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Sanguine Hum - The Weight Of The World CD (album) cover

THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD

Sanguine Hum

Neo-Prog


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Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
5 stars SANGUINE HUM are around in early 2013 with a new drummer on board. Andy Booker debuted for their gig at Rosfest last year after a really short period of practice ... and it successfully worked. So now - consequently - he's a regular band member, completely involved in the new recordings. While being delighted with their debut 'Diving Bell' I started to listen with curiosity of course ... but also somewhat reserved - as we all know - it's really hard to hold such a raised standard or even excel onself with every new album.

Again released on Esoteric Recordings, 'The Weight Of The World' comes with seven songs. The title track is exceptional in some way, due to a length of fifteen minutes, which is quite unusual when it comes to this band. But it's not the running time as such which strikes, moreover this one is also symptomatical for a move towards an eclectic approach. Compared to what they've done beforehand, the music is provided with less catchy moments overall (eh ... probably to be withdrawed though soon?) - however for the benefit of more thoughtfullness, depth and trickiness.

So I had to take the lesson that 'The Weight Of The World' needs proper time to unfold its real beauty - well, step by step, with every round, a new flower was coming into bloom. If you don't go forward, you go backwards - there are new aspects to state musicwise, wheras you still can recognize the band's basics. They waste no time, the first seconds of the opener - just from the ground up so to say - make it clear that you're listening to SANGUINE HUM. Something attractive for me, taking the risk to repeat myself probably, I have to name Joff Winks' charming voice, absolutely unique.

While knowing each other and musically collaborating since their youth, the inspired interaction between keyboarder Matt Baber and guitarist Joff Winks marks the substantial trademark. Somnambulistic compositions are the result here, requiring full concentration to come in. I have problems to highlight any of the songs, wait ... maybe I should take the short melancholic Phosphor with intent, while probably underestimated otherwise. It's a minimalistic piano/vocal duet basically, so lovely nevertheless. Most of the album sections are showing a lush sound though, often with keyboards and guitars multi-tracked.

Baber varies a lot on synthesizer, organ, piano - sometimes it even sounds like he's playing a vibraphone too. Where some album parts are more keyboard laden Winks is dominant on the opening song and shines with heavy riffing guitar within Cognoscenti. From a compositional point of view at least, the album's title track appears to be their masterpiece so far. I wonder how they are able to bring this multi-layered, partially virtuoso attitude to the live stage ... you always have to take up a new challenge.

Now it only remains for me to say 'congrats!'. A thrilling experience by all means, which is also available as a 2 disc CD/DVD edition, including the movie 'The Making Of The Weight Of The World', with the opportunity for some insights. This should not be missed by any progressive rock music fan, a progress at least, for me a new milestone, as I'm following their path since they started under the moniker Antique Seeking Nuns. Reflecting the excellent presence of the bass guitar (Brad Waissman) and drums too, the sound is crystal clear, the mix is simply brilliant. This rounds it all up this time to the highest rating.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#950761)
Posted Saturday, April 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well. What a nice discovery

This is very versatile prog rock.

But I am sure this is no neo prog ...

This is crossover prog in the line of Big Big Train.

But also in the post rock line Tortoise comes to my mind.

┐Why in the Uk there appear so many excellent prog rock bands? There you can find the real art rock,creative rock .... Bands in the US are good too but more oriented to to sales matter.

I can imagine no SH future as successful as Big Big Train .

Beatiful songs,excellent compositions ,very good musician and vocals.

For me the rating is more than 4,5..so... 5 then.

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Send comments to robbob (BETA) | Report this review (#951482)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
2 stars This is another album that I really can't get into very well. It has some interesting parts, but it just seems so "blah" overall. Let me explain:

The vocalist really irks me. I don't know why, but his boy band vox are annoying. I could barely listen to the rest of the album. On top of this, the compositions seem to ramble and really have little to no point. The lyrics are well done, but I really can't remember much about them, except that they seem pointless. Again, though, the composition seems like it was made to sound like prog, and not actually BE prog. It's as if they thought adding extended portions somehow makes them prog.

There is absolutely nothing interesting that happens, and nothing unique or original is ever displayed. There is some nice synth near the end, and the final track is passably listenable. But, overall, the album is below average, whether we speak of the easy-as-pie instrumentation or the overall lack of structure and point. Maybe this is for fans of indie rock and post rock, but it certainly isn't for me.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#951530)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I would not be surprised in the least if this band gained some commercial success down the road at some point. And while I miss the humour of their former incarnation (ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS), this project draws me in with their powerful, intricate and melodic sound. It's hard not to focus on the modern sounding vocals but man when you really listen to the instrumental work it's impressive and challenging to say the least. Once again Matt Baber's keyboard work (Fender Rhodes, Hammond and synths) gains most of my praise, but the new drummer certainly has chops and he fits in well with the usual outstanding guitar and bass work.

"From The Ground Up" is laid back to start with relaxed vocals, a beat and gentle guitar before things pick up. Love the passionate vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as the contrasts continue. A powerful instrumental section kicks in around 3 minutes with the Hammond screaming out. The last couple of minutes are so uplifting. Such a great track. "System For Solution" is 8 minutes in length and quite powerful. I haven't mentioned the lyrics yet but they are one of the band's strong points and they are brilliant here. I like the way they contrast the powerful with the more intricate and complex passages on this track. Nice guitar work 5 minutes in reminding me of Steven Wilson for some reason. "In Code" is the only instrumental and it might be my favourite song on here. It opens in such an exhilarating manner reminding me of ANATHEMA's latest stuff. This track is simply a joy, one of those "life is good" moments that I don't want to end. Thanks guys. "Cognoscenti" has lots of intricacies to enjoy along with some aggressive guitar at times. The keyboards are fantastic as usual.

"Day Of Release" is interesting to start with the relentless beat and powerful synths as the vocals almost speak the lyrics. Things seem to get more intense and yet they are holding back. The intensity is released before 4 1/2 minutes to the end. Such a cool tune. "Phosphor" is a short 3 minute track that is very mellow with fragile vocals to start. A fuller sound follows. Some nice piano work in this one. "The Weight Of The World" ends the album in style with an almost 15 minute three part extravaganza. Some prominant guitar in the first part but the vocals and drums also stand out. An excellent instrumental section with lots of keyboards kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. It becomes uplifting before 5 minutes and the vocals join in as we have started the second part of this song. Part three begins around 7 minutes in as we get a more serious sound with the wind blowing as the vocals join in. It turns heavy before 10 minutes then back to that intricate soundscape. I like the way themes are repeated throughout this epic track.

Another winner from this talented band. Please check these guys out !

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#1022999)
Posted Saturday, August 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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