Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Psychedelic Ensemble


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Psychedelic Ensemble The Tale Of The Golden King album cover
3.98 | 268 ratings | 11 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture-Our Great Kingdom (7:23)
2. The Prophecy Of The Seer-The Transformation Of The King (6:02)
3. The Golden King (9:33)
4. Captive Days (4:11)
5. The Queen Of Sorrow (8:22)
6. Save Yourself (6:09)
7. Make A Plan-Golden Swords (7:00)
8. The Battle (4:15)
9. Great Day (7:35)
10. Finale-Arise!-Great Kingdom (11:41)

Total Time 72:11

Line-up / Musicians

- anonymous / vocals, instruments, composer, arrangements & orchestration, producer

- Ann Caren / lead (5,9) & backing vocals
- "C Francis" / falsetto voice
- The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra
- Jonathan Roberts / conductor
- Amanda Smith Roberts / violin, concertmaster
- Kurt Fowler / cello solo (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Yimin Li

CD Glowing Sky Records ‎- GSR-TGK-07 (2013, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Tale Of The Golden King Music

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Tale Of The Golden King ratings distribution

(268 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Tale Of The Golden King reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars He's done it again, folks! TPE has created another masterpiece of progressive rock--this time a "prog rock drama" telling an original story synthesized from medieval sleeping hero and mountain king legends, The Tale of The Golden King. A benevolent, Arthurian-like king is rewarded by the gods by being turned into a gold statue with the attached promise to his sad reverent subjects: When the time comes your king will return. The Great King's disappearance results, of course, in the invasion of a greedy and oppressive lot, "The Henchmen." Fear and despair fall upon the citizens until finally a revolt is planned--with the ensuing battle, victory and celebration. The "return" of The Great King, however, is not as one would expect, which is the clever twist in this allegory for a new age. Musically, TPE has surpassed all previous work by not only expanding upon his multi- layered, multi-instrumental wizardry but also by exploring a broader variety of musical genres than previously--using more medieval and theatrical jazz instrumentation and themes. Also, TPE has expanded his horizons by incorporating orchestration in the form of The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra and guest vocalists, including the crystalline voice of Ann Caren for female leads and background vocals. And, as usual, the artwork of TPE's CD and booklet are breathtaking.

1. "Overture - Our Great Kingdom" (7:22) Opening with a Gong, a background note held by some Gregorian monks, and a wooden flute, and oboe, you just know this is going to be epic. Next, the acoustic guitar and lone synth present some themes that you'll hear a lot? followed by electric guitar with another theme. Shortly the whole band is in sync, multiple synths, electric guitar, and calmer-than-usual drums, the themes weaving together, "Hail, Great Kingdom" repeats the vocals in self-proclaimed glory. The classic TPE layers of multi- instrumental melody weaves, with numerous individual instruments taking turns to step into the spotlight to solo, even if ever-so briefly, is well-established by song's end. I've never heard any artist or band so clever and masterful at this multi-multi-instrument solo-weaving. The themes here, unfortunately, seem a bit too familiar--as if I've heard them in other TPE songs. (8/10)

2. "The Prophecy of The Seer - The Transformation of The King" (6:04) begins with a kind of midnight lull, a gentler, calmer feel to the music--as a messenger is presented to The King. At the one minute mark a RICHIE HAVENS-like voice enters as The Seer--and awesome and majestic is that voice! This whole section is quite magical and sophisticated. I have to admit that, for me, the sound and presence of even more guest vocalists would be a welcome addition to the TPE sound. The break-neck speed and awesome guitar and synth soloing of the fourth minute are big highlights of this one. It's a very ELP-sounding section. Awesome! At 4:40 an eerie church organ provides background to the proclamation of The Gods as, all the while, the band of subjects tries to intersperse with some of its themes as if to convey a sense of normalcy, while actually expressing denial and an unwillingness to hear the prophecy and "curse." Great theater. Awesome song! (10/10)

3. "The Golden King" (9:24) opens with a return to orchestral presentation while TPE instruments singly interject themes and voices. As the song takes full form around 2:15, an absolutely gorgeous and infectious melody and vocal presentation is opened and developed?all occurring with a full and very intricate weave of endlessly soloing multi- instruments dancing and sparring in the background. Awesome bass lines throughout this one, too. Incredible guitar solo initiated at the five minute mark, which is then masterfully tied into the main themes before decaying into a gorgeous piano-based section before returning to the main vocal theme. At 7:45 the 'rock' sounds and themes of the song stop, making way for a gorgeous orchestral section, led by a beautiful flute solo. Gradually the orchestra builds around the flute's melody, crescendoing as an electric guitar caps off the celebration of this theme. This song is definitely the high point, musically, of the album for me. (10/10)

4. "Captive Days" (4:12) is an instrumental that begins with a wonderful almost-pensive medieval sound and feel. It evolves by the second minute into what sounds like a kind of Broadway jazz dance scene--Bob Fosse would've had some awesome choreography to this piece. Pianos, brushed drums, big orchestral accents. The congas and fretless bass rising to the forefront in the third minute are a nice touch. (9/10)

5. "The Queen of Sorrow" (8:22) opens with a solo lute before piano, acoustic guitar, distant drums and some orchestral background break out to support the crystalline and angelic if melancholy voice of the Queen of Sorrow, the wonderful Ann Caren. The syncopated background piano chord play is a highlight for me in this song. At 3:45 there is a shift in the music to a kind of clandestine, hidden and very eerie section in which odd Arabian horn-like instruments flit and float around behind The Queen's almost-whispered, fear-filled vocal. The ensuing instrumental solo section is very Keith Emerson/ELP-like. Cool! At the six minute mark the piano play, Queen's vocal and background vocal mix is extraordinary. Devolving with support of cello into the final 100 seconds of orchestral supported medieval sounds while The Queen once more states her case. (9/10)

6. "Save Yourself" (6:10) opens with some mood-setting sound eerie sounds-like we're in the catacombs beneath Paris. The music enters with some jazzy popping, fretless bass and jazz-styled drumming. Great vocal melody is supported by some synths, organ, and twangy electric guitar. Great section! Great organ sound and solo at the two minute mark. This is so fun! The follow-up guitar solo is also vintage early 70s jazz fusion guitar--like Steve Khan or Larry Coryell. The bass solo shortly after the four-minute mark once again reminds me of what a bass virtuoso is TPE. Electric piano and fuzzy guitar finish the soloing as we get back to the story with this excellent vocal and haunting melody. (10/10)

7. "Make A Plan?Golden Swords" (7:10) opens with a bluesy feel: electric guitar filling a large-room sound and a kind of blues-styled vocal intro. Soon the usual cast of synth characters noodle their way in, though organ, bluesy piano, and fuzz guitar seem to be the constant sounds threading this weave. The drums are, thankfully somewhat muted and mixed in the background for in the third and fourth minutes their rapid fire gattling gun sound gets a little overwhelming and distracting form me. The vocal performance of the wise elder, The Court Blacksmith, could have used, in my opinion, a different voice or style--if only to help convey that wisdom that has supposedly earned the respect--and ears--of the rest of the kingdom. (7/10)

8. "The Battle" (4:16) is an instrumental that uses some interesting sound and rhythmical constructs to convey the march into and conflict--there is a definite sense of confidence and insistence conveyed through this music. And with many underlying and tangential sounds strings moving around, behind and from within the main music, it has the very cool effect of evoking the minor skirmishes that invariably occur within and at the edges of a battle. The ghost-like synth floating background is also an ingenious tool which serves to convey the fog-like precariousness of the conflict and the tide-like ebb and flow of the potential outcome. (10/10)

9. "This Great Day" (7:35) opens with some relaxing pastoral acoustic guitar play--joined shortly by a strumming 12-string and a flute-synth. The Queen's voice enters with a melody that harkens back to Jon Anderson's classic solo "Your Move" section near the beginning of "I've Seen All Good People." As a matter of fact, the entire first two minutes is quite strong in its evocation of YES: "Your Move," "Wond'rous Stories," Wakeman. Then a very cool electric guitar solo takes over, bridging out way to music with a kind of celebratory mood. Here some multi-level, rondo-like vocal harmonies are used to great effect--as is the continued use to the kind of country twang-and-delayed electric guitar. Synths, piano, and guitars go into a kind of collective game of hot potato--each taking turns to burst forth a brief solo. The song finishes with a brief return to the opening YES theme with a collective harmonized chorus, "Yesterday is gone, it's through, The past has flown away. All you thought and all you knew, Have turned the other way. This Great Day!" (9/10)

10. "Finale - Arise! - Great Kingdon" (11:39) opens with "celebrate the dawn"-like music as presented by The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra. Beautiful recapitulating weave of the album's themes. With the third minute comes a modified reprise of the "Great Day" mixed with the medieval instrumentation of "Captive Days." The singing is quite celebratory--apparently the prophecy has been fulfilled-not in the expected form of the King arising from the dead/gold-preserved form, but, rather, the Kingdom has arisen--using the very gold of the statue of the Great King to forge their weapons of rebellion and victory. This song is replete with layers of recapitulated themes and instrumental ejaculates all morphing in a seemingly constant and unending mobius strip weave. Cool if perhaps a bit drawn out. (9/10)

If I've ever had any complaints with TPE's music it would be in the drum sound (particularly one tom-tom that is often used over-exuberantly a la Keith Moon), the drumming style (snares and toms used to mirror exactly the flash-speeded keyboard and guitar soloists) and the vocals. With The Tale of The Golden King both have been improved wonderfully. The drumming employs a greater variety of drumming sounds (and is mixed further back into the middle of the soundscapes) and nice mix of styles (brushes and jazz styles, to be exact), and less frenetic tom-tomming. The vocals have been improved with the use of other vocalists (particularly the wonderful voices of the Richie Havens-like "C. Francis" and The Queen of Sorrow, Ann Caren) and through the use of much more intricately layered and dispersed background and harmony vocals. I am also quite pleased to hear a broader spectrum of musical influences and sound styles: the increased use of piano and the jazzier rhythm sections are employed quite nicely, and, of course, the presence of The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra is a wonderful and quite welcome addition. (More, please!)

The story of The Golden King--supposedly "a true story invented by The Psychedelic Ensemble" and "based on medieval sleeping hero and mountain king legends"--is a bit simple and somewhat predictable, but these are the kind of mythological tales that are popular in the mainstream (witness: The Lord of the Rings/Hobbbit, Game of Thrones, and Hunger Games movies). While I love an allegorical concept album, this one, in my humble opinion, falls a bit short. Lyrically there is a bit too much repetition and something too cliche in many of the phrases used. Plus, the word choice is just missing something . . . something from the realms of dark mystery and poetic creativity.

I really enjoyed experiencing the greater variety of musical styles and vocal and instrumental choices (including those of the wonderful Ann Caren and of TPE orchestra) used in this album. It's always quite ambitious to undertake A) a concept album and B) one which tries to tell an epic or mythological tale--especially if this tale is trying to convey a social-political message. I wonder if the Great King is a metaphor for American Democracy or one of The United States' iconic Presidents (Washington? Lincoln? Kennedy? The hyped- and hoped- for Barack Obama?). Is the tale presenting the theory of possibilities for a society's potential to realize its release and freedom from bondage and darkness through taking the power of democracy back into our own hands and fighting as a people, tooth and nail, with the golden essence of that democratic ideal--that we might realize that the true power of our democratic ideal was not in the idolized word and fear-inducing and disempowering form our government but in the action of our own hearts and hands? I wonder.

TPE's unique multi-layered multi-instrumental sonic weave and sophisticated composition skill always make for a listening experience that I HIGHLY recommend for all music and prog lovers. The music TPE creates is fascinating, creative, and intricately worked--and masterfully performed. Check it out!

Another masterpiece of music that is difficult to compare and categorize and yet awe-some to behold.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Well it's a privilge to review THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE's latest work called "The Tale Of The Golden King". Like their last record this is a concept album and we get lots of synths and that YES- like flavour that pops up once in a while. This is a long one at just over 72 minutes but it's a pretty cool fairy tale that takes us back in time.

"Overture-Our Great Kingdom" opens in an epic manner with lots of atmosphere and orchestration. A minute in picked guitar and flute add to the drama. Synths and drums follow as the vocals join in singing about the benevolent king and his great knigdom. Some nice guitar before 3 minutes. A change follows as it becomes more serious. They really let it rip at times the rest of the way. It blends into "The Prophecy Of The Seer-The Transformation Of The Knig" as things settle right down. Beautiful sounding acoustic instruments lead the way as vocals and harmonies follow. An interesting blend here of dramatics and tranquility. Keyboards and drums then lead as the vocals stop. Nice guitar solo too around 3 minutes in. Quite the uptempo instrumental display at times on this one. "The Golden King" opens in a melancholic manner with orchestration. A change before 2 minutes as the synths lead the way and then the vocals join in. An excellent instrumental section comes in after 4 minutes before the vocals return then more instrumental prowess as the guitar takes the lead. Lots of piano around 6 minutes as the vocals return. A change before 8 minutes as melancholic sounds end it. Good song. "Captive Days" is piano and synths mostly early on. I like the intricate and impressive drumming that joins in.

"The Queen Of Sorrow" with that acoustic guitar and instrumental sound really brings the days of knights and castles to mind. Female vocals become the focus in this melancholic tune. Gilmour-like guitar before 3 minutes then that orchestral vibe returns. Some cool atmosphere after 3 1/2 minutes as it becomes darker. The mood brightens 5 minutes in as we get an instrumental attack of sorts. Mellow with vocals again before 6 minutes. "Save Yourself" opens in a creepy manner with various sounds coming and going including voices. It picks up with male vocals before a minute. Kind of a jazzy vibe going on here. Some soaring guitar leads follow. Everything is so intricate after 4 minutes, I enjoy just listening to these guys play. Vocals are back late. "Make A Plan-Golden Swords" sounds really interesting with the atmosphere and vocals early on. A melancholic piece that is almost bluesy. Check out the instrumental display after 5 minutes as it picks up. The guitar is grinding away here. The organ then leads. "The Battle" is an excellent tune that's a little heavier with guitar front and center. What an instrumental display ! "Great Day" brings back the female vocals as we get an uplifting mood. Even the instrumental section is about celebrating. "Finale-Arise!-Great Kingdom" ends the story with the longest tune yet at close to 12 minutes. Lots of orchestration early on then the guitar comes in. It settles with vocals after 2 minutes. Again the mood is a happy one. Love the instrumental work before 4 1/2 minutes. The vocals will come and go contrasted with those uptempo instrumental outbursts.

This actually brought back memories of when I first got into Prog and really jumped into the Neo-Prog genre. Good memories. And while concept albums with orchecstration that play over 70 minutes usually don't do it for me, this recording certainly pushed some of the right buttons as I have to give it 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
5 stars I hadn't been too big on the last Psychedelic Ensemble album I'd heard - The Myth of Dying - but here on The Tale of the Golden King they show a vast level of musical growth and transformation. A concept album revolving around the story of a king transfigured into a golden statue, and how later generations in the kingdom make ingenious use of the statue to win a battle against tyrannous forces, the band manage to dip into the styles of a range of prog acts of the past. For instance, there's a really good Emerson, Lake and Palmer-styled bit there which reminds me of the best of Tarkus-era ELP, and a bit later on which sounds uncannily like Close to the Edge-era Yes.

The really neat thing they accomplish, though, is having the music of the album flows smoothly from section to section, so the dipping into the styles of past bands don't feel artificial or forced - they arise naturally from the direction of the overall composition, and so they feel much less gratuitous than they otherwise might. This puts the Ensemble well ahead of much of the retro- prog crowd, and it's excellent stuff.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Psychedelic Ensemble continues on its anonymous path, creating mystifying progressive rock that blurs the line between the two perennial boogeymen genres that seem often being at odds with another, a Symphonic prog base with occasional flickers of Neo. On one hand you have the gigantic synthesizer fireworks, trebly bass rumbles that recall the Squire, screaming organ flurries and breakneck speedy drum fills. On the other, lead vocals that harken back to more Gentle Giant- friendly themes, using a variety of male and female vocalists to huge effect. It's a New York kind of album, everything going on together and separately, various layers and absolute density, hectic, urban and totally overblown. TPE also throws in a full manned orchestra, thoroughly bombastic and hyperactive a la ELP. If there ever was a prog multi-genre buffet, TPE would be both the flag bearer and the torch carrier!

There is more soloing on the opening track, "Overture-Our Great Kingdom" than on many entire albums by other, less exuberant artists. Love it when American musicians get all stitched up with monarchy, kings, knights and damsels and such other regal accouterments. The story line parallels the classic King Midas story, a ruler with a golden touch that ultimately spells his doom. There is also some strong retro flashbacks to Wakeman's early albums (The 6 Wives of Henry VIII and Myths & Legends).

"The Prophecy of the Seer" provides a folk backdrop with pastoral acoustics, choir galore, whistling synthesizers that rekindle fond memories of Patrick Moraz and Manfred Mann. The contrasts between calm and hurricane are startling, again blurring the line between unbelievable technique and lush creativity. The acoustic guitar does a fluttering waltz between the Gentle Giant-like a capella vocal work, sensational lead vocals as well, all united within a strong melody. The rambling organ nods at the aggressive bass and they forge forward together in pummeling harmony. Screeching guitars only add zest to the fire as the sizzling synths erupt from the maelstrom. A sensational track, to say the least!

"The Golden King" twists, pirouettes and turns like some manic whirling dervish, lot of polyphonic sounds, multiple melodies colliding, interspaced with instrumental snippets that recall all the classic symphonic prog procedures. The Moraz-Mann synth bending is phenomenal, sonic butterflies that explode out of seemingly nowhere, in organized madness. There are obvious Yes tendencies in the details, some Genesis flavorings in the pastoral moments and even some ELP-like blowouts. Throw in The Enid-like big orchestrations as a finale and you get the idea!

On the short "Captive Days", the mood shifts into a more piano dominated etude, synths in pursuit as well as some colossal fretless bass and hard core drumming. Ann Caren's lovely voice adorns the velvety "Queen of Sorrows", a modern/medieval pop song if I ever heard one, buttered by some intricate instrumentation both acoustic and later, electric guitars being in fine form. String quartet, flutes, choir extracts and fortress echoes give the piece a prog sheen that impresses, as the maniacal synthesizers weave sophisticated patterns that bedevil and exalt. The lute-like shimmer is truly beguiling as Ann's vocal stresses her anguish even further.

The mood veers into jazzier terrain on the wispy "Save Yourself", bolstered by some exceptional organ work that recalls the legendary Brian Auger, smooth electric guitar in the Larry Coryell/Lee Ritenour mode and most of all, a nice wobbly bass solo that boggles the mind. What virtuosity! The piano and axe duel ferociously as if attending a classic Return to Forever blow out! Voices sounding like Kerry Minnear only add to the intense pleasure.

How about showing off some bluesy tendencies? "Make A Plan-Golden Swords" will take you into death-defying realms that has so many exit ramps, you forget what you are being driven in and as such, shows off the only TPE weakness that I keep detecting within all their albums, and that is a tendency to overdo and over-complicate the arrangements, verging too close to technical prowess displays (a personal pet peeve in prog and its Achilles heel in some cases). This tendency is sometimes brilliant and eagerly displayed on the bubbly "The Battle" which sounds a lot like ELP on speed. TPE does show off BUT here you really get the sense of a ferocious scuffle going on, bloodied synths slicing through the air, the bass chopping off limbs and the drums pummeling the walls like a battering ram, all combining to describe the confusion and despair of combat.

" The Great Day" returns to the classic Yes sound, the female voice recalling the elfin Anderson to the point of disbelief, pastoral quivering as the bright sunlit synths illuminate the arrangement , clanging Howe-like guitar licks (that country feel we all know), dizzying organ shuffles amid the trebly bass counterpoints and all is held together by Bruford-esque drumming. All that and yet it's the various voices that rule the roost, giving this a clear Fragile/CTTE/Going for the One feel.

The album ends with the aptly titled "The Finale-Arise", a cinemascope soundtrack-styled ending with dense orchestrations, encapsulating all the previous themes into one final hurrah. Frankly, this is a premise I am never too fond of, this reprise formula is never quite to my liking unless performed with unabashed insanity , like with Roxy Music's sublime "In Every dream Home a Heartache", throwing in a healthy dose of delirium! Unfortunately here, this kind of CV/résumé track just defeats the entire purpose. TPE could have kept this off an already very long album.

All in all, an entirely enjoyable release that will please prog fans of every stripe, which is perhaps the intended plan devised by the talented anonymous multi-instrumentalist behind the TPE. I personally would have preferred less Yes-isms and more atmospheric, less exuberant contributions. But that's just me.

4 Laurel wreathed Monarchs

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars US project THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE appeared more or less out of thin air back in 2009, and has since then been an active contributor to the progressive rock universe, fairly steadily recording and releasing new material. "The Tale of the Golden King" is the fourth full length studio production to be released under this moniker, and was commercially available from the fall of 2013.

"The Tale of the Golden King" comes across as an impressive production through and through. Excellent compositions, excellent musicianship, superbly assembled and with a quality production to boot. While it may not hold a universal appeal, this album should most certainly be of interest to those with an affection for symphonic progressive rock, and then most of all to those who cherish music of that kind made with a high degree of sophistication. A truly superb production, and just about as close to perfection as you can get in my point of view.

Review by Progulator
4 stars Two years ago I was taken by surprise when I first became introduced to The Psychedelic Ensemble (TPE) through the album The Dream of the Magic Jongleur. Upon interviewing TPE I found out about his next album in the works which would feature not only all the goodness that this one man mytery exhibits, but would raise the stakes even more by including an orchestral ensemble. Needless to say the expectations were high and I'm glad to say that high expectations were met by the new release, The Tale of the Golden King.

What perhaps pleases most about The Tale of the Golden King is that it is basically everything we already love about TPE with bigger sounds, grander orchestration, and more nuanced writing. The record kicks it off with "Overture: Our Great King," a piece that demonstrates stunning arrangements from the start, offering mysterious moods, dueling guitars and keys, and some of the best narrative vocals ever by way of the "Enter all who with to hear the tale" segment which presents some fantastic church organ and bells before diving into a nicely executed fugue. "The Prophecy of the Seer" offers great dialogue between principle and secondary vocals, a sort of call and response if you will. Additionally, the instrumentation on this piece is a real gem, with loads of acoustic instruments that are subtle yet powerful. The dreamlike section about two thirds into the piece is absolutely killer as the church organ presents descending patterns flanked by fluttering chord changes while blasting you with bursts of aggressive keyboards; one of the coolest moments on the album from where I'm sitting, and that's saying a lot.

Those who heard the sample tracks on TPE's webpage should be well aware of the glory of "The Golden King" and "Queen of Sorrow," some of the absolute highlights of the album. The former shows TPE taking full advantage of the orchestra to lay down a beautiful intro followed by and an epic, almost cinematic, outro. In between we see all the melodic phrasing, weaving synthesizers, solid groove, and catchy vocal lines which have become trademarks of TPE, all presented on a superb level. "Queen of Sorrow" shows itself to be a stand out track as well, this time due to the gorgeous vocals of Ann Caren who demonstrates vocal, angelic beauty this a sense of power and melancholy worthy of the title "Queen of Sorrow." Musically speaking, this, like "The Golden King" stands out at the top of this album, taking full advantage of piano, acoustic guitars, cello, and horns to create a distinctive atmosphere, particularly in the uber eerie middle section in Ann's voice takes on a ghostly whisper which is highlighted by echoing strings and fading voices before diving into an agressive array of guitar and key solos. To cap it off, TPE leads us toward a final verse and chorus which opts for orchestral arrangements to back up the main vocal lines, providing a somber and majestic ending to one of the strongest pieces on the record. In a word: breathtaking.

While the middle section just described was most definitely the highlight of the album for me, the rest of the album continues in the tradition of strong tunes. "Save Yourself" and "Make a Plan" constitute a perfect complimentary duo both in terms of music and lyrics, with "Save Yourself" offering funky, jazzy basslines, solid groove, and one of the catchiest choruses around, while "Make a Plan" does it up nicely with some fine bluesy vocals and organ, and an eventual shift into a storm of scorching guitar and keyboard solos, more of which can be found on the rhythmic instrumental storm known as "The Battle."

The closing track, "Finale: Arise, Great Kingdom" is determined to give us a grandiose closing to this wonderful tale. After opening with a fantastic, album encompassing orchestral arrangement, TPE launches us into a multi-layered vocal arrangement that recalls Yes in the most wonderful of ways, with a nicely added pastoral touch. I must also say that as so often I feel with TPE's music, I am impressed by the delicacy of instrument treatments on this piece, both on the lighter vocal sections as well as those that might conventionally be called more busy; we simply get what seems like an infinite number of instruments coming and going, but never feeling forced or like they're just making an appearance for the sake of it. Furthermore, unlike many artists' albums which seek to make grand use of motifs by merely rehashing themes in the most banal ways throughout the album, this finale truly weaves together the best melodies of the album while finely portraying the spirit of the complete work. Finally, I must put in a plug for the solo sections on this piece, particularly the one that starts as we approach the seven minute mark; they're remarkable, and capitalize not only on the treatment of leads and phrasing themselves, but are skillfully supported by the entire arrangement. After hearing the climactic closing of "Finale," I marvel at a piece which so well captures the essence of The Tale of the Golden King and sits among the strongest of songs that I've heard all year.

Just in case I have to spell it out more clearly, The Golden King is a remarkable album that should grab up some great attention for The Psychedelic Ensemble. While the last album was good, this one really went all out, demanding many a thorough listen due to its complex arrangement, variety, and skillful performances. In reality, The Tale of the Golden King takes everything I love about TPE, crafts them to near perfection, and still manages to give you more. There have been a number of brilliant albums that have come out this year, and I suspect there's still a few more to come, but as for mysel

Latest members reviews

5 stars Well - WELCOME ALL YE to THE CD of 2013, Yep - this has got to be the best release this year by a parsec or more I reckon. I have given this two spins and it's knocked the old skin off the prog rice pudding!! yep it most surely has! If you like your prog pudding richly sprinkled with moog runs a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1083035) | Posted by M27Barney | Thursday, November 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The anonymous multi-instrumentist artist beyond The Psychedelic Ensemble publishes his fourth album of pure symphonic rock concept, in which all subjects are bound to create a coherent narrative knot. The new album, full of a great dramatic spirit, is full of progressive proposals, both in form an ... (read more)

Report this review (#1070296) | Posted by cajapandora3 | Friday, November 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When I started to listen to this record I thought the singer was from Britain because he sung so nicely. The voice wasn't very unlike the singer's of Big Big Train of United Kingdom. This album seems to be a story of a king and a kingdom. The Psychedelic Ensemble is an anonymous one man band b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1062418) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Friday, October 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Without going into song-by-song detail (which seems nearly pointless with an album so seamlessly connected), it is safe to say that The Psychedelic Ensemble has added some new twists this time around to what is by now their signature sound. Specifically, this album has been augmented by the in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1059465) | Posted by ProgInterviews | Sunday, October 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars At last... Waiting for this piece of art... And arrived.. Yes at the first times PE was some kind of project of a multi composer and multi instrumentalists...that didn't have very good results. Some good and talented compositions ..but the recording sound and execution of music was quite r ... (read more)

Report this review (#1051507) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE "The Tale Of The Golden King"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.