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Pymlico Guiding Light album cover
3.87 | 85 ratings | 4 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Day Out (3:52)
2. Sounds of the City (6:43)
3. The East Side (7:47)
4. Wanderlust (5:40)
5. Bobcat (6:28)
6. Piz Gloria (6:24)
7. Neptune (13:48)

Total Time 50:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Arild Brøter / drums, keyboards, acoustic guitar (5,7), composer, arranger, producer

- Vilde Badendyck Katralen / vocals (1,7)
- Mattias Krohn Nilsen / guitar (1)
- Geir- Anders Haugen / guitar (2,4,6,7)
- Mads Tvinnerheim Horn / guitar (3,6,7)
- Felix Martin / guitar (5)
- Øyvind Brøter / organ, keyboards, piano
- Knut Hillersøy / piano (3)
- Einar Næss Haugseth / electric piano & synthesizer (5)
- Julie Falkevik Tungevåg / piano (7)
- Ivan Mazuze / alto (1,3), tenor (5) & soprano (7) saxophones
- Even Kruse Skatrud / trombone (4)
- Axel Toreg Reite / bass
- Larry Salzman / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Colour Basement with Vilde Badendyck Katralen (photo)

CD Spider House Records ‎- SHRCD004 (2014, Norway)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PYMLICO Guiding Light Music

PYMLICO Guiding Light ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PYMLICO Guiding Light 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 I will not deceive anyone into thinking that I am an exclusive prog fan! Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry will always be my number 1 but I also deeply enjoy the John Foxx/Ultravox/Midge Ure style of cold sizzling electronica. Pymlico is a Norwegian prog band that combines progressive rock tendencies with a 'cool' sense of modernity, a synthesizer heaven with blazing melodies, thumping rhythmic drive and a clear and polished sound. Their 2 previous all-instrumental albums had a wondrous sense of adventure, the style that non-proggers would describe as 'video game music', a term perhaps meant to be only slightly derogatory but let's face it, it has helped sell an ocean liner load of games across the globe.

The spooky front cover does give one the creeps but its just an innocent tourist in a hoody, which may be lethal only in Miami, Florida, I guess .But the music within the artwork is sensational, highly atmospheric (the way I like my prog) and extraordinarily balanced between accessible and detailed. Truth is the content is highly charged and emotional, due in no small part to that mesmerizing saxophone. I often asked myself why Dick Parry did not get more credit for exfoliating Pink Floyd's deep psychedelic jungle and blowing so many passionately incredible strains into the stratosphere!

Pymlico is the brainchild of Arild Broter, a drummer for heavy rock band Lucifer Was displays a great rhythmic mastery as well as composing some sparkling cinematographic pieces that simply go beyond the norm. His beat is solid, the bass wielded by Axel Reite carves in sync, a great tandem between the two. Brother Oyvind Broter shoots off some celestial synthesizer streaks, as well divine piano, organ and e-piano. There are also two guitarists to fill in the sound, both Mads Horn and Stephan Hvinden show great chops, tones and textures that span a great many styles.

"Guiding Light" is way more homogeneous and free-flowing than their two first albums , which were more piece-oriented, showing a greater attention to detail and placement, each track flowing nicely into the next thrilling chapter, with a plethora of comfort moments , either a sharp chorus , a sizzling melody , often both within the same track. Needless to restate the playing is absolutely spot-on, a major prerequisite for instrumental-only prog. On "The Sounds of The City", the listener is rattled by the main synthesized air, the choppy rhythmic convulsions, the threatening guitars and finally, the manner in which they all blend harmoniously. Damn good modern prog!

The glorious saxophone takes centre stage on "The East Side", conjuring all kinds of urban images of twilight party goers, fumbling for their Audi keys, while the stiletto-heeled vixen adjusts her mascara. Yeah, the music is both sensual, misty, gritty and yet still energized. Pymlico also enjoys venturing into more modernistic zones, infusing Middle Eastern motifs into moody electronic puddles of sound, bolstered by mammoth drum patterns and hypnotic improvisations, as best showcased on the tempestuous "Wanderlust".

They are unafraid of complexity when called upon, as they display acrobatic chops on the fiercely named "Bobcat", a wild adventure full of feline grace, intricate attitude that borders hard-jazz and also some serious grace under pressure, as exemplified by the sublime e-piano sheen that evokes sultry images of fantasy. The main theme is immediate, in contrast to the rather dislocated intro, a perfect example of their genial compositional craft.

Being a bass fanatic, I fell to my knees in abject surrender upon hearing the four-string line played by Axel Reite on the highlight track "Piz Gloria", a cannonading assault on the senses, only made more compelling by the masterful keys , a swirling overhead synth in particular, that will just leave you gaga. The main benefit of instrumental prog is that you need no lyrics or voice to guide you towards your own interpretation of the notes being played and you can thus create your own little world of musical fantasy.

The majestic 13 minute+ "Neptune" ends this loving affair on a high note, and what better instrument to supply this 'high' note than that bitchy sax, partnered by a lyrical guitar rant. Being such a Roxy fan, I am always under the spell of Andy Mackay's sax and oboe and I now realize why I am so ennamored with this style of music, as it's like a combination of vocal-less Pink Floyd and Roxy Music. It should therefore come to no surprise that Gilmour and Manzanera have been loyal friends and partners for the past 20 years or so. Both fret maestros Horn and Hvinden are inspired to emulate their idols and to shatter the speakers with duelling axe explorations that defy explanations. The urgency picks up half way through and one has no choice but to succumb to the sublime delivery and the unending creativity displayed!

As it stands, "Guiding Light" just might wind up among the very best 2014 albums, a compelling instrumental masterpiece of the highest order. I haven't heard 'The Endless River" yet (it's on order) but it better be good coz these Norsemen have made one hell of a torrent. This is my kind of very 'saxy' prog!

5 Recon Luminosities

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian project PYMLICO is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Arild Bröter, which started out back in 2009 and with the initial album released two years later. So far Bröter has recorded three studio albums under this moniker. "Guiding Light" is the most recent of these, and was released through his own label Spider House in 2014.

Pymlico's third studio album is one that covers quite a lot of different ground, and appears to hone in on contemporary progressive rock just as much as on the vintage varieties of this type of music. Compelling melodies and distinct, well-developed moods and atmospheres are key features throughout, and the CD is, as expected these days, I guess, well produced and mixed as well. An album for those who enjoy progressive rock when it is instrumental and varied, a key audience might be those that find as much pleasure in listening to Jan Garbarek at his most accessible as they do when they pop in a CD by Porcupine Tree in their CD player.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Pymlico, being a solo project of Norwegian drummer Arild Brøter, with "Guiding Light" presents a slight change in style from his previous solo efforts. With his two first albums mainly being rooted heavily in the soft side of Camel, Solaris and David Gilmour's solo instrumentals, "Guiding Light ... (read more)

Report this review (#1847605) | Posted by HAL | Saturday, December 30, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars PYMLICO is a brainchild of Norwegian talent Arild Brøter who surrounds himself with several partners. The chairperson's brother Øyvind can be heard on piano and organ, Axel Toreg Reite is here for bass performance, Larry Saltzman provides flute and percussion, Ivan Mazuze delivers saxopho ... (read more)

Report this review (#1279257) | Posted by PH | Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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