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Supersister - Iskander CD (album) cover

ISKANDER

Supersister

 

Canterbury Scene

3.50 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Major changes for this album as original members Sacha (flute) and Marco (drums) have left the band. Enter a jazzy drummer and also Charlie Mariano who is fresh off playing on EMBRYO's "We Keep On" album. Charlie will play sax, flute and clarinet on this record. His stint with SUPERSISTER will be just this one album then he'll go back to Germany and play with Eberhard Weber ( "Yellow Fields" & "Silent Feet" ). This is a concept album about the life of Alexander The Great and the band seemed to take the approach here to make a serious jazz record with avant leanings much like SOFT MACHINE. I think when Sacha left he took the band's humour with him.

"Introduction" is a mournful, almost dissonant clarinet solo. "Dareios The Emperor" is a top three for me. There's this cool rhythm with electric piano and horns. Love the deep bass lines as the sound turns fuller. An uptempo lighter section is contrasted with this then the vocals come in after 2 minutes as it settles. It kicks back in. Intense after 3 minutes as the sax blasts over top. A calm a minute later to end it. "Alexander" opens with light keyboard sounds as a rhythm then dissonant horns take over. I like it ! Piano only after 2 minutes then the organ and sax joins in. This is fairly dark and still laid back. Passionate sax 3 1/2 minutes in and then silence before 4 1/2 minutes. Electric piano comes in followed by bass, drums and sax that kick in after 5 minutes. Some crazy sax late. "Confrontation Of The Armies" opens with flute then the piano joins in. It kicks into an uptempo soundscape before a minute. Vocals follow. Lots of fun !

"The Battle" is a top three. It opens with drums rolling then the clarinet and floating organ takes over in a melancholic manner. A beat 2 1/2 minutes in then it picks up after 3 minutes. The drumming is fantastic ! Horns too. Silence before 5 minutes then it slowly builds with bass, organ and more. It kicks back in at 6 minutes. Great sound ! The sax is blasting a minute later. "Bagoas" is excellent. I just love this one. It becomes uptempo with vocals and chunky bass. "Roxane" is led by flute and piano throughout and there's more passion late. "Babylon" is my final top three. Electric piano as chunky bass as crisp drums join in. Vocals too and this sounds amazing ! Sax a minute in as the vocals stop. Drums only after 3 1/2 minutes as the bass joins in. Sax follows and it's dissonant. Electric piano joins in too. It's speeding up after 6 minutes. The dissonant sax sure bring SOFT MACHINE (Elton Dean) to mind. Some killer drum work during the final minute. "Looking Back" is a mellow and dreamy track with reserved vocals.

An easy 4 stars and one that might be closer to 4.5 stars. Just a killer record that should be rated much higher than it is. A classic that SOFT MACHINE fans should check out.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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