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Vespero - By The Waters Of Tomorrow CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.14 | 157 ratings

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5 stars Jump! Like a bunny!

Damn those Russians are taking over again! Not too long ago a band called The Gourishankar released one of the most original modern efforts of the noughties suggesting just how wrong all of those hellfire and brimstone-monkerers were, -those that every year speak about the death of music and innovation, but now with this album By The Waters Of Tomorrow, Vespero have truly created a spine-tingling psychedelic drenched masterpiece. For my money, this album is one of the most beautiful and unique psych albums inside a period of 25 years or so. It certainly is the best album of 2010 by a long way. That´s how much I like this!

This is the only album I´ve got of theirs, but in listening to the preceding ones on YouTube, I think I´ve wound up with a fair assessment of the band´s natural progression. Whereas the former 2 records were largely built on long jamming tracks with some atmospheric female singing, By The Waters Of Tomorrow sees Vespero streamlining their sound - treating their palette to a more concise way of fitting the instruments together. The tracks are shorter and more to the point, even if that is a bit of an overstatement, as the music hiding beneath the rather dull looking cover-art is anything but tunes you can safely incarcerate within an iron fold. No, the structure is still loose and warbling - true to their original sound, but the overall focus has been tightened and trimmed, and what´s left for the humble listener is a journey into a delirious musical wonderland, that no doubt would be suitable as the soundtrack of a slightly skewed Russian take on Lewis Carroll´s Alice in Wonderland.

The music is an astonishing blend of everything spanning from psych, fusion, Canterbury and post-rock to Krautrock, folk and avant guarde tendencies. The maniacal drummer Ivan Fedotov sounds like a successful mutation of Pierre Moerlen, Keith Moon and Chris Maitland all wrapped into one, and then you´re not entirely there either. He is frantic, pensive, off-kilter, mad as marbles, jazzy, heavy and laid back at the same time. Maybe it´s because I´m a drummer myself, but much of what solidifies Vespero´s unique and soulful sound, is the way he approaches his drum-kit. Just like many of the jazz greats like Miles, Hancock and Albert Aylor - he relies on using his "mistakes" as a bona fide musical foundation, on which the other instruments surrounding him will freely gain whatever inspiration and fire they need to carry out the next logical, or non-logical sonic endeavour. Ivan doesn´t sound like a drummer, who couldn´t hold a beat if his life depended on it, but rather like he wouldn´t stop challenging the beat, even IF his life depended on in it. This album benefits immensely from his approach, and you can hear his fire and passion leaping into the other members of the band like demonic possessions playing a hauntingly warped musical edition of You´re it!

Pink Floyd, Gong, Ozric Tentacles, Guru Guru, Exmagma, Porcupine Tree, Frank Zappa. These are all artists that you could list as possible inspiration for Vespero, but nevertheless it still doesn´t do them justice in any way. You could state that the ambiance and feel of those magical moments of Gilmour caressing his volume button with those weeping cascades of goose bump notes, largely constitute what half the guitars and synths are on about, - and it wouldn´t be far off to tell you the truth. On the other hand, the other half sounds like that which the Ozrics could never manage to do, and that was to add patience to their sound and let the notes breathe and ooze, offering a truce between the demons and angels. Vespero sounds highly original, even if one can spot the odd traces of yesteryear´s progressive troubadours.

For those of you who know Vespero´s first couple of albums: no the female vocals are all but gone, except for the second last track called Seagulls Sing, where Elena Belozyorova lends her beautiful opera like vocals at the very end - sounding like a human bird soaring high above the band. For an instrumental album this long, I find it highly intoxicating that this lone moment still manages to be this powerful and important to the album. Much like the other guest appearances here, which include spacey hippie flute sections played over bubbly electronics, and folk themed violin sprees connecting dots in between huge cataclysmic psychedelic fusion explosions, -everything has its place in these parts of the rabbit hole, and they work like a pinch of salt on your omelette. Pure spice.

Like my most beloved music, I also get huge bursts of mental images burning wildly behind my eyelids, whenever I put this album on, and just to give you guys a hint of what´s in store for those who paints their music from the inside, - the last track Aurora Borealis holds every promise of its give away name. Listening to it - I get shimmers of green, purple, blue and orange colourings rolling across the endless starry Scandinavian skies, as if the inhabitants of the clouds had started lighting up fireworks. It reminds me of my childhood, where I once was lucky enough to see the Northern lights, and just like Vespero´s heartfelt music - it gave me the chills in the most wonderful way conceivable.

If you like any of the mentioned bands here, you should already be standing in the forest looking for a hole in the ground, but if you´ve yet to spot the tracks of that little bouncy bunny, then do yourself a favour and go get this magnificent album, as it will lead you on your way to a world of music and bliss like no other.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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