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Ohead - Resurgent Resonance CD (album) cover

RESURGENT RESONANCE

Ohead

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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4 stars Another installment in David Hendry's space rock project OHead. Resurgent Resonance was released five years after the last one, Visitor and it's pretty much in a similar vein, although a bit more calm and more ambient. The overall feel of this album is Porcupine Tree circa The Sky Moves Sideways. A great deal of the more ambient parts of this album reminds me of "Moonloop". "Valley of Veils" bears more than a passing resemblance to Edgar Froese's Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, which I'm sure was totally intentional, as Mr. Hendry was a big fan of Froese/Tangerine Dream, and I'm certain he was paying tribute to Froese as he passed away in 2015. Other parts of the album have a bit of a Berlin School feel to it, while other parts occasionally flirt with heavy metal, particularly "Serpent in the Sky". "Blue Pyramid" and "Blue Pyramid Pt, 2" is close to Pink Floyd and early Porcupine Tree territory, with Gilmour-like guitar and "Moonloop" type of ambience. He gets some guests on this album, most notably John Simms of Clear Blue Sky (yes, the heavy rock band who recorded for Vertigo in the early '70s). The Ozric influence seems less than on previous albums (since Gaia's Garden, at least, as Steps Across the Cortex and Silent Universe is more like a techno/electronica version of the Berlin School sound). If you've enjoyed what Hendry/OHead has been doing since Gaia's Garden, you should give this one a try.
Report this review (#1728004)
Posted Monday, May 29, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album seems to be a continuation of where OHEAD left off with "Dream State Circus", before the "Visitor" excursion where they went and did the Ozrics thing.

1. "Blue Pyramid". Swelling, ebbing, slowly morphing synths open this track, pierced cleanly by lead guitar, before settling into a nice downtemo groove. About two-thirds the way through, birds come out to play amongst an echoey guitar line, then (yay!) the reprise. There's something almost Gilmorean about the guitar play and overall pace of the piece. Unlike many OHEAD tracks that are dominated by synth sounds, the guitar really shines here.

2. "The Gathering" opens with synth choir ohs and ahs and real-sounding drums (as opposed to the more mechanical drum machines) as a vehicle to carry the guitar lead. The pace picks up about one-third through, and even more half-way through, as it morphs into jam somewhat reminiscent of an Ozrics track in the latter half. Again the guitar work is front and center.

3. "Valley of Veils". Swirls of synth pads are the precursor to a pastoral flute lead, before bright & perky synth sequence rolls through as a temporary distraction. Without rhythm or percussion, it's a spacey, dreamy, flute-driven interlude.

4. "Procession". Sequences of bright synth pads and leads float over the simple, percussion-less heartbeat of a bass as the piece builds into a percolating groove with Gilly Smyth-like space whispers courtesy of Maxine Marten. More please!

5. "Cave of Souls" Airy, spacious, resounding synths provide a trippy backdrop to the ney flute lead. Wonderfully hypnotic, this one!

6. "Orange Moon" greets you with a brief passage of vocoder vocals reminiscent of Tangerine Dream before erupting with hard driving bass and guitar. The melodic theme continued until an abrupt change about two-thirds the way through. Is this a new track? It seems so dissimilar and unrelated. Then the original groove comes back for a reprise. Phew. I personally prefer some kind of bridge across these abrupt changes to give me the feeling of continuity.

7. "Ether Pools" is nice, brief ambient interlude to mellow the sharper edges left by the previous track.

8. "Opal Cloudlets" the slowly building sequences, overall tempo, and percussive elements are very reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's Cyclone. It's a very pleasant little cruise. I wish it were longer.

9. "Hall of Whispers" has layers of echoey sax riffs that almost sounds like a flock of geese. I waited, hoping the track would morph into some cool head-nodding groove with a sax lead, but it didn't. Sigh.

10. "Serpent in the Sky" presents you with lots of guitar styles, some bright and clean, some fuzzy, some like Hawkwind, some like the Ozrics. And the vocals with FX are back in a big way. The overall melody makes be think of an early Black Sabbath tune. This track is all brash guitar. Very little synth presence. It almost sounds out of place for this album.

11. "Blue Pyramid pt 2" similar to track 1, but with those lovely Marten space whispers, too. I really dig the last half of this track that combines excellent guitar work and those spacey whispery vocals. It would have made a nice foundation for an entire track.

I liked most of the album, but thought tracks 6 and 10 felt a little out of place. I also would like to hear more of the brilliant guitar work, sexy sax, ney flute, space whispery vocals, and real percussion from his guest artists. Each time one of these musicians does their thing, I find something pleasing and sublime, and wish there was more of it, not just an embellishment in a track or two.

Report this review (#1891594)
Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | Review Permalink

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