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Onségen Ensemble

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Onségen Ensemble Realms album cover
4.10 | 25 ratings | 2 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sleeping Lion (5:00)
2. Naked Sky (10:26)
3. Abysmal Sun (6:06)
4. Collapsing Star (6:22)
5. The Ground of Being (5:11)
6. I'm Here No Matter What (7:18)

Total Time 40:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Pasi Anttila / didgeridoo
- Vilho Hintermeier / ocarina
- Esa Juujärvi / vocals, bass, Mellotron
- Merja Järvelin / vocals
- Samuli Lindberg / drums & percussion
- Joni Mäkelä / guitar
- Mikko Vuorela / saxophone, flute, guitar
- Jarmo Väärä / trumpet

Releases information

Format: Vinyl, Digital
November 10, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ONSÉGEN ENSEMBLE Realms ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars This is the 4th album of that Finland band. The band uses unusual instruments like ocarina, didgeridoo, horns, and steel drums. Their music covers a lot of ground from folk, psychedelic, and post-rock. "Sleeping Lion" is a strong start with the sound of the flute and steel drums. "Naked Sky", has some addictive chanting that places you someplace else. It ends with some heavy psychedelic vibes. The bass lines will remind you of the psychedelic era of Pink Floyd. "Abysmal Sun" starts slowly and improves in intensity bringing back the steel drums at the end. "Collapsing Star" is my favorite of all with its gorgeous melody, some lovely passage of flute, and emotional use of the vocal that reminds me of the French band Harmonium. The rest of the album continues to set the atmosphere to the perfect movie score fitting between a Sergio Leone movie and an occult movie from an unknown director. 'Realms" is the most mature album of the band with improved songwriting that keeps your attention from start to finish.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Finnish band that is completely new to me. Their music comes off as epic prog folk music as if made for a soundtrack of some epic Viking saga film--or were arranged for a local celebration gathering/re-enactment performance.

1. "The Sleeping Lion" (5:00) steel drum opening before cymbal play joins in. "Small" men's choir joins in after half a minute. It's as if they are the narrative chorus of a Greek tragedy. Full band and female "accent choir" joins in for the third minute. A little didgeridoo helps fill a gentle reset pause before the men (and female in background support) return to tell the story. Interesting if not fully winning as an engaging musical listening experience. This would probably be awesome live--with real choirs. (8.667/10)

2. "Naked Sky" (10:26) surprisingly spacious, surprisingly Viking folk-like, surprising "big room choral vocals", surprisingly cinematic (reminding me of The Polyphonic Spree). Definitely conveys an aura of grandeur deserving of gods and legends. I love it! It's almost as if Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik's little campfire songs from their 2018 masterpiece, Hugsjá have been expanded to fill a big tribal meeting house where the entire village/tribe is participating in some celebratory musical re-enactment of a local legend or religious lore. Great use of large choir with guitars, tribal drums, and wind instruments to accent the choir passages. (18/20)

3. "Abysmal Sun" (6:06) effected electric guitar strums of a couple chords precede the arrival of humming choir. Sounds almost Native American. At 1:50 the music shifts into a little spacious field of arpeggiated guitars before the full sound and choir return to continue humming their proud dirge. Flutes and other wind instruments join in adding further (to my ears) to the Indian sound. Then, at 3:35 some heavy electric guitars burst in playing some aggressive chords--causing a shift in the mood conveyed by everybody else: everyone seems to become more agitated and aggressive, from the trumpets and drums to the now-worded choir. Interesting! (8.75/10)

4. "Collapsing Star" (6:22) more steel drums to open before electric guitar arpeggio notes "interrupt" or disrupt the tuned percussion. An "old wild west" vibe is created with the next instrumental and textural choices as the smaller men (and later, women) vocal choir begin singing their story. The choir at times reminds me a lot of 1960s MOODY BLUES. The sax, steel drum, and guitar flourishes throughout the final third of the song. (8.75/10)

5. "The Ground of Being" (5:11) a heavy-handed, plodding "chapter" of the village re-enactment with the full-town- participatory choir expressing themselves with full and genuine antiphonal enthusiasm. (again, I am reminded of The Polyphonic Spree.) The trumpet adds a nice touch. (9/10)

6. "I'm Here No Matter What" (7:18) rock guitar arpeggiated chord progression is repeated a couple of times before being joined by bass and second guitar. At 0:56 drums kick everybody into synchrony for the establishment of the full complement baseline music. At 1:51 synth, sax, and ocarina introduce the main melody. Choir and soaring electric guitar back a second melodic motif before we return to the original full-band theme (which is kind of Western Rock à la "Wicked Games" Chris Isaak). Bass, drums, and soloing electric guitar occupy the end of the fifth minute and first half of the sixth until guitar slips back into heavy rock chord play for the soprano sax to jump in for a solo. The vocal performance here is much smaller scale than those previous songs--especially in the lead "I love you" department--but ocarina, synth, flutes, and background vocal "ahh's" help back the lead. Nice song (with an abrupt ending: it could have gone on longer). (13.25/15)

Total Time 40:23

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of Aboriginal Prog Folk and a wonderful addition to any prog lover's music collection.

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