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Ozric Tentacles - Lotus Unfolding CD (album) cover

LOTUS UNFOLDING

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.21 | 66 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
5 stars There are few bands that you can trust anything they've ever released. You can't say that about Hawkwind, especially with all those unofficial releases that flooded the marked without the band's knowledge. To be fair they had a few stinker official releases too. But with Ozric Tentacles, you pick a release and you get an idea what they're like. Some are better than others, no one will deny the brilliance of albums like Erpland or Jurassic Shift. Technicians of the Sacred is definitely my favorite of their more recent releases, but it looks like Lotus Unfolding will rival that one. Space for the Earth, while an excellent album, never reached the heights of Technicians of the Sacred, but Lotus Unfolding is nothing short of amazing. It's much more intense and energetic than its predecessor. Ed and Silas are present, but surprisingly so is Brandi, who I thought stayed in the States as Ed moved to Scotland. Perhaps she couldn't find anyone to play with at home in the States, so she returned to the Ozrics. Also included is Paul Hankin, an early Ozric member that I'm so happy to see return (after Strangeitude, he hadn't appeared on an Ozric album until Technicans). Also, we get Tim Wallander of the Swedish band Agusa on drums. If you dislike the electronic side of Ozrics, it's doubtful Lotus Unfolding will change your mind, it is one of their more electronic albums, but then that never bothered me, they often had more electronic-leaning albums as early as Become the Other. "Stormy Teacup" shows very creative use of synths and Ed providing his usual great guitar work, same for "Deep Blue Shade". Then there's the title track, with some nice flute from someone other than John, in this case Saskia Maxwell, a Cornish musician who apparently recorded some stuff with Silas, so no surprise she'd appear on an Ozric release; however, she only appears on two tracks, this one, and "Burundi Spaceport". The title track starts off with a synth pattern similar to Steve Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick (which seems like a rather obvious album that inspired a lot of the Ozrics' synth sound), but then there's added flute (not too different from what John has done) and drums. It's a bit more calm, but one point Brandi is using the exact same bass line heard on "Oolite Groove" off Curious Corn. Paul Hankin really shines on "Green Incantation" with rather creative use of percussion, it's the percussion that really shines here, but it's still an incredible piece. I have to say that I was very much blown away by this album, certainly a favorite of 2023, a year that's been a favorite of mine for prog in recent years, mostly Norwegian like The Chronicle of Father Robin's The Songs & Tales of Airoea three-LP box set, Lars Fredrik Fr°islie's Fire Fortelligner, and Jordsj°'s Salighet, making Ozric Tentacle's Lotus Unfolding as the major non-Norwegian album that made it for Album of the Year 2023 for me. So if you're a long-time Ozric fan or just beginning, this is a wonderful album to have.
Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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