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Quintessence - Dive Deep CD (album) cover




Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

2.94 | 23 ratings

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2 stars "Dive deep" was the band's last release on the Island label and, all in all, probably the best of the three. Not that that's saying much.

"Dive deep", "The seer" and "Epitaph for tomorrow" all follow the trademark Quintessence path of slow build up, with seemingly directionless flute/guitar jam/fusion before Alan picks up the pace and moves the songs on to a new dimension, all glorious feedback and wah- wah, over the pulsating rhythm supplied by the ever-faithful Jake, Dave and Shambhu. The lyrics are self-consciously devotional in a pretty shallow and puerile way.

"Sri Ram chant" is just what it says. The vocals (not supplied by Shiva) sound like your neighbour's cat on a bad night. But hypnotic and quite addictive just the same.

"Brahman" is a much more compelling and powerful chant where Shiva's vocals reach a wonderful climax above Raja Ram's insistent, cascading flute playing, providing a master class in vocal dexterity.

Which leaves "Dance for the One". To my mind, this is the stand-out track (once the archetypal rambling jam has subsided), with Shambhu, Jake and Dave delivering an urgent, relentless rhythm, Raja Ram's flute soaring and floating, Alan lording it with ear-bursting breaks on lead guitar, and Shiva displaying an absolutely stunning vocal range: no singer in the history of rock music can touch this man for sheer vocal power. This was Quintessence as I like to remember them: all dance, atmosphere and electricity. I may have been at an impressionable age when I saw them, but they certainly left their mark on me. Oceans of bliss, indeed.

This said, I wouldn't bother overmuch with any of their LPs. They all sold the band short. This was a band best captured "live".

tbstars | 2/5 |


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