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Ozric Tentacles - Tantric Obstacles CD (album) cover

TANTRIC OBSTACLES

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.92 | 59 ratings

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obiter
Prog Reviewer
2 stars At the outset, the quality of the recording is not up to the standard of the later albums (Pungent Effulgent onwards) as a result the impact of the typical Ozric sound is greatly reduced.

The opening bass riff in Og-Ha-Be reminds me a lot of Call the Police by Thin Lizzy (Shades of Blue Orphanage), but there the similarity ends. The song is revealed in all its glory in Live Underslunky. There is a much rawer (and badly recorded) version in Live Etheral Cereal. Shards of Ice introduces the scintillating synths. This song does have a very short 80s almost Duran Duran like section. During these phases the bass sounds more like modern romantics Japan than the driving grooves assocaited with Ozric. Sniffing dog opens like a rock n roll number before quickly stepping back into a more mellow synth passage. The rock n roll theme returns. This woud have been one of my least favourite Ozrics songs but in the later sections Ed Wynne finds a haunting and beautiful guitar sound: simple delayed chords completely changing the mood and then a vibrant guitar solo lifts the mood. Music to Gargle At is an odd short piece of drum machine and samples (water & pipes). Etheral Cereal is another synth track. If a very repetitive sound is your bag then this is for you. It's as if the song started and ended in the middle. There is however a suggestion of an ethnic sound in this track: augur of things to come. Atmosphear is a stronger guitar orientated track.The guitar harmonics of intro is reminiscent of The Fish. The background (synth & bass) is unmistakably Ozric but the playing reminds me of mellow Satriani. Ulllar Gate has the first hint of the pseudo middle eastern sound that characterises some of the later albums (such as Pyramidion). Tentacles of Erpmind is a short piece of samples. Trees of Eternity opens with a slow heavily delayed guitar riff. There is a breakdown to a flowing bass riff with synth, samples and then guitar overlaying. There just doesn't seem to a major direction or theme to the song, and maybe this comment applies generally to the album. It does not seem to come together as coherent unit. Mescalito again has drum machines providing the rhythm: the resultant sound lacks substance. Oddhamshaw is a short reggae track with wait for it, heavily delayed guitar with a very 80s bass sound (is that chorus?). Become the Otter kicks off with a boppy driving rhythm: classic Ozric. The sound mix is poor. The synth dominates the recording, in the background the drums and bass are kicking out that beat: it's just a pitty that they are mixed so low. Gnuthlia opens with ethnic drums. Then a tinny drum machine takes over. The drums programming has a dance (almost strying into jungle) feel in parts. There appears to belittle direction until Ed's guitar comes in in the last third but it. Sorry Style is another reggae number.

Tantric Obstacles has a number of precursors for later albums, but the poor recording, prevalence of the drum machine for a band which is usually so rhythmical engaging relegates this to2 stars: interesting for Ozric fans (like me for whom it is a must have).

obiter | 2/5 |

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