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Message - From Books and Dreams  CD (album) cover

FROM BOOKS AND DREAMS

Message

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.56 | 29 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Skeletor's favourite album

An album named like this sporting a spooky art work with pirate skull and a slithering snake worming through it - should preferably inspire nightmares of werewolves and darkness. The themes within speak about the other side of reality, the one that peeps through in the middle of the night, disturbing you in your sleep with tales of ancient memories, forbidden fruit, poisonous creatures and man made taboos being crossed by yourself seen from a bird's eye's view.

First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to my good friend John(Mellotron Storm) for introducing me to this album. Just by reading his review, I knew that I was in for a treat with From Books and Dreams. The album is a sweet concoction of grungy gritty hard rock and psychedelic Krautrock themes. Even if this mix has been done a thousand times before, back then it was still an infant musical child slowly learning to stand on its own two feet. Whereas we now have a cornucopian factory hall production of bands trying to infuse Black Sabbathy grittiness with the psych tendencies of old - often ending up in the aptly named sludge genre, back then the psychedelia of the 60s had only just begun to branch out in all of these fascinating hybrids. For my money, it was Germany who spawned the most astonishing and breathtaking metamorphoses, and Message is certainly among those acts that modelled these two hardy ingredients into something unique, black and fiery.

Message wield a brawling dirty guitar-based sound that ploughs through the airwaves like a rusty scythe. The grim reaper of string instruments fuels this band's energy, and you can almost feel the dark and murky ambiance of this band creeping up on you like an out of breath shadow trying desperately to catch up. This is no Black Sabbath - even if I portray it as such, the emphasis on cosmic feathered hard rock is far too obvious for that to be true. Even so, the overall production of the thing still puts pictures in my head of ghastly tombstones, neon skeletor and a swampy atmosphere that occasionally gets split wide open by the sharp scythe-like guitars.

This is essentially riff based music, but spiced up with sparsely used saxophone, synthesizers and mellotron. On several occasions though, the band changes course within the basic song structures - heaves the anchor, and flies away on sprawling magnificent fusion sweeps led by a manic saxophone. These are beautiful sections, and when the guitars finally interrupt with their sweetened melodic flavours, the music suddenly develops a counterpointing shadow effect to the otherwise harsh murkiness of the heavy riffage.

The front singer is actually English, which does add a certain quality to the vocals. Let's just say that English sung albums coming out of Germany from around the same time were very often clouded in heavy Bavarian accents, which to me personally can spoil an otherwise exceptional record. Well not this one. The vocals fit the music, although they have a confrontational manner - they clash into the given structure - sounding almost cacophonous at times, though never out of place. They depict the dreamy images of the lyrics in a way that lifts the overall feel of the album, making the music and lyrical themes collide in a natural symbiosis. Especially the divided title track proves this rather peculiar meeting.

If you already enjoy the works of Nektar, Nosferatu, 2066 and Then and other such acts that flirted around with the sticky combo of hard rock n' psychedelia, then Message's second outing should please you like a hundred handshakes from Jimmy Page. I love this album - the way it keeps fresh and still sounds like a death defying creature coming out of fog-ridden bogs, - and to top it all off, it just so happens to rock like a regular mountain of riffs.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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