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Smell Of Incense - Through The Gates Of Deeper Slumber CD (album) cover


Smell Of Incense


Prog Folk

4.17 | 26 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I remember the first time I looked at the liner notes (before I had even listened to the music) and I wondered what I had got myself into. The pictures of the five Norwegian band members all in funny costumes with names like Bumble B , Lumpy Dave , Ernie Chung , Han Solo and Cool Kat made me roll my eyes. At the top of the guest musicians list is Mickey Moog who they refer to in the liner notes as being nearly a regular TSOI member (he has since become a full time member). Anyway I figured that THE SMELL OF INSENCE must be like a GONG offshoot or something. Then I put the cd on and was left speechless for the next 50 minutes.This is one of the most mellotron drenched recordings I have ever heard ! The band themselves call their music Progressive Folk-Psyche. Besides the traditional instruments we get sitar, violin, viola, tamboura, ess-cornet, harmonium, harpsichord, sax, tablas and bird flutes. Micky Moog comes by his name honestly as he plays mellotron, hammond organ, fender rhodes & wurlitzer electric pianos and synths. There's more I just thought I should quit talking about all the instruments used on this album. On this record they have put music to the writings of four different authors. The female and male vocals are in English.

"A Floral Treasury" is the 25 minute opening track that takes us on quite the journey. It opens with solemn harmonium sounds before a heavy beat comes in with mellotron. From there we are taken into Krautrock territory with an Eastern flavour (sitar). This is trippy and hypnotic. Female vocals after 3 1/2 minutes. Spacey 8 minutes in as the beat continues. Powerful waves of mellotron come in after 10 minutes as the beat and melody stops. Wave after wave ...of haunting mellotron. Drums come in after 12 minutes as mellotron continues. Vocals are back before 14 1/2 minutes. A spacey calm 17 minutes in. A brighter sound 19 1/2 minutes in with mellotron. Vocals 20 minutes in, male vocals join in. It gets a little experimental late. "Columbine Confused" is such a great tune. Very upbeat with female vocals leading the way. This is 60's sounding with lots of mellotron. Some nice guitar before 3 minutes and 4 1/2 minutes.

"A Word In Season" opens with birds chirping and harpsichord as female vocals come in. This section is contrasted with the moving and majestic mellotron and her more restrained vocals. Nice. Back to the uptempo and almost silly soundscape. That mellotron drenched section I liked from earlier in the song is back before 4 1/2 minutes. There is something naive and charming about this tune. "From The Third Hemisphere" opens with floods of mellotron as male vocals come in. I'm reminded a lot of the great ANEKDOTEN here. The mellotron is so moving. The tempo picks up 3 minutes in,what a fantastic sound ! Female vocals follow and then male as they sing together. It calms down before 6 minutes as sax comes in crying. The tempo picks back up again 10 1/2 minutes in as this instrumental section continues right to the end.

For me this is a masterpiece of Psychedelic music. A must for mellotron fans too.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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