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Herd Of Instinct

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Herd Of Instinct Conjure album cover
3.84 | 119 ratings | 6 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Praxis (5:14)
2. Dead Leaf Echo (3:18)
3. Brutality Of Fact (3:17)
4. Alice Krige Pt.1 (5:54)
5. Solitude One (4:25)
6. Ravenwood (3:27)
7. Mother Night (4:23)
8. Vargtimmen (4:59)
9. Malise (3:15)
10. New Lands (4:12)
11. A Sense Of An Ending (5:30)
12. The Secret Of Fire (5:16)

Total Time: 53:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Cook / electric & Warr guitars, fretless bass, programming
- Mike Davidson / guitars (electric, synth & 12-string acoustic)
- Gayle Ellett / Moog, Mellotron, Hammond organ, Rhodes, dilruba
- Jason Spradlin / drums, programming

- Bob Fisher / flute (1,4)
- Joe Blair / lap steel guitar (4)
- Joel Adair / trumpet (4)
- Lisa Lazo / keyboards (5)
- Colin Edwin / fretless bass (1, 11)

Releases information

CD Firepool Records ‎- FR004 (2013, US)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HERD OF INSTINCT Conjure ratings distribution

(119 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

HERD OF INSTINCT Conjure reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Herd of Instinct combines the essence of experimental progressive with obvious recent King Crimson overtones, mixed in with the instrumental creativity of Djam Karet, a legendary US band that has musician Gayle Ellett handling the mellotron and synths. The music is dense, brooding and adventurous, nicely expanding the soundscapes of conventional prog. Essentially a quartet of Mark Cook (Warr guitar, guitars and basses), Jason Spradlin on drums, guitarist Mike Davison and the afore mentioned Ellett, the band has continued its usage of hired guns to perform on various cuts, just like they did on their debut album. The most prominent here is Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin who injects his fretless rumble on a couple of tracks, namely the terrific opener 'Praxis' where the fluid low-end combines nicely with some 'bicycle' guitar motifs a la Fripp, dense ivory atmospherics and solid beats.

The tracks are rather short, mostly between 3 and 6 minutes, which gives an immediate sense of freshness and breath, even though the delivery is rapid-fire and frenetic. The flow of expressive musical ideas certainly provide a sense of direction but this is most definitely an athletic yet musical display of masterful chops with great attention to avoid overtly technical exuberations, sticking to the mind-music philosophy of this interesting band. All tracks are standout pieces of glorious music, a dab of flute here, some trumpet there, pulsating rhythms and deadly soloing.

On 'Alice Krige Part 1' the music gets really spacy and ethereal, firmly anchored in stunning reverie and sonic anticipation, while the magical 'Solitude One' offers some sultry Middle Eastern motifs mixed in with almost electronic beats, a trick that doesn't often work but here it's just plain genial because of the solid percussion work and the dissonant sand storm- like guitar. Herd of Instinct actually deliver a fascinating instrumental ballad on 'Mother Night', with howling mellotrons, nuclear drumming, rollicking bass patterns and shifting contrasts between splendor and palpitation. The serene synth 'led chorus is melancholic to the hilt, a total success story! I mean, WOW! 'Vargtimmen' has Nordic glacial overtones, frozen bergs of mellotron sprawling among the lapping North Sea waves, reverberating bass buoys bobbing frantically amid the crazy guitar sinews, something any progfan would relate to. There is a definite hint of Anekdoten within the grooves. 'New Lands' inquire about more Floydian scapes, with a scratchy guitar barrage, pummeling bass and some sweltering axe solos, while Colin Edwin does a return cameo on the moody 'A Sense of Ending', once again showcasing his fretless magic. If you are fan of the bass like yours truly, you will not be disappointed, the deft finger play is simply staggering! The disc ends with the volcanic 'The Secret of Fire', a spewing musical volcano of sheer delight, showcasing the shifting electric guitar in a most psychedelic spotlight, a tremendous finale!

Moshkito correctly stated that this is highly innovative and futuristic progressive rock, I cannot agree more as the crisp production only highlights the modern feel of the musicianship. Sensational background music but also dense enough for the critical headphone sonic surgeon, there is a lot to admire and enjoy from these new pioneers. Definitely a revelation that will surprise many a skeptic, Herd of Instinct is an avalanche of beastly intentions, set to trample mercilessly every clich' set in its rampaging path. Great artwork to boot!

5 invocations

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Herd of Instinct's "Conjure" is an instrumental album with some heavy guitars and embellishments of flute, trumpet, fretless bass, Hammond, Moog and Mellotron and some killer drums. Immediately one will recognise heavy influences of King Crimson, especially on the polyphonic time signatures of 'Brutality of Fact', even feeling at one point like guitarist Mike Davison is channelling Robert Fripp.

This leads to the spacier effects on 'Alice Krige Pt.1 ' with a haunting guitar sounding violin style, punctuated by African rhythms and sweeping keyboards. Joel Adair's trumpet is otherworldly and adds a genuine feeling of isolation and shrouds the nocturnal atmosphere. The flute further enhances the soundscape played beautifully by Bob Fisher; a mesmerising track.

'Solitude One' continues the ambient sound, with backwards keys and an Egyptian or Arabic flavour resounding; an incredible atmosphere. Another great track is 'Mother Night' utilising the fretless bass well and swathes of synths that transfix with their beauteous melodies. 'Vargtimmen' has a short narrative then locks into pronounced Crimsonian guitar phrases and grandiose synth lines. 'Malise' is more King Crimson sounds that have a dissonant aroma until breaking into frenetic tom tom percussion and blasts of guitar distortion. There is a heavier feel on 'New Lands' with a driving fast tempo and more aggressive guitar expulsions. The lead break is dynamic and frenetic.

'A Sense of an Ending' slows things down to a simmering keyboard and bold fretless bassline notations. The effervescent keyboard phrases are coupled by guitar glissando and some distorted off beat rhythms. 'The Secret of Fire' closes things off with glistening key pads and phased lead guitar over a relentless bass and drum signature. The melody is more upbeat and it ends with an improvisation of sustained lead and ethereal synth. It is a wonderful journey and one of the better instrumental albums out there.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US foursome HERD OF INSTINCT was formed in 2007, and following four years of work with a number of guest musicians helping out they released their self-titled debut album in 2011. "Conjure" is their sophomore production, and was released through Djam Karet's indie label Firepool Records in 2013.

If you have a taste for instrumental rock that resides within the more demanding parts of the progressive rock universe, Herd Of Instinct is a band that merits an inspection. Structurally complex material using electronic effects and metal inspired details in a framework defined by Frippian inspired guitar details, and I'd recommend this band to fans of early 80's King Crimson and classic Djam Karet, especially those amongst them with a taste for artists such as Ozric Tentacles.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Herd of Instinct is a quite intresting band from newer generation of prog bands. Conjure is the second offer from 2013 and I might confess I was both delighted by some piecesd and bored to death by others. Definetly the sound is something between heavier section a la Kind Crimson with electronic experimental arrangements, jazzy moments, avant prog escapades, a real mix bag here. Dead Leaf Echo or New lands are definetly solid, but when the music beggins to be very avant and experimental with electronic keyboards and abient sounds then something is not right for my ears like Solitude one or A Sense of an Ending. Overall decent I might say, almost half of the album is great the rest is boring to death. 3 stars is best I can give and btw strange art work like the music aswell.

Latest members reviews

5 stars There is nothing routine happening on this jewel. Conjure crosses fine red musical lines as the surreal cover concept implies and the listener is never ready for where or when each composition is going to decide to end. Certainly nothing verse / chorus / verse about this Frankenstein. Dark my ... (read more)

Report this review (#974647) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Sunday, June 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars We are always on the look out for the next ... progressive music ... something or other ... and somehow, it seems like it never arrives ... and we can never find it. And sometimes our searches take us to the usual things ... that we have heard before, and they don't excite you anymore, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#898793) | Posted by moshkito | Thursday, January 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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