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THE MYTH OF DYING

The Psychedelic Ensemble

Neo-Prog


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4 stars Well, here is an interesting piece of album. First listen to this album got me going for real, the start of the album is a modern Yes progressive rock wich is really good. Next two songs we have ELP territory all over just to move over to song nr 4 wich plays Gentle giant like no band has done since Gentle giant. Wow!

Moving on to song nr 6 and here we have Oasis playing bluesrock...what?? Song nr 7 is an acoustic piece more like Simon and Garfunkel.

This is kind of the downfall of the album, it's not very consistent. It's like ten different bands playing one song each. If the band would have sounded more like one band and tried to pull their sound together this could have been one of the best albums of 2010. When they go for Gentle giant or ELP they really shines, some pieces of this album will be favourites to me for a very long time.

For the next one, I hope they could find one style that fits together. Still, when they're good, they're really good!

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Send comments to Andis (BETA) | Report this review (#345039)
Posted Monday, December 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Superb.

To my ears The Psychedelic Ensembleīs second studio album is one of the most fresh sounding and profound releases of 2010 both thematically and musically. This synthesizer-heavy neo-prog frenzy, written mainly in minor key and played with heaps of distinctive synth effects and odd time signatures is especially powerful when added the well-crafted concept that has inspired the melodies and lyrics.

The Concept

According to it The Myth of Dying is a musical journey that follows a deceased young poet through his afterlife. Each of the nine cantos represents one step of his spirit wandering through different realms of eternity - brilliant lights, the black star, hell etc. Excerpts from famous literary sources like C.S. Lewis, William Blake, Dante and others are combined in the lyrics to support and create an original vision of the afterlife.

The Sound

Although very little is known about the solo artist who forms The Psychedelic Ensemble (as he perfers to remain anonymous) his work is outstanding. The instrumental base for almost all songs on this album are multi-layered and fast-paced synthesizer movements accompanied by longer and more psychedelic backing riffs with occasional contribution from accoustic and electric guitars. As some of percussion and bass line is also played on synths, the overall sound is rather electronic. In that sense the album reminds largely the soundscapes from Jordan Rudessī 2007 release The Road Home and in some cases also Ozric Tentacles.

Despite heavy synths the album is still surprisingly versatile. Probably a lot of it has to do with quite original vocals and humble melodies that somewhat add oddity to this otherwise psychedelic chaos. Each song takes in a slightly new perspective. For example in The Devilīs Proffer we can hear influences from late King Crimson (Similar whiny vocal distortion. And I swear I can see Tony Levin every time I hear this bass line). The Devilīs Lament on the other hand is based on blues rock guitar riff and ends with a brilliant classical orchestral violin outro.

There is a weird but utterly enjoyable transition in the last three songs though. All of a sudden, in The Realm of the Skeptics, the sound clears out and synth melodies fade into background, leaving accoustic guitars to end the day in ELPīs Still...You Turn Me On-style. The Mysterium of the Divine serves as a short classical piano composition and the second half of The Truth of Eternity is as Pink Floydish as anything except Pink Floyd can possibly be.

Nevertheless, this piece of pie is not for everyone Iīm afraid. You shouldnīt expect any virtuous guitars or drumming from this album. Rather than melodies, this release is all about richly diverse psychedelic soundscapes. You might like The Myth of Dying if you feel comfy with The Road Home by Jordan Rudess and Tarkus by ELP.

For me, this is a masterpiece and every time I listen to it, it leaves me mesmerised.

Recommended.

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Send comments to Oliverum (BETA) | Report this review (#358647)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US-based project THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE entered the world of progressive rock in 2009 with the concept album "The Art of Madness", a likeable production in the Pink Floyd vein that was well received by the progressive community at large. "The Myth of Dying" is the second venture by this composer and multi-instrumentalist who prefers to stay anonymous so that his musical endeavours can be enjoyed on their own without being associated with a person who may or may not be well known.

While initially perhaps appearing to be slightly too chaotic and quirky, "The Myth of Dying" soon proves to be a splendid production of the symphonic art rock variety, with numerous details to savor and plenty of intricate compositional features to enjoy. All of these are placed within a brilliantly produced single composition that spans the entire album. Beautiful cover art, extensive liner notes and a high quality booklet are treats for those who prefer to buy a physical CD. And while the latter isn't needed to be able to enjoy this splendid creation, they will enhance the overall experience. A few very minor details aside, this is a brilliant production and obviously highly recommended.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#392053)
Posted Tuesday, February 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I dunno, guys, I really don't know. When the mystery of precisely who is behind The Psychedelic Ensemble is more interesting than their actual music you know there's got to be something wrong. With reasonable but not exceptional production values and a vague concept about dying (as though we don't already have enough concept albums about wild near-death experiences or post-mortem journeys), The Myth of Dying presents a sound rooted in rather pretty and accessible space rock reminiscent of what would happen if post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd got into a collaboration with Mercury Rev.

The problem I have with it is that I can't really get a handle on the atmosphere it's going for - if, indeed, it's going for one at all. It's too laid back to go for a bombastic Floydian rock out, but too busy to be a relaxing New Age soundscape trip, and flirts just enough with both of those styles that I keep expecting it to definitively plump for one or the other but it never does. I just don't get the appeal here.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#745210)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permalink

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