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ALGARNAS TRADGARD

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Sweden


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Algarnas Tradgard biography
ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD are a seminal, 6-piece Swedish combo who made one album in 1972, a cult classic and masterpiece of psychedelia that could have come straight out of the 'Kraut' school of Space Rock. After the release of their album, they kept on playing live for a while, even recording a full album's worth of new material in 1973-74. But it wasn't until 2001 that this material was mixed and released, on a cd entitled "Delayed".

Their 1972 classic, "Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden", is a veritable testimony to the halcyon days of hippiedom - a time when grown men, like children playing with forbidden colours, were popping hallucinogenic bonbons and experimenting with psychedelic sounds in their quest for mind-expanding adventures and altered states of consciousness. However, ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD's music never lapses into drugged-out silliness or aimless noodling. It ranges from earnest, to Medieval, to completely creepy - a sort of 'RIO meets folk'. They concoct some earthly (and unearthly) sounds using a combination of traditional, modern rock instruments and ethnic/archaic ones, the result being a spectacular blend of slow-smoking psychedelia with a strong vernacular Swedish folk bent. Their guitar-based, trance-like music is reminiscent of ASH RA TEMPEL; it also shares GONG's organic mayhem and the hypnotic qualities of early TANGERINE DREAM. If you can imagine a Nordic version of AMON DÜÜL II or ASH RA TEMPEL, you'll have a pretty good idea of what they sound like. The 2001 cd "Delayed", which makes heavier use of drums and guitars, is yet another marvellously atmospheric and creative mixture of prog and psychedelia.

Highly recommended for Krautrock aficionados as well as for fans of CAN and PINK FLOYD, circa "Ummagumma".

: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA : : :

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Framtiden Ar Ett Svavande Skepp Forankrat IFramtiden Ar Ett Svavande Skepp Forankrat I
Silence Recordings 2006
Audio CD$21.26
$8.25 (used)
DelayedDelayed
Silence Recordings 2006
Audio CD$12.88
$13.37 (used)
FRAMTIDEN AR ETT SVAVANDE SKEPP, FORANKRAT I FORNTIDEN(SHM)(paper-sleeve)FRAMTIDEN AR ETT SVAVANDE SKEPP, FORANKRAT I FORNTIDEN(SHM)(paper-sleeve)
DIW Records (JAPAN)
Audio CD$32.93
$38.67 (used)
Delayed (Japanese Papersleeve)Delayed (Japanese Papersleeve)
DIW Records (JAPAN)
Audio CD$58.23
$82.21 (used)
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ALGARNAS TRADGARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 69 ratings
Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
1972
3.94 | 37 ratings
Delayed
2001

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ALGARNAS TRADGARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars "Garden of the Elks", as the band's name is in English, was founded in Göteborg, Southern Sweden, in 1969, and was originally called Innerst Inne. That name would have fit even better for this unique group. During their five-year existence they released only one album (another was released posthumously in 2001, titled simply "Delayed") with a peculiar, philosopohical title about the future being a ship anchored in the past. Dag Erik Asbjörnsen's book describes the album nicely: it's like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, except that this time Sisyphus is pushing a snow ball up the hill in a Scandinavian pinewood inhabited by trolls. In other words, the music is deeply psychedelic, progressive folk, or "world music" with experimental Krautrock features.

The selection of instruments brings together ethnic, exotic things and the evolution in synthesizers. Tolling bells start the long opening track ("Two hours over two blue mountains, with a cuckoo on each side... of the hours, that is") which changes from a meditative first half featuring pushy violins into an almost nightmarish soundscape with special effects. More effects are heard on the next track, as well as some fluent flute and colourful percussion, plus a delicate 2-minute sitar solo in the end. 'Möjligheternas Barn' (Children of possibilities) features guest vocals by folk artist Margareta Söderberg. 'Viriditas' offers yet another kind of sound painting with chiming piano and a male voice as if heard from a distance.

One of the strongest moments in the album is 'Saturnus ringar' (Rings of Saturn), an intensive trip starring electric guitar and drums, which could be a true Krautrock classic. For those enjoying dark, experimental psychedelia with ethnic elements this album might be a unique masterpiece, but a more average music listener hardly has much to relate to here. Actually my four stars have at least one extra star if my personal enjoyment of this album is considered... But I can't say there wasn't a lot of vision and emotion. Wonderful cover art is odd enough for the music!

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars I was excited to hear this album. When I was small and collected Swedish "progg" this was a record I never bought, it was too expensive and I never found it on a flea market eather. Well, I hadn't missed anything. No there was not much interesting with this record. I like experimenting but then there have to be a melody in it or at least a more soft harmony than this.

Framtiden är ett svävande skepp förankrat i forntiden was released in 1972, an otherwise very good music year and they were influenced by Pink Floyd, Terry Riley and similar spaced music. The first song "Två timmar över två blå berg med en gök på avrdera sida...om timmarna alltså" is the first track. It is quite long and meaningless. It's getting better in the end with some voices and a little melody (3/10). Next song "Det finns en tid för allt, det finns en tid då även tiden möts" is significantly better with a more interesting soundshape, a church bell, indian instruments and some nice string work (6/10). What's good with next track "Möjligheternas barn" is the singer Margareta Söderberg of whom I have a great album "Kärringtand" (also featured Arbete & Fritid). She sung well and the lyrics are surrealistic but song song as a unit is bad (5/10). "Tristans klagan" the shortest piece, is also the best. Here lies a nice folk song played by violin and cello on a dark background (7/10). "Viriditas" is a terrible piece of crap (1/10). "Saturnus ringar" proves good musicality with a groovy rock feeling but it tells me nothing (3/10). The last song "Framtiden är ett svävande skepp förankrat i forntiden" is also very bad, unsharp and annoying.

It feels they didn't want anything with their music but perhaps they did what they were supposed to do. Obviously there are people who enjoy it and it's good for them. I'm glad I hav'nt spend any money on this. Okey, no more Älgarnas trädgård for me. I was tempted to give this one star but as you see I give it two weak stars.

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It doesn't require much hindsight to understand why this obscure Swedish outfit never attracted anything more than a cult audience. Ignore the fact that they released only one album, with an impenetrable title (in whatever language you translate it), and that it likely wasn't heard too often outside Scandinavia. The music must have been a major hurdle all by itself, even in the more adventurous climate of the early 1970s. And today it remains stubbornly oblique, in an arcane sort of way.

The immediate reaction after my own belated exposure (forty years late, but who's counting?) was one of déjā vu. Here was yet another Saucerful of the same Floydian Secrets that had fostered a trail of stepchildren across the darker corners of Continental Europe in the early '70s.

But the Älgarnas gang took that familiar Space Rock recipe and added a few local spices, including a rich vein of ancient folk music; lots of neo-pagan psychedelia; some enigmatic jamming not far removed from classic Krautrock; and a vivid atmosphere of Nordic mystery, rolling eastward over the Baltic Sea toward the Ural Mountains and beyond. Maybe it's the heavy tolling bells, or the hand drums and zithers, but to me the music evokes something the great Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev might have been jiving to as he fled the Tartar hordes in the 15th century.

And yet the album looks forward as well, with the calm dispassion of a counterculture Janus. The live bonus tracks on the 1995 CD reissue exhibit an almost Post Rock intensity, years ahead of their time. Like most of the album proper the additional music is entirely instrumental, but it wouldn't be hard to imagine someone like Ian Curtis improvising manic- depressive lyrics on top. (Japanese imports add a further concert sample: the playful and archaic "Medeltidsinto På Gärdet", complete with novelty toy cow lowing.)

If the band had formed a few hundred kilometers south, in late '60s Germany, they might be a household name by now (at least in smarter neighborhoods populated by discriminating Krautrockers). But that same cultural isolation is a part of what makes their one album so unique. Älgarnas Trädgård appeared to exist in its own private, wintry universe, and the general lack of traditional rock 'n' roll dynamics helped give the music a dreamy, drifting quality, casting an uncertain spell that hasn't weakened over the four-plus decades since it was first created.

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

5 stars Original like a midget in a diving suit playing basket ball.

There is a lot of benefits from being Sweden´s next door neighbor. Each year around summertime when people start their vacations, you´ll see copious amounts of Swedes visiting Denmark to take advantage of our cheap and tasty beer and maybe look at the local wildlife. I´ve met so many great characters this way, and whether you´re at Roskilde Festival or at the beach - there is always that guy asking you for snus.... Just kidding. The biggest attribute about living nextdoor is however, that it´s very easy to get a hold of some damn exciting music made in Sweden throughout the 60s and 70s. This is no exception, and to tell you guys that I´m excited about this very release, would be a small understatement.

I´ve always said, that some of the best music often eludes categorisations, and Främtiden ar ett svävande Skepp simply cannot be thrown into a box: You´re a reindeer!! Deal with it!!!! What we have here is an album with a sound, which bears resemblance to absolutely nothing else. It´s like trying to tell people how Van Der Graff Generator sounds like, if they haven´t heard them. "Erm - it´s like dramatic......right? Ehhh and there´s like you know a wild saxophone happening as well...."

The album starts out with something like church bells seeping into a stagnant hovering organ and some electronic drip drips mimicing that of a wet limestone cave. At the same time it sounds like slowly turning off a tap. Sleepy drums starts banging to the swaying and disturbing violins - playing some eerie folk music that creeps over you like a ghost with a knife in its teeth. Maybe this is how music sounded like in the old viking strongholds, when they were drunk out of their minds from heavy mead drinking -and tripping on the red fly agaric... At one point the band starts chanting together with a strange violin section - and you´re hit with some truly original, barking mad and yet very beautiful - as it withers away into crickets buzzing and churping and a wild blowing wind - for then to be swept away into an electronic cry that shifts and turns, bobs and writhes.

What this music sounds like is almost impossible to convey in words. It´s psychedelic, folky, Kraut, evil, sheep-heardingly comfy and then again quite the opposite. The RIO lovers around here should definitely check out this wonderful album, as it from time to time dabbles in some weird vocal sections that emanates a certain feel of unease and bewilderment. Although not credited, I´m pretty sure that it´s a woman singing the third song here, and along with the triangle in the back, the Swedish folk aura of the violins together with her haunting vocals - I suddenly hear some strong parallels to Italian band Opus Avantra.

Then again, when you hear a lot of these tracks frolicking in spacey synth land with psychedelic pounding drums, jew harp, cello, flute, sitar, tablas - with hand claps and people in the back tripping and singing, -one could very easily be lured into thinking that this album actually is Krautrock. Perhaps, but genres are so boring and they mean absolutely nothing compared to the actual music they contain. Saturnus Ringa sounds like a mixture of Gila´s first record blended up together with some Neu! motoriks and clingy clangy electronical wizardry. The violins suddenly starts appearing birdlike and cacophonous, and there´s a brilliant space kadet guitar playing like it´s on fire. This music just gives me chills!

Creeek crack - like the start of a horror movie the cabinet opens to the last track - and with some creepy organ and almost Faust like synths, the music staggers along like a triumphant old man strolling his last walk - thinking about back when women wore dresses and guys smoked cigarettes.

This album will not be for everybody that´s for sure, but once you penetrate the outer layering of this strange and jello like music - maybe you´ll hear the unsurpassed psychedelic masterpiece, just as I do.

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Although classified here in space rock, in approach this album is much like the Krautrock albums of the era - though given that German "cosmic rock" was so incredibly heavily influenced by early space rock (as pioneered by Floyd on A Saucerful of Secrets) the overlap between the two genres is heavy. Nonetheless, it's easy enough to hear the influence of the likes of Popol Vuh on this album... the trouble is, whilst these guys wheel out all the folk-world- Kraut-psych tools, they don't deliver them with nearly the same degree of charm, compositional proficiency, or sheer emotive power that the likes of Popol Vuh, Ash Ra Tempel, and others were attaining at the same time. To be honest, find this album to be extremely overrated; there's a natural tendency to overreact to obscure or overlooked albums that you've rediscovered, but in this case I'm not convinced there was much here worth rediscovering. Not incompetent, but not very good either. Two stars only.

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 Delayed by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.94 | 37 ratings

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Delayed
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD (Swedish, meaning Garden of the Elks) released just one album in the early 70's but recorded another one in 73-74. For some reasons the album was released as late as in 2001, aptly titled Delayed. I hadn't heard their music before, and I was positively surprised by this one. It's mostly instrumental, with some hazy, spacey psychedelia as in Saucerful Of Secrets -era PINK FLOYD (also comparisons to HAWKWIND make sense), serenity-meets-edginess ā la 70's KING CRIMSON, and a certain folk-flavoured Scandinavian air to it all. BO HANSSON is mentioned too in the earlier reviews

The track lengths are missing, but they vary between very brief and very long. I yet haven't listened to this many times enough to give more detailed comments of separate tracks, but the closing song I do remember very well. it is based on an Edith Södergran poem and it's sung in Swedish (one may ask why it isn't titled 'Min barndom' instead of 'My Childhood'). It's a very fragile and atmospheric track. I came to think of the art film Stalker by Andrei Tarkovski, or more precisely, one of its most poetic, dialogueless scenes with similar eerie music (camera slowly moving above the surface of the water with all kinds of small things and organic waste in it, remember that?). And the falsetto, introvert singing reminded me of Jonsi of SIGUR ROS.

An interesting, deeply artistic album, though most likely not for everyone's taste.

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars It was the front cover that drew me to this one. It's great isn't it?

The music begins off a bit on the dreary side with lots of strings that sound slightly off key sounding like it's straight out of the 14th Century. Things pick up dramatically after 10 minutes where it starts to sound very Tuetonic and heavy with a lot of chanting in amongst the doom laden atmosphere. Electronic strangeness follows and now you realise that this ain't no ordinary fare. Barking dogs, tin whistles, creaking doors, chickens and a sitar all appear out of nowhere making this opening 19 minute track a big success in my view, although a very unusual one.

There's very good use of 'space' throughout this album with just the right number of things going on at once. The main influences appear to be folk and mediaeval. I'm losing track of the number of instruments used - now there's Jews harp, zither and tablas at play. There were six members after all - I guess they all wanted a piece ot the action, and what a bunch of dodgy reprobates they look!

'La Rotta' has some really cool high pitched electric guitar with heavy delay. 'Rings of Saturn' has large reverbed vocals with cello and percussion producing a very spooky atmosphere. 'Viriditas' is a traditional mediaeval tune but for the life of me I can't remember who composed it. I do know that 'Dead Can Dance' used it in 1990 on 'Aeon' The title track just sounds like a graveyard shrouded in fog. The two bonus tracks fit nicely with the original album, unfortunately the recording quality is pretty crumby.

The only comparisons I can think of are 'International Harvester', bits of 'Archimedes Badkar' or some of the stranger parts of Floyd's 'Ummagumma'

I don't like handing out 5 stars willy-nilly, it nullifies your credibility as a reviewer but this really is fully deserving and clearly is a masterpiece of its genre. Timeless, undated and highly original. What a great band!

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This Swedish band investigated several musical orientations: psychedelic, folk, even heavy prog at times like during the long opening number which is quite hard to describe. Quite dark and repetitive, the music never lifts off really. These "Two Hours..." are a difficult way to approach the universe of "Älgarnas Trädgård".

I prefer the folkish atmosphere of "There Is A Time?": nice fluting and some fine sitar conveys a deep melancholic feel. I discovered this work only lately (some three or four years ago), and I was expecting some more due to the high ratings I could read on PA. When I listen to "Children of Possibilities", "La Rotta" or "Viriditas", I can't feel any emotion at all: medieval stuff with little savour to my taste. The last one is particularly painful (mainly due to the "vocals").

The first truly great track is the totally disjointed and psychedelic "Rings Of Saturn". Sure that they didn't only smoke cigarettes while playing this gorgeous psyche hymn. Lots of Floyd influences: just listen to the drumming which is not far from STCOTHOTS ("Set The Control?") and of course the mighty ASOS for the loose (but great) approach. The highlight with no doubt nor discussion.

But still, this sounds a bit too "short" to make a masterpiece out of this album. I also quite like the closing and title song ("The Future?"). It sounds as a TD travel into the high spheres of the universe and is more in line with what I understand as psychedelic / space rock music. Still, don't expect any of the great and beautiful synth parts as the masters would have displayed.

I would say that fortunately enough, the latest CD edition offers two bonus tracks which prolong the "Framtiden?" adventure for almost twenty minutes (or half of the length of the original album).

The first one ("5/4") is some sort of extension of the closing track: a gentle psyche song which is adding thick Oriental layers to it. The song is rather hypnotic and works very well indeed. How did the band prefer to release the original album with several avoidable and short songs instead, is quite a mystery.

"The Mirrors Of Gabriel" is a very tranquil song which borrows to the early Crimson. Fine keyboards, some oppressive mood. I compare it with a enhanced version of "Moonchild". While it gets towards the end, the early Floydean feel prevails.

Thanks to the bonus material, I rate this album with three stars. No more actually. It sounds somewhat overrated here.

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 Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.86 | 69 ratings

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Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by YesFan72

5 stars I don't give out 5 stars to albums that are not worthy of being considered perfection (or near perfection). This album is one that I can listen to over and over again, without getting tired of it. I recommend it to anyone who likes space rock and those who want to get into that trippy genre.

Two Hours Over Two Blue Mountains With A Cuckoo On Each Side, Of The Hours... That Is - A very long title for a rather long piece. During those 13+ minutes, there is a blend of instruments, noises, and some magic. The strings are my favorite part of this track.

There Is A Time For Everything, There Is A Time When Even Time Will Meet - At this point, I'm starting to wonder what the band members were on when they recorded this. Probably my favorite track on the album. It begins with dog barks and what sounds like a flute, then with bells added. Once the strings come in, it becomes even more amazing.

Children Of Possibilities - The combination of strings and vocals is beautiful. This song is short and I wish it was longer. It is a lovely calm song.

La Rotta - This very short track has a great strings riff with nice percussion accompaniment. Though it is repetitive, it is wonderful with a hint of folk.

Viriditas - The song is atonal with stretched out vocals. It is interesting, but not beautiful.

Rings Of Saturn - The guitar dominates this track. It is essentially a long solo, with other instruments in the background. It is very spacey.

The Future Is A Hovering Ship, Anchored In The Past - This track is slow without much going on, reminiscent of classical music. It's not a very memorable track.

5/4 - It starts out simple and slow, building up to a blend of percussion. As one might guess from the title, that part is in 5/4. Once the other instruments come in, it becomes more and more upbeat, with odd rhythms.

The Mirrors Of Gabriel - This track reminds me very much of both classical music and Univers Zero. It sounds like a slow march for something sinister. I think it would fit well in a fantasy movie introducing the villains.

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 Delayed by ALGARNAS TRADGARD album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.94 | 37 ratings

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Delayed
Algarnas Tradgard Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I couldn't wait to get this one after being so impressed by their debut. I called their first one a bit of a monster, I mean it was unique and not for the faint of heart. This one is called "Delayed" because the band had recorded it, but then split up before it was released. So 27 years later here it is. Quite the story. This one does have some similarities to the debut, but it didn't hit me the same way at all. I'm probably in the minority here, but for me their debut is easily the best of the two, and of course my favourite.

"Takeoff" has a great beat to it once it gets going. Pounding drums and some vocal melodies early. The bass to follow is throbbing. I have to say that the drumming is probably the most impressive feature of this album for me. The spacey ending seems to go on and on as it blends into the next song "Intersteller Cruise". Percussion is added a minute in. About 3 minutes in we get an uptempo melody with pounding drums. Sitar comes in, giving this passage a strong Indian flavour. A great rhythm after 8 minutes. Floods of mellotron arrive as the song calms right down before 12 minutes. It ends with a spacey soundscape with piano. "Reflection" is less then a minute of mellotron.

"Almond Raga" opens with drums and violin. Guitar comes in, and like on the first track it sounds distorted. I don't like it. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes. Violin takes over before 3 minutes followed by a pastoral section with an Indian flavour. "Beetlewater" is my favourite song on here. It has an eerie intro that is replaced by an uptempo soundscape that includes violin. It brightens somewhat before 2 minutes.Some nice bass lines as drums pound away. The violin continues to be prominant. "The Arrival Of Autumn" opens in a pastoral way.It starts to build 1 1/2 minutes in. The annoying distorted guitar is back until it calms back down. It drifts along with keys, drums and bass breaking through occasionally. "My Childhood Trees" is spacey with strange, psychedelic vocals to follow. Ominous sounding flute in the intro and after the vocals stop. Vocals return. This is a slow moving and haunting track.

If you want to be adventerous check this band out. They have a unique psychedelic sound.

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