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Panta Rei

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Panta Rei Panta Rei album cover
3.27 | 38 ratings | 6 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Five Steps (3:11)
2. White Bells (6:53)
3. Five O'Clock Freak (9:44)
4. The Knight (13:44)
5. The Turk (4:10)

Total Time 37:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Thomas Arnesen / guitar, keyboard, percussion
- Leif Östman / guitar, percussion
- Cary Wihma / bass, percussion
- Tomo Wihma / drums, percussion
- Georg Trolin / vocals, percussion
- Göran Freese / saxophone, percussion
- Gunnar Lindqvist / flute

Releases information

CD Acid Symposium (World's Leading Terrorist State) ACID 009CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PANTA REI Panta Rei Music

PANTA REI Panta Rei ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PANTA REI Panta Rei reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
2 stars A strange, obscure little album from Sweden which I would definitely agree is more of a fusion piece (with Canterbury and Zappa influences) than a psych or space rock album. A bit of a Middle Eastern influence creeps in on The Turk, but otherwise the album boasts the usual influences for an offbeat fusion band of this type - Mothers of Invention, Soft Machine, Mahavishnu Orchestra and so on. A pleasant listen which will get your foot tapping but which I can't see myself coming back to again and again. It's a shame they never made any more albums, because I can tell there's a spark of talent here, but it doesn't quite shine through.
Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars The term "panta rhei" refers to the concept that everything flows in the philosophy of Heraclitus from Greek mythology and is also a term that has been adopted as a band name for several groups including a Hungarian prog rock band, a German jazz-rock band, a Belgian folk band and once you remove the "h" and forming the alternative spelling PANTA REI, a short-lived Swedish prog band that emerged from the fertile city of Uppsala some 60 km north of Stockholm which is most famous for being the birthplace of Samla Mammas Manna but due to the wealth of support for the arts in Sweden also produced a huge number of lesser known bands including PANTA REI.

PANTA REI formed in 1970 and released this one and only self-titled album in 1973 but failed to make an impression most likely in part at least to hosting one of the hardest to look at album covers in music history. The band consisted of Georg Trolin (vocals, harmonica), Thomas Arnesen (guitar), Leif Östman (guitar), Cary Wihma (bass, percussion), Tomo Wihma (drums), Lennart Backwall (guitar), Zeke Öhrn (bass), Gunnar Lindqvist (flute) and Göran Freese (saxophone) and performed an amazingly eclectic style that is hard to peg as each of the five tracks on this album are fairly different from each other almost making it sound like a bunch of different bands but the common denominator is the twin guitar attacks that sound somewhat like a more laid back and tripped out version of the Allman Brothers.

While the opening "Five Steps" sounds like a somewhat garagy version of 70s hard bluesy rock, the following "White Bells" adopts a slow folky approach with acoustic guitars and more earnest vocals much in the vein of Traffic meanwhile the near 10 minute "Five O'Clock Freak" takes a bit of the heavy rock guitars and mixes it with a rather Mahavishnu Orchestra style of jazz-rock that t makes things into the world of psychedelia. The lengthiest track on the album is the near 14 minute prog behemoth "The Knight" which jumps back into the hard rock guitar riffs and then proceeds to tackle a wide range of stylistic shifts that mixes Baroque classical, excellent fuzzed out wah-wah peddles and some sensual flute runs and then sprints into a sprawling jam session. The track does seem a little discombobulated as PANTA REI very much sounds like a novice act trying to learn how to juggle too many elements without mastering the cohesive effect as did their more famous town mates.

The album ends with another curve ball titled "The Turk" which mixes Turkish folk music in with hard rock. In the end PANTA REI wasn't really ready for primetime as the album comes very much across as amateur hour but does offer a lot of interesting ideas that would've been more interesting had they been gestated fully. Unfortunately this band broke up in 1974 and never had the change to redeem itself but this bizarre little artifact serves as an excellent reminder of the lesser known bands of the Swedish prog scene that haven't gone down on the top of lists from the decades of yore. Very much worth checking out a time or two but clearly not one of the more essential examples of Swedish prog. The band does have the honor of making it onto those more comprehensive various artists compilation of 70s Swedish prog but as an act in its own right is a bit underwhelming despite some excellent musicianship.

Latest members reviews

4 stars One great thing of modern times is that we can find otherwise rare music in streaming services. That is the case with Panta Rei, a band that is largely unknown even between prog fans and now can be enjoyed by anyone easily. It is also a great thing because their sole album is very enjoyable. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#2693290) | Posted by mickcoxinha | Wednesday, February 16, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is an album that really took me by surprise for three essential reasons, it was good, it was consistent and (perhaps most surprisingly) the recording quality was good. I'm not going to say that this is a genre defining record (unless you insist that this is space rock / psychedelia -- in reali ... (read more)

Report this review (#1213491) | Posted by MJAben | Monday, July 14, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well... What can one say about this album then? First off I really object to the labeling of Panta Rei as spacerock or even psychedelia. It lacks the noise of bands like Hawkwind and the sound-experiments of Pink Floyd. In my opinion it's just a typical example of the jazz-rock or fusion of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#119320) | Posted by Gruvan | Sunday, April 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's sad to see, that nobody yet reviewed this album. So, I will be the first. This band from Sweden is not too much psychedelic/sace rock in my opinion. First track - Five Steps is much Canterbury scene type of prog. Good melodies, not very distorted guitars. Souns even a bit like Fuzzy Duck. Wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#108105) | Posted by Deepslumber | Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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