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East Of Eden - Mercator Projected CD (album) cover

MERCATOR PROJECTED

East Of Eden

 

Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 100 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars East of Eden - Mercator Projected (1969)

Now here's an almost forgotten effort by a very early progressive group from England. One doctor of philosophy that retreated for a year on a mountain near Mecca (wind instruments), a painter/football player (sax & organ), a graphic designer (guitar & vocals), a student of oriental music in Turkey (bass) and a coca-coal addict on drums. "Take one violin which blows rock and Bartók, add one flute from the East, mix in Sumerian saxophones, bass, drums, guitar and liquid wordpictures - mark East of Eden", chronicles the backside of the sleeve.

East of Eden projects a psychedelic backgrounds, world music influences, classical influences and some jazz-bassguitar. There are some similarities to the King Crimson debut, mainly the avant-garde endings of the tracks, the use of up-tempo jazz parts, the grotesque arrangements and mystical atmospheres. A bit different from King Crimson's debut is the recording quality that doesn't allow all ideas to solidify and sometimes leaves us with pitch anomalies in the arrangements (which normally bother me a lot). The vocals of Nichelson aren't too melodic, but if you listen to the record a couple of times you'll get into it. I like his gentle approach.

Especially strong are the haunting ballads with classy violin-melodies, like 'Isodora' and 'Waterways'. Opening-track 'Northern Hemisphere' has hard rock vibes but the melodies are well developed. 'Centaur woman' is a psychedelic rock 'n roll track used as a vehicle for several solo sections. The production really lets us down on this track and it's the only weaker track of the album. On side two the first two tracks continue the style of side one. Third track 'Moth' impresses with its bombastic world music arrangement and mystical vocals. The ending track 'In the Stable of the Sphinx' has a lot of different parts and an eclectic progressive style. Brilliant ending that will satisfy proglisteners a lot.

Conclusion. Well developed eclectic progressive rock album that would have been a real masterpiece had it been given the proper production. Buy it I if you are interested in the development of the progressive genre or when you want a really original early progressive record that has a unique take on world-music influences. I'm going to give it the big three- and-a-halve rating.

friso | 4/5 |

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