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In The Labyrinth

Prog Folk

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In The Labyrinth The Garden Of Mysteries album cover
3.35 | 19 ratings | 6 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gates Of Andorak (3:51)
2. Karakoram Pass (3:10)
3. Escape From Canaan (4:10)
4. Hiram Abiff (3:40)
5. Kekova (The Sunken City) (3:03)
6. Ali Hasan (4:07)
7. Aslan (2:28)
8. Meditating Minotauros (4:34)
9. The Garden Of Mysteries II (3:00)
10. Monsoon (2:54)
11. Andalucy (2:31)
12. Journey To Hel (4:49)
13. Moorish Waltz (2:31)
14. Trans Turkish Express (2:36)
15. Aral (5:49)
16. Moorish Waltz (2:31)
17. Desert Visions (2:08)
18. Ya Qader (3:00)
19. The Garden Of Mysteries I (1:40)
20. La Dame Inconnue (2:00)
21. Almeria (4:50)
22. Palm-Cat (2:47)

Total time 72:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Lindahl / Mellotron, Fender Stratocaster, saz, zither, Spanish, western & 12-string guitars, bass, mandolin, santoor, piano, melodion, viola de gamba, Baroque flute, kena, soprano & alto recorders, daf, darbouka, tamboura, various percussion, synthesizers, samplers, programming, Fx, chorus, vocals and recitation
- Mikael Gejel / flute, bansurai, tenor recorder, Spanish guitar, bass, tamboura, percussion, synthesizers, samplers, harmony vocals, joik chanting
- Ulf Hansson / darbouka, Egyptian tabla
- Karin Langhard-Gejel / djembe, flute, harmony vocals

- Stefan Ottman / recitation (6)
- Helena Selander / angelic voice (10)
- Helena Bringner / chorus & vocal improvisation

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Lindahl

CD Ad Perpetuam Memoriam - APM 9613 AT (1996, Sweden)
CD Transubstans Records - TRANS068 (2012, Europe)

Digital album

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IN THE LABYRINTH The Garden Of Mysteries ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IN THE LABYRINTH The Garden Of Mysteries reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars IN THE LAYRINTH's "The Garden Of Mysteries" are the thirteenth release from the excellent Swedish label Ad Perpetuam Memoriam (APM). It was originally released as a cassette in 1994. With the CD-release of the album it has been re-mixed and re-mastered. Besides the songs from the original cassette release there are 9 bonus tracks included, making the total playing time +74 minutes.

"The Garden Of Mysteries" is a beautiful, dark, mostly instrumental, meditative and mysterious album with beautiful and strong melodies. It's hard to categorise the music. Imagine a mix between folk and world music from all around the world: Africa, Arabia, Asia, Balkan, Egypt, India, Scandinavia, Spain and Turkey combined with Ambient, Classical, experimental, psychedelic and New Age Music in a Progressive & Symphonic Rock packaging. There are plenty of odd instruments used, approximately 25 different ones, and they're all very important for the final result. There are some small reminiscences to Peter GABRIEL, GENESIS, BO HANSSON, ISILDURS BANE and OZRIC TENTACLES.

The band's multi-instrumentalist Peter Lindahl painted the beautiful front cover, and it creates an atmosphere for the entire album. "The Garden Of Mysteries" is one of the best Swedish albums of 1996. Highly recommended!

Review by Proghead
3 stars Swedish band that often gets mistakened for a prog rock band. The reason for that was this album was released on the now-defunct APM (Ad Perpetuam Memoriam) label. But actually, their music is world music. Their music, for the most part, tended more towards Middle Eastern and Scandinavian styles. They used modern instruments (guitars, synthesizers, drums, and oddly, they even use some Mellotron), as well as lots of exotic instruments (many Middle Eastern and North African, as well as archic instruments from the RENAISSANCE) such as saz, santoor, rebec, sitar, zither, etc.

"The Garden of Mysteries" was apparently released on cassette only in 1994, but when APM got a hold of it in 1996 for a CD release, they included a bunch of extra cuts. The band did a lot of travelling, especially in Egypt. They were obviously fascinated with the sounds of the area, and were able to pick up many exotic instruments (that reads like it came off the Larks in the Morning catalog). As close to prog they sound, is the occasional time they sound like a mellow version of OZRIC TENTACLES (but don't expect intense, mindblowing guitar excursions, and tons of minblowing spacy synthesizers like you do with the OZRICS). The CD also comes with some nice, Nordic influenced artwork (that looks like it should belong on a Bo HANSSON album). Interesting album, regardless if it's prog or not.

Also of note, was the band was to record a followup to "The Garden of Mysteries" for APM, it was to be entitled "Lord of the Mushrooms", but because the label was under financial strains that caused it to go under, the album was never released (I should know, when APM's website used to exist, they advertised for that album, even if it never saw the light of day), in fact they had to find a new label and get a new album released (with a new title).

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is an artist I ran across in the midst of a Google frenzy researching a completely unrelated band. This is a rare review of an album I don’t own (yet), but I felt it was worth commenting on. The album is apparently out-of-print, and in fact I wasn’t able to find it listed in any catalogs or on-line sites I’m aware of, but there are some used copies floating around.

In any case, that doesn’t take away from the very positive experience most prog fans will likely have listening to this (assuming they can find it). This isn’t really a band per se; it’s more like a group of acquaintances with similar musical interests who collaborate with Peter Lindahl to produce the occasional offering. Lindahl, in addition to playing a ton of instruments and mixing the album, also appears to be the guy who owns most of the recording equipment. So I guess that means he gets to call the shots. The gnome-like creature on the album cover was painted by him too. In poking around the web I see there are at least three representations of this drawing, try and find them yourself and see if you can spot the differences!

There are strong world-music sensibilities to this album, but don't get the impression that it should be lumped in with Irish drinking songs and African percussion bands and Russian folk tunes and all the other world music CDs in the dusty bins at the public library. It’s a bit more than that. Lindahl and friends apparently have a longstanding interest in several musical styles, many Middle Eastern, and most of which are evident in both the song titles and the music itself. There are Turkish, Indian, and even Mediterranean sounds aplenty, particularly in the rhythms and percussion, but also at times the arrangements swell to a bit of a pompous mood, almost Baroque-like (and of course totally appropriate for any self-respecting progressive work).

The whole album is an extended exploration of represented in the mystical and exotic garden, sort of a slightly Eastern-influenced Alice in Wonderland, I suppose. There are very few vocals actually, so much is left to the imagination.

Overall this is a very strong, mostly instrumental album with several beautiful arrangements that combine all manner of ethnic instruments with modern rock ones (just electric guitar and bass really); plenty of synthesized sounds and mellotron (with numerous different flute sounds); languid tempos; and lots and lots of percussion. Fans of world music, middle-eastern traditional sounds, and even ‘tron fans will more than likely appreciate this album.

No particular tracks stand out (all of them are very good), but a couple are worth mentioning. “Monsoon” with its moody flute and wistful piano accented by humming female backing vocals and a sole electric guitar is a strong track. This would be great to listen to on a rainy spring afternoon (and someone please tell me where that piano sequence came from, because I know for a fact I’ve heard it before somewhere). “Aral” is mostly synthesized strings and quite a bit different than most of the rest of the album, but does a great job of creating that spacey mood like the still in a storm that brings with it an air of expectation, and really captures one’s attention; and “Ya Qadar” – if you like middle-eastern drums and percussion, this one will really get your feet and hands working.

I’m not totally sure what to make of these guys, but I liked this album enough that I'm purchasing the other two, which can still be found on the artist's web site. I’ve never heard much else quite like these guys, and am looking forward to hearing more. A highly recommended album if you like instrumental music, mellotron, loads of exotic percussion and ethnic instruments, and are willing to get lost inside the mood of an album for an hour or so. Four stars.


Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One common trait specific to Prog is the word "trip" , which of course was coined by Timothy Leary and his Moody Blues influenced LSD philosophy. History and Geography have also been a huge source of inspiration for many progressive orchestras throughout the globe, due to the universality of transcending borders and barriers. Hence, our Swedish voyager guides us fellow travellers on this sonic transporter, through stupendous glimpses from all corners of our planet. In lieu of pasports and visas, we are processed via a litteral arsenal of vintage (yes, we do have a mellotron) and modern instruments , an Oldfieldian menu of gargantuan proportions. Departing from the lofty Gates of Andorra, we soar over the torrid Andalucian countryside , veering into the stark Saharan landscape, leaping into the Holy Land , up through Turkey and the submerged ancient city of Kekova, enduring the blistering monsoons of Siam , swerving into the harsh central Asian plains , to finally unwind and land back in Sweden, exhausted and smack in the middle of a Scandinavian shamanic ritual! Phew!! Sweat is dripping into my keyboard! Now, that's what I call a "trip" , a rather ingenious term to describe this musical maze, even when listened to as a backdrop, one cannot help imagining scenes of luxuriant epochs and dreaming of constant adventure. This is not World or New Age music by any stretch . Just another example of how far Prog can stretch the musical envelope. 4 open tickets
Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Escaping IKEA

Have you ever wandered around the city at night, and suddenly had a taxi drive by you with wide open windows - attacking you with strange Arabian music flowing right into the streets? Whenever I put this album on, that's what I imagine - that's where my thoughts go. To those wonderful, kind, proud and hard working taxi drivers who talk like machine guns and do their very best to introduce you to the music of their homeland. I've had countless of fares going home from a night out on the town, maybe not the most sober dude, but having a terrific time with my newly found friend for the hour - bobbing my head back and forth to some enchanting desert cobra music.

Just like the previous review I did, this one also takes its inspiration from far far away - far away from the wet and windy Swedish north, juggling all kinds of Arabian, African and Persian flavours whilst still infusing everything with something that I'll get back to a little later. -And yes I'm continuing on my Swedish diet here. My neighbours are worth it trust me on this.

The guy behind this experiment is named Peter Lindahl. The reason I'm calling this an experiment is that nobody - and I mean nobody had attempted to immerse themselves completely in this kind of music before - and then releasing it like a proper album for the casual music fan in Scandinavia - well at least not a native white guy! I'm sure there are many people from all around the world who have been successful in getting albums printed in Scandinavia on the basis of a waiting public - no doubt, but everyone featured on this outing is from Sweden. No introduced spices, and still you'd be hard pressed to put your finger on anything sounding out of place in regards to authentic Arabian or Persian music. It all comes across like revamped Middle-Eastern music gently streaming out of your local taxi cab.

Lindahl plays a wide variety of instruments, and maybe that is something of an understatement on my behalf, because this dude is up there with Mike Oldfield. Wow! Let me just run you through what he gets his filthy hands on through this highly infatuating musical caravan: Mellotron, Fender Statocaster, Saz, Zither, Spanish, western & twelvestring guitars, Bass, Mandolin, Santoor, Piano, Melodion (modified ockarina), Viola de gamba, Baroque travérs-flute, Kena, Soprano & Alto recorders, Daf, Darbouka, Tamboura, Various percussion, Synthesizers, Samplers, Soundeffects & Programming, Chorus, Vocals and Recitation. Pheewi! Everything he touches sounds well versed and true, and this is coming from a guy who grew up with loads of friends from places such as Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia. One of my best friends who incidentally also turned me onto the drums was from Senegal - he taught me a great deal about this kind of music - the different tonalities it sported as opposed to those beats we are taught here in the cold North. And this album still sounds very much in tune with what the music down there is all about - it's just trying to do something different here. Trying to be ethereal and anti-grounded, even if the instruments are terrifyingly wooden in textures and heavily rooted in the soil. It takes a brilliant musician to change the feel of an instrument - making the drums fly instead of what they usually are - earth bound and rustic.

What makes this album pop and stand out - and ultimately also crosses the line into something the ordinary prog head might enjoy, is the way everything is gift wrapped here. Let me tell you about the paper here, because that's what caught my attention almost immediately. Clean ethereal flutes handled with care sounding like a mish mash of dolphin song and pan flute. Abstract soundscaping synths slowly forming underneath everything like had the earth turned into a sonic version of coca cola. Soulful weeping electric guitar interludes. Beautiful lingering violin sections with nods toward the greener pastures of Ireland - maybe spliced up with a tiny dash of doom. Other times the music turns evil psychedelic - approaching early Floyd tracks like Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - reaching out of its own sarcophagus with rotting arms grabbing a hold of you with Egyptian flare and seduction. Then in the heat of the moment we are treated to a female voice stepping out of the pyramid with soaring whispers - tales of flight and the golden Horus.

This is as close as you'll ever get to the real deal, but then again those treacherous flickering pulsating synths do take you places far away from your everyday Nile swim. There are so much going on in terms of mixing different cultures here, but the overall ambiance of Middle-Eastern, African, Arabian instrumentation all mixed together with psychedelic oscillations and folk twists from the North - still manages to sound together. One could easily imagine this experiment winding up as a dish with far too many ingredients, and personally I must say that I do tend to go for the naive and straight forward in terms of instrumentation, but here the end product is just tantalizingly fantastic. The trips down to Congo, the Nile delta and pyramids all through the 3 or 4 minutes of one single track, is to me worth the prize of admition alone. So if you're thirsty for the world and all of it's bountiful fruits, tapestries and alluring rhythms, you can go there without a passport just by purchasing this little remarkable gem.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In the Labyrinth's story dates back in 1980, when multi-instrumentalist Peter Lindahl along with Mikael Gejel and Ulf Hansson formed a project entitled ''Aladdin's Lantern'', performing some sort of Middle Eastern-influenced Folk music, containing both original tracks and covers of traditional pieces.Their shows included even belly dancers, but Aladdin's Lantern was mainly a part time band.In early 90's they decided to promote the project to a full-time band, initially changing their name to Labyrinth and eventually to In The Labyrinth.They released the cassette ''The Garden of Mysteries'' in 1994, which saw a CD re-issue two years later on the obscure Swedish label Ad Perpetuam Memoriam with two bonus tracks.

Their style has not changed much regarding their early years, it is some sort of Psychedelic Folk Rock with emphasis on the folky than the rocking side of things.The musicianship is almost entirely based on the traditional instruments/keyboards combination with sporadic vocals.I can hear a variety of different influences, the majority of the tracks have evident Middle Eastern influences ( easily recognizable also through the title tracks) and instrumentation but I can detect also strong hints of Latin and Byzantine music throughout.The wide variety of acoustic instruments, string arrangements and wind instrumental jams deliver trippy psychedelic soundscapes in a contemporary way and all tracks are guided by the ethnic fundamentals with the the piano, synthesizers and effects having a back-up role, adding some sort of grandiose atmosphere to the compositions.A few cuts contain also some electric guitars in a second role and leading keyboards to offer a richer and more demanding sound.The real problem of the album is the similarity between the soundscapes with all tracks attending simultaneously to offer a steady soundscape, but ending up to be too much of the same.If the album was cut to half it would be definitely more interesting, ''The Garden of Mysteries'' tends to be rather boring on the way with 74 minutes of largely instrumental folk music being too much to handle.

Certainly a great addition to a die-hard fan of ethnic soundscapes, trippy Folk music and traditional instruments, but a bit too light and monotonous for the rest.Approach after listening to some samples first.More recently the album has been released by Transubstans Records...2.5 stars.

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