals. Other parts are much more successful, some of the instrumental work quite wonderful. Listen to the lovely recorder work in "The Hierophant" or the violin on "The Key." While some point out this work is less weird and more accessible it is precisely that reason I would not choose it if you decide to sample TEB. Get "Alchemy" instead which gives you the purer and more vibrant dose of what this group was about. "The Magus" is nice for fans of the group but it is not TEB at their progressive peak. Frankly they sound a bit low on spark here if you ask me. The booklet does have a nice bio however. "Alchemy" is their finest and most important work in my opinion and perhaps a star better than I rated it. 5/10

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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