The Psychedelic Ensemble


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The Psychedelic Ensemble The Tale Of The Golden King album cover
4.08 | 196 ratings | 10 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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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


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

The Psychedelic Ensemble: Anonymous - All Instruments
Ann Caren: Lead and Backing Vocals
The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra: Conducted by Jonathan Roberts

Releases information

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Tale Of The Golden King ratings distribution

(196 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE The Tale Of The Golden King reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

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.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#1071527) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 03, 2013

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.


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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1108352) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 05, 2014

Review by tszirmay
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


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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#1163251) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2014

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.


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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#1190143) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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 01, 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 02, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1045827) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Friday, September 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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