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EGYPTIAN KINGS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Portugal


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Egyptian Kings biography
Egyptian Kings is an independent music group from Portugal, consisting of Gustavo Marques (kb & synth), Ludwig Arthur Blair (gtr & flute), Sebastian Dali The Third (bs & electronics) and Sir Ivan Schopenhauer (dr & perc). In their own words, they "create a sound caracterized by a dissolution of logic, space, time, body language and limits, which would culminate in a fusion unity with the universe, along with feelings of hapiness and peace" (myspace/egyptiankings). Their sound consists from elements of space rock (dominant), progressive electronic and ambient music. Though soft and modern sounding synths and flutes are on the front, there's a complete rock band producing the whole music, but they do not create a conventional rock sound texture with their instruments, so this brings also some slight post rock tones here. Their music is very trance oriented, resembling OZRIC TENTACLES, and free but tonal improvisation of simple themes create the tracks, so they are recommend them for anybody seeking soothing and peaceful spacey music.

Eetu Pellonpää

Egyptian Kings official website

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3.55 | 65 ratings
Almagest
2006

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EGYPTIAN KINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Philip

3 stars Egyptian Kings purpose is to "create a sound characterized by a dissolution of logic, space, time, body language and limits, which would culminate in a fusion unity with the universe, along with feelings of happiness and peace". Since your first listening to this album, you find that this is true.

Almagest was released in 2006, in a very small release of only 50 copies. They are from a city from North Portugal, Braga, 50 Km away from Porto. However, as it is said in their site, "In a night of cosmic rain, four boys, coming from four distant points of the Universe, meet and decide to form a band." This is their spirit. Cosmic rain is a good reference to their space music and the union of human beings to the Universe we live in. Secondly they are out of any referential, time or space, as they come from distant points in the same Universe, and the only thing they've got in common is their own existence, no matter when or where it happens, that is not interesting as they try to do the dissolution they say, including their body existence. This travel finally ends up in peace. The voyage itself is peaceful and very calm. If you are a fan of soft, calm, peaceful and even inspiring music, this record is for you. The record has this name because of the astronomical treatise written by Claudius Ptolemaeus in the 2nd century. This treatise explained and described, among many other things, the apparent stars movement, so one of the songs is called "Cosmos Celestial movement". In the spoken sentences that are heard in some songs, other topics are touched, such as capitalism, pollution and the possible self destruction of the Earth.

Now, let's make this travel again, song by song:

The album begins with "Murmurs" that segues to "Pale White Dot". The first one is a wonderful introduction that leads to the best song of the album, which a masterpiece in my opinion. The flute and keyboards enjoy their best moment in this 9 minute epic. This song and its introduction (track 1) are the best moment of the album and are a masterpiece. After this fabulous track, another epic, a bit longer (15minutes), that unfortunately is far in terms of quality from "Pale White Dot". "Low Mass Stars" is my least favourite song in the album. It's boring from the beginning to its middle part, and only becomes more interesting closer to its end. For me it's the weakest point of the album. The next two songs are very good, with the right ambient being provided by synthesizers. The album ends with "Cosmos Celestial Movement", and much like the "Murmurs" introduction, this song is perfect for the conclusion, again the flute is very good and the style has clear orient influences, in my point of view.

So, in conclusion, this is a very interesting album that makes us travel in the Universe, in a trip that only stops when the music finishes, music that gets us to a world of peace and harmony. Good effort by this Portuguese band, that gets 4 stars from me, mainly because of the excellent moments that gives me. But that doesn't happen at any time, because of some boring moments, so it is 3 stars

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

1 stars This may be progressive, but don't expect it to rock (unfortunately like I did). This album is basically nearly forty minutes of keyboard/synth drones and sound effects, with flute and guitar (albeit rarely) melodies interspersed. I have nothing against ambient music, though I have to say that I often find the distinction between music and sound blurred with this genre. There certainly is no virtuosic playing, no choruses, few time signatures, and little else that I need when I listen to music. I'll be the first to admit that I prefer a Western version of song structure, and for those who don't, this may be up your alley.

I won't review each song, because to my ears, each song sounds like the others, with some being longer, and some being shorter-- that's the only real difference I can discern. Some parts have simple drums, some parts have a melody, and other parts are just keyboard chords and effects. Needless to say, I find it quite boring.

The only thing that I use this album for is falling alseep. That's not meant to be a backhanded compliment: there is a serenity and restraint to this music that even I can appreciate. However, if I want to actually pay attention to the music, this one consistently fails to satisfy. Two stars because this is relatively boring, but on the positive side, there's nothing truly grating or terrible.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Peace.

There are some people whose last word in a review is peace, i have stolen that word in order to write it at the very beginning of my review, since peace is what i have and feel while listening to this album. I remember this was one of the most recommended albums from 2006, actually if i remember correctly, it caused a fuzz inside PA and its collaborators, so i joined to the group of people who wanted to listen to it, and i can say happily that it was a good choice.

A couple of days ago i was looking for some mellow or relaxing music, i mean in the prog side of music not New Age and remembered this album, so i put it in my cd player along with some Vangelis and Explosions in the Sky which normally put me in a nice mood when things are difficult or i had a bad day and i want to feel calm and better, since then i have listened to Almagest more than 5 times and i will do it again today`s night and tomorrow`s morning for sure, but wait, let me tell you that with these words i am not saying that you should listen to it 5 times in a day, not at all but its calm and mellow sound can inprove your day.

This nice and promising band from Portugal has a cosmic/space orientation in their music, while some may find it really boring, others (like me) may join to the cosmic trip, close your eyes and let the music take you completely, that is what i really like of this album, the fact that i am inside the music, hope you understand what i mean, maybe the songs here are not outstanding tracks, but this is that kind of albums that you simply cannot skip any song, once you start playing it, you have to finish it.

Almagest features 6 song and a running time of 40 minutes where you will be caught by the space and ambient sound of it, as i said there are no outstanding songs, however, you will notice the difference from the opening track to the main theme of the album, "Murmurs" is a nice introduction to the album, it shows you the cosmic vibe since the very beginning, "Pale White Dot" is the first long song of the album, it includes a nice flute, some gentle guitars and the cosmic atmosphere as always, very comfortable and musically pretty nice, then it continues with "Low Mass Stars" which is probably the main theme of the album, being a 15-minute epic, which gradually captivates your attention and your mind into a spacial journey, let the song take you, but this is a two-edge weapon, you wil either be caught or bored with this song. "Spirit of the Water" is my less favorite song, though i have no favorite one but maybe this sound a bit repetitive and it may need a change in the album, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" is the last song before the short epilogue, and it has the same characteristic as the other ones, very nice mellow atmosphere with great use of synths, oh i almost forgot it, this album has some vocals but there are only spoken words, not sung,and this album finishes with with "Cosmos Celestial Movement", which is just a song to finish this cosmic trip.

I like this album and enjoy it very much, but it is not a masterpiece at all, as i said before, you could either love it or get bored with it, so i personally would give it 4 stars, but for the site i believe it is more accurate a 3-star grade.

Enjoy it!

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Portugues Pharaohs

Portugal's "Egyptian Kings" sole release to date is this 2006 album. The band have successfully hyped the album by making it available for free download (witness the astonishing number of ratings and reviews on this site for what is essentially an unknown band). Hype alone though does not a good album make, so what of the music?

The album opens ethereally, with floating, spacey sounds on the brief "Murmurs" leading into the 9½ minute "Pale white dot". The opening flute on this track soon gives way to further drifting keyboard driven passages, with intermittent lead guitar inflections. By the time of the slightly oriental "Spirit of the water", the album is becoming rather predictable. The occasional brief narrative message offers a point of intrigue, but the band fail to exploit such interventions adequately.

In terms of influences, the band's own acknowledgements of ENO, TANGERINE DREAM, (earlier) PORCUPINE TREE and PINK FLOYD pretty much sum things up. The first two of that list are the most obvious, the compositions being based more upon effects and sounds than on strength of melody. There is generally an avoidance of pulsating rhythms or strong back beats although "Low mass stars" does have a slow, heavy, steam engine like industrial beat in places.

The post rock influences the band claim are less apparent. There is none of the driving, swelling excitement of that sub-genre to speak of, a repetitive element being the only real common denominator. Likewise, suggestions of space rock and trance need to be tempered by the recognition that this album is devoid of the fast rhythms which define such music.

"Algamest" is both a difficult listen, and perversely a very easy one. On the one hand, the listener can easily drift off into other thoughts with the music as little more that a background indulgence. On the other, if one tries to listen in depth to the album, there are no discernible melodies rendering the sounds and atmospheres demanding.

For those who enjoy the less accessible, mood dominated side of Tangerine Dream, this album will be of interest. For me, it is a pleasant diversion but not a masterpiece by any means.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Zitro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Ambient music with imagery of outer space that while pretty and of high sounnd-quality, it gets incredibly boring and non-eventful fast, making the second half of the album very dull, even if the album isn't even forty minutes long. The music is generally driven by ambient washes of sound, gentle synthesizers, and the flute. I think the album cover with its image of the Orion Nebula is appropriate, since this music sounds very spacey.

The highlights are easily the first 3 tunes, because it's the beginning of the ambient that gets old quick and is also the most eventful and musically interesting pieces.

Murmurs is well-done ambient music that serves as an introduction to the album. Believe it or not, it is the heaviest section in the allbum. Pale White Dot is dominated by a nice gentle flute at the beginning, then a soft minimalist electric guitar, and finally, the flute returns nicely in a more ambient finale. It's my favorite song in the album. Low Mass Stars starts losing my interest, it's nice, but it's way too much ambient, more than I can swallow at the same time. the first five minutes are generally boring to me until the flute starts, though it doesn't seem to have the same magic as in "Pale White Dot". At around minute 10, there is a quite ethereal drone sound that goes off for a while and a slow percussion eventually joining in, resulting in my favorite moment of the disc. The last two minutes are kind of boring though.

The rest that follows kind of bores me though. Spirit of the Water after the second minute sounds the same throughout until the neat percussion at the end. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is even more monotonous and very similar to the previous track, with a slow-tempo and basic drum pattern, and synth/flute soundscapes. Cosmos Celestial Movement is what's left after I've already lost complete interest of the album, aimless boring space noise with no memorable quality whatsoever, probably even worse than what preceded it.

If you want to get into the 'space rock', 'ambient' and/or 'progressive electronic' sub genres, this album is just not special. There are many better things waiting to be heard than this dull album.

1. Murmurs (2:03) - (B-)

2. Pale White Dot (9:31) - (B-)

3. Low Mass Stars (15:15) - (C)

4. Spirit of the Water (D)

5. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (D-)

6. Cosmos Celestial Movement (F)

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Ampersand

5 stars This album is simply *phenomenal*. I found out about Almagest here on ProgArchives and it had me dazzled so that for a few weeks I listened only to it. I don't know anything about those guys, apart from that they are Portugese, but I am waiting for their next release.

The album is actually a mix of space rock, ambient and post-rock. Thanks to the use of flute it has a warm and pleasant feel. EK can easily manipulate the mood, but what you find on Almagest is mostly cosmic musical landscsapes.

The first track, Murmurs, is a sort of an introduction and is probably the darkest one on the whole album. Transistion to the next track, Pale White Dot, is smooth. The track starts with a pleasant, post-rock-like flute tune and develops into space chorus synthesisers, followed by a guitar solo seasoned with a pinch something that makes me think of Porcupine Tree. The track finishes with another flute variation and we proceed to Low Mass Stars, which would be some 15 minutes of ambient, if it wasn't for that flute motif, which seems to be recurrent throughout all the album. Spirit Of The Water unfortunally is not a cover of Camel, but, thanks to that heavenly speaking female voice it features, it is the most calm and peaceful track on the whole album. Track 5, Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors is a bit darker and continues on to Cosmos Celestial Movement, which features almost only the flute, sums up the album with its oriental sound.

All in all, listen to Almagest because it is something really fresh. If the band got more publicity, then probably it would be seen as a breakthrough... I hope the band will keep this level of musicianship.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This wee release, almost EP length by current standards, is not exactly what you'd call space rock, not if you are looking for big riffs and cosmic guitar solos. It actually borders on ambient, but unlike some other reviewers, I think it actually achieves its aim fairly well. The album is dominated by waves of synth and gentle flute solos. Don't look for lots of melody, and especially don't look for virtuoso drumming...the beat is here just for the beat, slow and ponderous, as all the pieces are. A brief futuristic monologue by a lady with an American accent neither adds nor detracts. The closest reference I can find is some of 90s Hawkwind's synth instrumentals, like "Going to Hawaii" on Electric Teepee...since I always enjoyed those pieces more than the actual songs on the albums, this is quite a treat for me. Not particularly strong as ambient music or as space rock, but still quite pleasant to listen to, I think it bodes well for this group as they develop in the future.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kanaanII

5 stars Egyptian Kings with their debut made a classic and simple defines what progressive music is about: transcendental feelings and a fusion of different genre influences that when come together create a unique sound that is not similar to another band. One thing that i still ask to myself is if the band had even the slightest idea when they were in the process of composing and recording of how powerful Almagest is, because, this is a very beautiful and a absolutely complex serene system of space music that doesn't overthrow the senses but instead subtley alters the preception of the entire range of sounds, images and emotions your experiencing at the time. Pale White Dot is incredible and like nothing I've ever heard anywhere else, a gorgeous piece built on the striking contrast between a light sweet synthesizer chord progression in the background, with Ivan playing a jazzy space drum line and Sebastiao with a simple bass line walking through music like a traveller and then Artur flute sweeping melodies over the whole empty spaces left that come and go. And in the last part Gustavo in a layered over- lapped keyboard and Artur playing guitar in a pentatonic melodie making pure magic like the eternal perfection of the clockwork universe. A very quiet-slow album, certainly not for everyone, but one of my favorite music cds of this decade.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In my opinion, this is not the masterpiece you are being told.

One of my most passionate interest is in ambient music, which is a much wider genre than is represented her on ProgArchives. And I can report that EGYPTIAN KINGS, while promising, are mere neophytes in this broad and compelling genre.

Their music, in the vein of Steve Reich and Pete Namlook, has few of the subtleties characteristics of the masters of the genre. Progressive electronic music from giants such as FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON and THE ORB, neither of whom feature here, contains humanising characteristics to give the listener access to the music. However, 'Amalgest' offers a soundscape and little more.

A final thought: note that in the reviews here people talk about themselves and their experience while listening, and say very little about the music utself. That is because the tracks are insufficiently distinguishable from each other. Their length is arbitrary, as is their placement on the album. I wish the EGYPTIAN KINGS well, and hope they go on to great things.

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 Almagest by EGYPTIAN KINGS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 65 ratings

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Almagest
Egyptian Kings Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Very cool and relaxing cosmic ambient piece from this young band. Egyptian Kings's music is inspired by space rock and electronica, but also by ambient and trip-hop music in the veins of The Orb and Alpha. The whole disc could be a soundtrack gathering echoes from lost and mysterious regions of the universe.

Mostly instrumental, Almagest uses trance loops, synthetizers, guitars, flute and explosions in the sky to make to transform the listener into a cosmic traveller. The music is so calm, delicate, magic and enchanting and reflects sometimes ancient civilizations and oriental landscapes. An empty space between the planets and the stars.

Very original and breathtaking, apart from Hawkwind and Ozrics, the music from the Egyptian Kings make the happiness of all space and ambient music lovers ! A band to discover !

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Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the artist addition.

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