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Miranda Sex Garden

Prog Folk

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Miranda Sex Garden Carnival of Souls album cover
3.51 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Are You The One? (4:27)
2 Sleeping Beauty (3:33)
3 Tonight (4:31)
4 All There Is (4:26)
5 Broken Glass (5:02)
6 Escape From Kilburn (Instrumental) (2:31)
7 Token (Incidental) (0:42)
8 Without Trace (4:35)
9 Caravan (3:41)
10 Thrusty Bob's Hardcore Lounge (Incidental) (1:27)
11 Close To The Sky (3:16)
12 Ever & Ever (4:17)

Total Time: 41:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Katharine Blake / Vocals, violin
- Trevor Sharpe / Drums, percussion
- Ben Golomstock / Guitar
- Mike Servent / Keyboards
- Teresa Casella / Bass, backing vocals
- Barney Hollington / Violin, Hammond organ

- Nick Marsh / Guitar
- Robin Blick / Saxophone, French horn
- Audrey Evans / Vocals
- Rachel Van Ash / Vocals

Releases information

2000 CD Cleopatra 884
CLP 0884-2

Thanks to ivan_2068 for the addition
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MIRANDA SEX GARDEN Carnival of Souls ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MIRANDA SEX GARDEN Carnival of Souls reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After six years of silence (most likely founding their respective families), MSG came back for one album, which took the scene by surprise, but strangely enough kept it to just that album. I suppose this comeback was just a poke to see if their career could resume in parallel with their family lives. Apparently not, because this album is just as strong as their previous two. MSG was not about to make a carbon copy of their previous works, though. And again, they decided to intrigue the public with a catchy sexy artwork.

This album may surprise by its Alternative Rock feel, still mixed with Bjork-influenced vocals and the slight folk-influences as highlighted with the odd flute and strings lightly peppering the album as is on Sleeping Beauty. As they had tried before with My Funny Valentyne, but this time with more success, MSG returns with a heavy jazz instrumentation in Tonight, sounding like a cross between Bjork and Paatos. All There Is is reminiscent of dEUS, while Broken Glass is very average. As the first part of the album is not really off to a sizzling start, content on cruising a bit lazily, the album suddenly takes on an feverished climax with two instrumentals in a row, the first, Kilburn, strongly influenced by dEUS, while the second being a short percussive interlude, prefacing the calm and reflective Without Trace, which is maybe my fave on the album. With Caravan (a Duke Ellington reprise) and its ambient outro, the album is now definitely on track, and will cruise nicely through the last two songs with some post-rock characteristics mixing with some trip hop.

In retrospect, it is now clear that Paatos took their main influences on MSG, but since I was not aware of the group, I will now make amends. More of an art rock group than a folk prog group, MSG is for modern prog lovers.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars About two years ago added MIRANDA SEX GARDEN to our database, despite the addition of was approved by administrators and collaborators, I wasn't sure if I had done the best thing, because even when I was sure they are a Prog band, the sound broke all the schemes I had of this sub-genre.

The time passed and having seen how Prog has grown, I don't have the slightest doubt, this strange band leaded by "Katherine Blake" presents us a delicate mixture of Gothic (Medieval, not Gothic revival of the 1800's), Alternative, Celtic Folk and even some hints of Industrial and Vaudeville, to create music that attack the senses, unlike most Folk based bands that handle with care delicate sounds, MIRANDA SEX GARDEN throws the music in our faces, and lets thank God for that, because they are forced to take risks, and only the one who takes risks will rise over mediocrity.

In 1996 after the release of "Fairytales About Slavery", the band splits and Katherine focus in her other project called "MEDIÆVAL BÆBES", but despite the success of this project, the band joins again, this time with the excellent bassist and vocalist "Teresa Cassella", Mike Servent on the keyboards and Barney Hollington playing violin and Hammond organ, who join the crew that had split two years before.

On Friday the 13th of August, 1999 in the Norwich graveyard, MIRANDA SEX GARDEN starts the recording sessions of "Carnival of Souls" there are many mysterious tales about this sessions but haven't passed the status of urban myths, the only fact is that in 12 days the album is ready and they start the tour session which sadly lead to the definitive split of the band with the new millennium.

The album starts with "Are you the One?" a mysterious song that begins in the alternative vein, even when much more dynamic, but almost instantly is evident by the selection of instruments that this guys are in something different, they jump from peaceful and bucolic to loud and explosive without leaving behind that strong atmosphere which surrounds the band as a dense mist.

"Sleeping Beauty" is one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard, performed in a clear Celtic Medieval mood with delicate instrumentation and arrangements that cover even the most insignificant detail, but as usual they keep some sort of tense calm that always lead to some strong guitar performance of Industrial side, the perfect blend between sweet and acid, of course the Purcell Music School trained voice of Katherine is the cherry on the top of the pie.

"Tonight" as "Havana Lied" in their previous album, takes us to a cabaret, but this time the mood is much more jazzy and sentimental, like taken from a 40's detective movie, and that's the biggest achievement, despite they blend horn with modern synths the atmosphere sounds perfectly credible. "All there Is" sounds like Post Rock meets Industrial, the members of the band manage to play with the timing, being that while the vocals are soft and mellow, the instruments are absolutely frantic, to a point where they produce an effect of claustrophobia, excellent material.

"Escape from Kilburn" is another frenetic song where the percussion is simply wild, again we can feel that horror to silent spaces the band usually presents, not a single second of rest, they bomb us from all the fronts, reminds me a bit of FANTOMAS.

"Token" is a short percussion based interlude that leads directly to the extremely dramatic "Without Trace", where the violins enhance the drama, the vocals almost take the listener to tears, but strangely the percussion remains without alteration from start to end, surely this guys know how to play with times.

"Caravan" is an amazing cover of the same title classic by Duke Ellington, words just can't describe what they gave done with the track combining the soft melody with the frenetic rhythms and the dissonant instrumentation, this song alone could pay for the album.

"Thrusty Bob's Hardcore Lounge (Incidental)" is another short but really strange interlude that leads to the acoustic "Close to the Sky" in which they return to the Medieval Celtic sound giving Katherine Blake another chance to show her wonderful vocal range, but around the middle a dramatic change takes us to a totally different scenario, full of dissonant instruments and haunting echoes, strange but good.

The album is closed with "Ever and Ever", a soft song with that allows us to enjoy the sweet voice of Katharine and as usual ends breaking all the schemes we may have.

At the end, another outstanding album in the MIRANDA SEX GARDEN discography, not in the level of the predecessor but worth no less than 4 solid stars.

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