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Secret Chiefs 3


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Secret Chiefs 3 Book Of Horizons album cover
4.09 | 95 ratings | 11 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The End Times (Forms) (4:58)
2. The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun) (Ishraqiyun) (3:36)
3. The Indestructible Drop (Traditionalists) (1:09)
4. Exterminating Angel (Holy Vehm) (3:14)
5. The Owl in Daylight (Forms) (3:58)
6. The Exile (Traditionalists) (3:06)
7. On the Wings of the Haoma (The Electromagnetic Azoth) (5:08)
8. Book T: Exodus (UR) (3:56)
9. Hypostasis of the Archons (Holy Vehm) (4:20)
10. The Electrotheonic Grail Dove (Traditionalists) (0:44)
11. The 3 (Ishraqiyun) (4:00)
12. DJ Revisionist (The Electromagnetic Azoth) (4:06)
13. Anthropomorphosis: Boxleitner (UR) (5:23)
14. Welcome to the Theatron Animatronique (Forms) (5:11)

Total Time: 52:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Trey Spruance (The Enemy) / electric & microtonal guitars, banjo, bass, sitar, clavinet, synth, tack & electric & acoustic pianos, organ, keyboards, sampler, antur, cheng, shaker, dumbek, tambourine, rabab, saz, foley sounds, electroacoustic treatments, soundscapes, vocals

With various line-ups, including:
- William Winant / Chinese & Tibetan gongs, marimba, glockenspiel, timpani, tube bells, cymbals, bass & snare drums, shaker & tabla
- Jesse Greere / vocals (1,4-6,8,9,13,14)
- Emmanouil Simotas "Unhuman" / vocals (4,9)
- Jesse Quattro / vocals (4,9)
- Kessica Kinney / vocals (4,9)
- Jason Schimmel / acoustic guitar (1,6)
- Jennifer Cass / harp (1,3,5-8,12,14)
- Timb Harris / violin & viola (1,2,5,6,8,12-14)
- Eyvind Kang / viola (2,8,11)
- Tim Smolens / bass (1,5,8,10,11,13)
- Ches Smith / drums (1,5,7,10,12,13)
- John Merriman / drums (4,9)
- Danny Heifetz / drums (2,8,11)
- Rich Doucette / esraj (1,2,11,12), saranji (1)
- Ursula Knudson / bowed saw (1)
- Kevin Kmetz / shamisen (2)
- Shahzad Ismaily / percussions (2,7,11,12)
- Fatima Khanoam / santur (11)

Releases information

First part of the Book of Truth trilogy (followed by 2013 Book Of Souls and ... ?)
Individual tracks are credited to the (satellite bands)

Artwork: Mike Bennewitz with Patrick Tremblay (logo)

CD Web Of Mimicry ‎- WoM 014 (2004, US)

Thanks to Spanky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy SECRET CHIEFS 3 Book Of Horizons Music

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Book Of Horizons ratings distribution

(95 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Book Of Horizons reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
4 stars Book of Horizons is an important album in the Secret Chiefs 3 discography because it was the first one to overtly set out the idea of the "satellite bands" - the concept that Secret Chiefs 3 was actually a collective of bands who happen to all be led by Trey Spruance, and that explains the very different musical styles involved. Whether that was really the concept from the start or something Trey cooked up on the spot is another question, but either way Book of Horizons is another dazzlingly diverse album from this avant-garde powerhouse running the full range from rock reinterpretations of traditional Middle Eastern music to pounding death metal to progressive passages reminiscent of Goblin's classic horror soundtracks.
Review by frippism
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Welllllllllllllll

This is, essentially, my absolute most favorite SC3 album- and that's saying something. SC3, for those who don't know, are project of weirdo/bearded Californian genius Trey Spruance. They have a bizarre combination of oriental music and instrumentation, with electronica, surf rock, death metal, and anything else really.

This album here, "Book Of Horizons", in my opinion, really has Secret Chiefs 3 taking a bit from here and a bit from there, and meshing it in ultimate way. No album, can produce beautiful, epic compositions like "The Exile", and at the same time, have two of the greatest death metal songs I have ever heard, particularly with "Hypostasis of the Archons". The band don't only display variety, but also near-perfect song-writing. Additionally, no album does ambient and thick instrumental compositions like SC3 did on this album.

So yeah. Best album of the 21st century and one of the greatest ever? Hmmm. Yeah pretty much.

This is the first album Spruance has done with the idea of the "satellite bands"- seven different bands all under one banner. All different and interesting- yet strongly unified by Spruance's unforgettable songwriting. This man is such a genius it makes me pissy. The dude just knows how to write tunes! Strange tunes, beautiful tunes, epic tunes, dissonant tunes, he can just do it, and he has the right musicians to do it. Guys like Ches Smith (drummer awesome), and Eyvind Kang (one of my favorite composers), along with a million billion absolutely brilliant musicians who pretty much play every note as right as humanly possible. I honestly wouldn't change a thing about the musicians- they just deliver the tunes the way they should be.

May I just add, again, that "Hypostasis of the Archons", is the greatest metal song I've heard in my life. Jumping over from manic guitars and screams and godly drums over and over and over. I just want to nuke Antarctica when I listen to this cutie pie.

I'm sorry, not much more to add. Listen to this album.

All hail SC3

Review by admireArt
2 stars "Your manuscript is both good and original,.... But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."- "attributed, not found.". And neither daring nor fun. Completely, pretentious and BORING. I suppose, that when you ask this band followers about Ennio Morricone or even better John Williams, the will laugh at you mockingly, IF, they have some idea, who these guys are... Indo-Tabla music, mish-mashed alongside some other "exotic" folkloric style with severe touches of "serious-music", like Mr. Morricone's sountracks?, without the movie, but with the same smell of "corn". Or like the one, that here in Mexico is known as the "Juan Torres organ Sound". Which was a guy overblown by the media, because here in Mexico, IN THOSE TIMES, was the only guy, who owned a Wurllitzer organ with a drum-box . That was it, his only talent. Some talent-less, overrated "artist". ...So, if you are really impressed, by these "exotic" languages, immersed in an over-abuse of the systematic RIO-cliches (abrupt change of time signatures, stridency, etc) with no kind of humor at all, (it is not a parody), well you will fall head over heels for this album....IF you, when listening, open-mindedly to music, which "plays" with your knowledge of music in general, and is performed with a pompous, unimaginative, pseudo classical music composition grandeure, so solemnly, with such self-indulgence, AND you still have time to enjoy, well this is also for you. . I mean, these guys take themselves so seriously, without real facts or proof. The only group that will serve my example is Henry Cow, the best parts of "Secret Chiefs3" owe and resemble this band. When HENRY COW, surfaced, it was and had to do with the moment in time world-wide. A natural musical process was evolving, as in the modern-classical compositions, "Cacophony" became a way to rebel against standarized Central-European impossitive canons in structure and importance. Nowadays, these"new-canons" are as impossitive as the ones they rebelled against, a fad, a passing "FAD".... Like a super-pretentious Henry Cow, and that is saying too much. **2.5 "what a disappointment" PA stars. Not essential , unless you own, 3 cds and are stranded in a non "exotic" place.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "Book of Horizons" is Secret Chiefs 3's fourth album. After the amazing "Book M", it was brought to light that SC3 actually consisted of 7 satellite bands. This fact came to light on this album as each of these tracks have the name of the satellite band responsible for the track. Out of the 7, there is only one that isn't represented in this album, and that is "NT Fan". The other 6 represented on this album are "Forms", "Ishraqiyun", "Traditionalists", "Holy Vehm", "The Electromagnetic Azoth", and "UR".

The SC3 has been known to experiment and mix various musical genres, expanding them into new sounds and styles. They use traditional instruments that are unique to the culture and traditional rock instruments and electronica. This results in some very interesting and enjoyable music that is unique, yet familiar. Trey Spruance, who is the leader of this collection of bands, was previously with "Mr. Bungle", and he created SC3 with the help of 2 other members from that band. The common mistake people make when trying to define this band is that it is "Mr. Bungle" without Mike Patton, but that is not a correct definition of this music. SC3 is a completely different band from Mr. Bungle.

The album starts with "The End Times" (Forms). This is a peaceful and pensive track utilizing guitars, electric piano and some strange warbly instrument that almost sounds like a bowed saw. Percussion starts later with an interesting array of traditional instruments that I can't identify, because there are so many at use, but it has a slightly European vibe to it and it is quite beautiful and unique. There is a use of modals mixed in there that is amazing. "The 4 (The Great Ishraqi Sun)" (Ishraqiyun) has a more mid-Eastern dance vibe utilizing strings along with rabab, baglama, esraj, some micro-tuned guitars and other instruments I've never heard of along with guitars and drums. "The Indistructable Drop" (Traditionalists) is experimental and eerie using gongs, harp and organ. It's also quite short yet nice.

"Exterminating Angel" (Holy Vehm) starts out with some wild drums and a drone. After this, some crazy screaming vocals come in and then it continues with a wall of noise. Growling vocals start later, as the intensity level of this one is right off the chart on this death metal rant. "The Owl in Daylight" (Forms) uses glockenspiel, chimes, bells to create a track that starts out dark and quickly lightens up to an almost lounge jazz track with some crazy quick texture changes throughout. This track is inspired by the unfinished Phillip K. Dick novel of the same name which was being written when he passed away. With all the bells and chimes mixed later with heavy metal guitar, it sounds like a Christmas song put through the mixer from Hell. "The Exile" (Traditionalists) is almost the complete opposite from the last two track as it is a lush and beautiful melody created by strings, acoustic guitar, and so on. It sounds very cinematic, with a very western flavor at times, yet becoming very expansive.

"On the Wings of the Haoma" (The Electromagnetic Azoth) starts with some traditional percussion and electronics. But then it shifts and changes so quickly it is hard to pin it all down. The overall feel is Persian, but it is a perfect example of mixing traditional instruments with electronica and avant-prog. The middle part of it is quite experimental and ambient but by the end, it turns into surf rock. "Book T: Exodus" (UR) is based off of the movie theme from "Exodus" by Ernest Gold, but rescored for orchestra and surf band. Yep, it is, and it's amazing! ! ! ! "Hypostasis of the Archons" (Holy Vehm) is more of the death metal styling, but with a craziness that is completely unpredictable. It is scary with screams, growing and raspy vocals featuring 3 vocalists. There are some wild guitars as you would expect from this music, and constantly changing meters. Totally chaotic. "The Electrotheonic Grail Dove" (Traditionalists) is a very short track that sound like someone dropped a bowlful of musical notes on the floor.

"The 3 (Afghan Song)" (Ishraqiyan) is based on a traditional song. It uses traditional instruments again like the sitar, dohl, and so on along with synthesizers, bass and drums. "DJ Revisionist" (The Electromagnetic Azoth) also uses traditional instruments with rock instruments and electronics. Again, you get that Persian sound mixed with various rock styles that run from surf rock to avant garde and somehow it all makes sense. "Anthropomorphosis: Boxlietner" (UR) starts out with droning sounds from strings and percussion but quickly switches to an almost poppy sound with electronic instruments and a sudden influx of loud guitars and orchestral effects. This is another ever changing landscape of amazing-ness that has to be heard to be believed. "Welcome to the Theatron Animatronique" (Forms) starts with electric keys playing a middle Eastern sounding melody with other orchestral effects and textures, chimes, harp and all of that. The simple melody breaks down at parts and things get somewhat complex, but it always returns to variations of the melody played by differing lead instruments and becomes expansive and cinematic and features traditional vocals at the end.

Just like "Book M" , this album is simply amazing, but this time, since it is played by the different formations of the band, there is quite an amazing variety unlike anything I have heard lately. And every one of the tracks are so well done, nothing sounds amateurish as you might expect from a band creating so many differing styles. Where most of Book M was devoted to Persian and Afghan undertones, this album goes everywhere. Amazingly enough, there is not the feeling of disjointedness that you would expect, probably because every track is so well done. This album exceeds even the excellent Book M, which was also a 5 star affair, and you wonder how can this be even better than that? Well, you better start listening to these albums to find out.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Hypnotic, creative, enjoyable: 7/10 When it comes to Avant-garde, I only know three names so far: FRANK ZAPPA, OOIOO and SECRET CHIEFS 3. FRANK needs no introduction, OOIOO has eloquently mastered the idea of "experimentation" with the great percussion-focused TAIGA madness, and SECRET CHIEF ... (read more)

Report this review (#1694170) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Saturday, February 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Only 44 ratings and 8 reviews??? The book of Horizons by Secret Chiefs 3 is a great example of a forgotten album in PROGARCHIVES! I recently discovered the band, even being a Faith No More and Tomahawk fan. The band is conducted by Trey Spruance, a former Faith no More member, although Sec ... (read more)

Report this review (#959986) | Posted by zedumar | Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Book of Horizons is another fantastic album by Secret Chiefs 3 that is unfortunately marred by a couple of dreadful tracks I wish could be purged from the album. While there isn't anything overly revolutionary or new compared to their previous album, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable outing that' ... (read more)

Report this review (#254473) | Posted by AgentSpork | Sunday, December 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars True masterpiece. I had shivering while listening this album for a first time. It's extremaly eclectic and complex. SC3 shows how open-ended is a prog genre. The band put surf rock, movie music, extreme metal and techno in one album but it's still coherent. Sometime it is bueautyful (Gold's Exodu ... (read more)

Report this review (#208539) | Posted by epistan | Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A polarized album. Secret Chiefs 3 is yet another very good American avant-garde band (RIO and avant prog is the only prog sub-genre where America is top of the heap), a genre I have recently been getting very much into (both the European and American ends of things), and one I have very much ... (read more)

Report this review (#115874) | Posted by Pnoom! | Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well. Here we have a very strange opus. How can Indian music, Psychedelick rock, Movie music and Death metal fit all together in an album? ''Book Of Horizons is the answer. The Trey Spruance's troop plays with a very rich bunch of instruments and of sounds effects to create, on every song, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#56603) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I will be the first to say that I don't feel this is a progressive album in the sense of the actualy sound. Secret Chiefs 3 doesn't sound like Yes, Marillion, or Dream Theater; however, Trey Spruance's music does progress as you listen to it. So in that sense, this is indeed, a progressive albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#56560) | Posted by Spanky | Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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