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Taylor's Universe


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Taylor's Universe Taylor's Universe & Denner: Soundwall album cover
4.04 | 28 ratings | 5 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tag Attack (8:09)
2. Step Aside (6:40)
3. Out of Season (6:02)
4. Totally Greek (6:51)
5. Sandwich (7:24)
6. Aspx (8:31)

Total Time 43:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Robin Taylor / guitars, bass, piano, Hammond, synths, Mellotron, Stringman, glockenspiel, percussion, toy keyboard, tape, treatments, vocals, composer & arranger, production
- Michael Denner / acoustic & electric guitars
- Karsten Vogel / soprano, alto & tenor saxophones
- Rasmus Grosell / drums

- Louise Nipper / vocals
- Victoria Bjerre / child voice (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Hank Shermann (photo)

CD Marvel Of Beauty ‎- MOBCD 018 (2008, Denmark)

LP Marvel Of Beauty ‎- MOBLP 018 (2008, Denmark)

Digital album

Thanks to Windhawk for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE Taylor's Universe & Denner: Soundwall Music

TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE Taylor's Universe & Denner: Soundwall ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

TAYLOR'S UNIVERSE Taylor's Universe & Denner: Soundwall reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Soundwall is the 8th release by Robin Taylor's Taylor's Universe release, and the 24th release in Robin Taylor's total discography.

On this release, the band explores music in the twilight zone between fusion and symphonic prog; but with a slightly greater emphasis on rock music and a slightly lesser emphasis on including jazz elements in the soundscapes than on previous releases.

The tunes are highly melodic; the moods hypnotizing and captivating; but the structure and development of the compositions remain as unpredictable as ever. Thankfully. The inclusion of guitarist Michael Denner (formerly of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond) has resulted in more guitars and somewhat less of Karsten Vogel's amazing sax play on this release; but has also opened a few new dimensions that are explored.

Fans of instrumental rock in particular should check this one out; especially those fond of musical surprises and highly detailed soundscapes.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Taylor's second album of 2007 saw him again with Karsten, Rasmus and Louise yet as may be guessed from the name of the band this time, there is also an additional musician. Michael Denner needs probably no introduction, having played with Mercyful Fate and King Diamond as well as Force Of Evil (my personal fave of the three). His guitarwork is renowned and when I saw that he was involved with this release I braced myself for a load of heavy metal histrionics with Robin et al taking a back seat. But Michael has sat here with an aim of taking on board what Taylor's Universe has to offer and has provided another facet to the polished gem of the music. While there are times when Michael does take an obvious lead, it is far more restrained and in keeping with the feel of the band than one might imagine.

Initially I expected some Steve Vai-style shredding over a jazz background, but here we have a musician being very much a team player and not losing sight of the musical goal. "Step Aside" has a repeated motif which allow all musicians to show off some chops but at no point does it become too much of a 'see what I can do better than you' competition but instead stays true to the theme. One can almost imagine the musicians sat in a circle in the studio just bouncing ideas. I don't know how much was recorded 'live' or layered, but there is a feeling of spontaneity and Michael feels part of the band instead of a guest musician brought in to play a role.

Musically I expected this to be the one album of the three that I would enjoy the most, given that I have been known to listen to HM/HR far more than jazz stylings, but I have to say that while Michael adds a great deal in some respects, I found that in others I missed some of the space that has now been filled by his presence. It is still a great album that is very much worth hearing, but of the three TU albums I have been able to hear it is to 'Certain Undiscoveries' to which I will be returning most.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I like what Robin says in the liner notes in regards to this lineup. "How on earth did these people get together, each representing as different styles as Artrock, Jazz, Pop Music and Heavy Metal ?". Well they may come from different backgrounds but they're on the same page here. I agree with Olav that the guitar seems to get more prominance than usual over the sax here. In the liner notes it's stated that Robin does the Thrash guitar solos while Michael Denner does the melodic guitar solos. Karsten Vogel (SECRET OYSTER) is back on sax while Rasmus Grosell is on drums. Some guest female vocal expressions from Louise Nipper.

"Tag Attack" kicks in with chunky bass and more before a minute. Guitar to the fore a minute later. Nice. Sax 4 1/2 minutes in then we get a calm 5 minutes in to the end. Some female vocal expressions around 7 minutes. "Step Aside" opens with the guitar soloing as the drums pound and more.The guitar stops after 2 minutes but not for long. The sax comes and goes. Nice drum work 3 1/2 minutes in. Intense stuff right here. More guitar late.

"Out Of Season" has some atmosphere as the piano joins in.The piano stops as the atmosphere continues and it's experimental too until it changes before 3 minutes to a melodic style. "Totally Greek" is laid back with piano. Female vocal expressions 3 minutes in. It kicks in before 5 minutes with guitar. "Sandwich" is spacey to start. The guitar,piano and more start to rise out of the mist around 2 minutes then the sax starts to solo. "Aspx" has these faint sounds to open that start to build until we have a full sound around 3 minutes. Some nice melodic guitar follows. It starts to settle back after 6 minutes.

Another excellent release and a solid 4 stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Danish musician Robin Taylor is one of the most intresting figures in prog rock in last 20 years. With quite long career and many albums released over the years he formed in early 90 Taylor's Universe with many well known guest musicinas in prog rock field. One of his better albums and to me maybe his best album under Taylor's Universe monicker is for sure the 2008 release named Soundwall. This is little underrated release among prog fans that is almost masterpiece with each musician involved doing the best they can and the result is fantastic. This is the type of music that can't be heared every day, is some combinations between jazz elements, avant chops and some eclectic passages. Some well known musicinas here like Karsten Wogel on sax from Secret Oyster fame, the excellent heavy metal guitarist among my fav guitar player ever from this field Michael Denner coming from legendary Mercyful Fate, King Diamond or Zoser Mez and Rasmus Grosell on drums and of course Robin Taylor responsable for keybords and other instruments. This album took me by surpre, because is so well performed, the ideas are top notch, specially on opening track Tag Attack is quarky piece of music with lot to offer, great guitars and the combination between mellow parts with more rockier ones are excellent.Step Aside the second piece where the guitar of Denner dominates the atmosphere is another highlight , Totally Greek aswell, all are great and full of original arrangements. This album is intense in sense of musicianship, even at first litning seams very easy to get into, but after some spinings is diffrent, it becomes mor and more demanding and attent listning. So, this is a fairly great album, quite unnoticed by many prog fans and belive me this is very intresting, not very often this type of music is pushed in front. 4 stars easy, well played, performed and composed.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Robin Taylor is a prog multi-instrumentalist from Copenhagen. He is out there for a while already (born in 1956), but his first album he recorded only in 1991, at a respectable age of 35. Well, some things just need time to arrive to their taste. His instrumental album "Soundwall" sounds just ... (read more)

Report this review (#634640) | Posted by justaguy | Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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