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VESPERO

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Russia


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Vespero biography
VESPERO got together as a quartet (Arkady Fedotov - vocals, bass, flute, synths; Valentin Rulev - violin, synths; Ivan Fedotov - drums, percussion; Alexander Kuzovlev - guitar, bass, synths) in Astrakhan (south of Russia) 2003 on the common interest in playing psychedelic music. Later Natalya Tjurina (vocals) joined, and the band moved into more progressive rock-related areas. As their Moscow fellows KAFTAN SMEKHA, VESPERO are deeply influenced by avant theatre and experimental poetry. Since the very first demos their sound has been influenced by GONG, early FLOYD, FAUST and related bands from that era. Highly recommended for all fans of these (and beyond!).

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Discography:
Rito, studio album (2007)
...

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VESPERO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VESPERO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 47 ratings
Rito
2007
4.15 | 72 ratings
Surpassing All Kings
2009
4.18 | 129 ratings
By The Waters Of Tomorrow
2010
4.01 | 83 ratings
Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier
2012
4.06 | 49 ratings
Droga
2013
3.61 | 40 ratings
Fitful Slumber Until 5 A.M.
2015

VESPERO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 19 ratings
Foam
2008
4.08 | 19 ratings
Liventure #19
2008
4.16 | 19 ratings
Liventure #21
2010
4.73 | 11 ratings
Liventures, etc
2013
4.60 | 5 ratings
Cello Liventures (In Memory Of Vladimir Belov)
2014

VESPERO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.67 | 9 ratings
Liventures 2008-2010
2011

VESPERO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VESPERO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.16 | 6 ratings
Careful With That Axe, Eugene
2013

VESPERO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fitful Slumber Until 5 A.M. by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.61 | 40 ratings

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Fitful Slumber Until 5 A.M.
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

3 stars With this album Russian jammers Vespero have chosen a direction that incorporates more prominently the element of folk or world instrumentation. Guitarist Alexander Kuzovlev has introduced more traditional instruments (mostly mandolin) into lead or foundational roles in virtually every song. Keyboard wizard Alexey Klabukov has chosen either edgy-weird space/computer sounds or retro/70s sounds to be featured in his palette here. Drummer Ivan Fedotov has been asked to perform more straightforward role as rhythm keeper instead of the adventurous free-flowing improvisateur I fell in love with on By the Waters of Tomorrow. As a matter of fact, this 2010 release had me so excited exactly because this drummer and group were so free-form and adventurous--like the Krautrock bands of old. I fear that the band as a whole has reined in and contained their sound considerably since those formative days of the Naughties. It feels to me as if only bass player Arkady Fedotov has been able to really keep his groove on from the days of "old."

Don't get me wrong: There are good songs here--songs that I like to hear once in a while (though, I have to admit, there is not a single song that I love the whole way through)--but nothing that sucks me in and hypnotizes me the way By the Waters of Tomorrow and the "Liventure" series did.

Favorite songs: "Vision 2: Outer Planting (4:02:16 - 4:10:30)" (8:15) (9/10); "Vision 5: Ezel (4:30:00 - 4:36:55)" (6:56) (8/10); "Vision 1: Ogni Fuoco (3:50:18 - 4:02:15)" (11:53) (8/10), and; the Arabian feeling "Vision 6: Atil (4:36:46 - 4:51:14)" (14:18) (8/10).

A well-performed set of songs that are, unfortunately, a little disappointing to me. It is hard to discern this album's value as it is not, in my opinion, "an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection" nor is it merely "Good." It is a 3.5 star album that I am going to rate down for failing to live up to both my expectations and the band's potential.

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 Droga by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 49 ratings

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Droga
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. This might be my favourite VESPERO album beating out "Surpassing All Kings". A very cool closeup of a leaf is the album cover and the cd cover is made out of recycled cardboard. Three guests help out adding vocals, cello, flute and soprano sax.

"Steppe" begins sounding like we are in the Middle East as voices and flute join in. I really like the mood and atmosphere here until it changes 4 minutes as it kicks into gear. It settles back into more of a spacey groove after 5 minutes then back to the Middle Eastern sound 9 minutes in. "Maui" has a steady beat with guitar notes that seem to dance around the soundscape. It turns intense after 2 minutes but then quickly becomes uplifting with mellotron. The drumming impresses as usual plus we get some cello helping out. "Red Pitfalls" has a FLOYD-like vibe as the guitar makes spacey sounds while the drums and bass support. Beautiful stuff. Some nice guitar before 4 minutes then the sound turns spacey a minute later as it settles back. A Post-Rock flavour to the guitar after 6 minutes then the cello kicks in. "Oboo" features electronics and a spacey atmosphere early on then the drums and bass arrive. Such a feel-good vibe here. Flute before 1 1/2 minutes and I have to say that the guitar sounds really good here. "Thymus" has Post-Rock styled guitars to start then it settles into an excellent guitar led groove. Contrasts continue. Almost a Scandinavian mood after 2 minutes and the guitar recalls "Damnation" by OPETH. Another change after 4 1/2 minutes as we get this heavenly sound, just gorgeous. More Post-Rock styled guitar before 7 minutes.

"Halo" has lots of atmosphere with guitar and electronics then the tempo picks up around a minute in. A spacey calm 4 1/2 minutes in with twittering sounds and more going on. The electronics stop around 6 minutes as picked guitar only takes over then it builds. Love the drumming as usual. "Marine" opens with drums as it starts to build with some spacey guitar and sounds. This is so good. Nice bass lines here as well. A change before 4 minutes as it picks up and then the synths and guitar become more of the focus. I do prefer the earlier sound. They are kicking butt late to end it. "Frozen Lillies(Melt In Heaven)" has a PORCUPINE TREE-like spacey atmosphere to start then the tempo picks up around a minute and it's fuller. A spacey calm arrives 3 minutes in but it's brief as an intense drum/bass section kicks in with spacey synths. I like it! Guitar comes to the fore after 5 minutes to the end. "Droga" opens with mellotron and intricate sounds and there is plenty of atmosphere early on. Female vocal melodies arrive 2 1/2 minutes and they are a nice touch. It picks up before 5 1/2 minutes with the guitar soloing slowly over top as the drums and electronics support. Sax a minute later. Nice.

Man this is close to 5 stars but not yet, still this band has been a revelation to me over the years and they never disappoint.

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 Careful With That Axe, Eugene by VESPERO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.16 | 6 ratings

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Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Russian band VESPERO have been a fairly productive band since they were formed back in 2003, and from 2007 and onwards they have released a substantial amount of material, mostly within the space rock segment of progressive rock. Their most recent creation see the band team up with UK specialist label Fruits de Mer Records, for Vespero's take on two classic compositions by legendary progressive rock band Pink Floyd.

The A side of this 7'' vinyl single, Careful With That Axe Eugene, is a slow paced atmospheric construction in Vespero's take on it, with a driving organ with haunting qualities supported by nervous Mellotron, dampened bass and rhythm, plucked guitar details and a liberal flavoring of futuristic effects. Until a ghostly, spoken voice appears that is, sending the song into a more frantic direction with blazing guitar soloing early 70's style and initial haunting vocal effects, the song ebbing out on a return to the initial slower paced, atmospheric oriented mood.

The B side is given to One of These Days, in this take a multiple themed affair with an initial sequence of pumping bass and twisted, surging guitar details and keyboards with occasional drum flurries, giving way to a sequencer driven passage flavored with light toned futuristic electronic melodic effects and otherwise futuristic sounds combining into a machine and robots inspired futuristic inspired theme, then taken over by dominant slide guitar and drums prior to ebbing out on the dying whispers of a wind synth.

A nice treat for fans of space rock this one, and one I suspect would be of interest to fans of Pink Floyd too, as it generally is intriguing at some level to hear what other artists approach the classics and how much or not they try to make the songs their own. The end results in this case are intriguing in their own right though, and space rock fans with an affection for vintage sounding material should line up for this one.

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 Liventures, etc by VESPERO album cover Live, 2013
4.73 | 11 ratings

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Liventures, etc
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

5 stars You know, there's always a difference between studio recordings and live experiences - and this especially applies to the band VESPERO which is hailing from the Russian province Astrakhan. Man! Delivered as the satellite release only(!) to the regular albums 'Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier' and 'Droga', this one, while brimfull of delicate live cuts, turns out to be their masterpiece, when it comes to me. Although there's not any applause or other audience activity to notice, it evidently captures them on the stage, performing favourite covers, alternative samples of some of their compositions, and even new songs. Which finally means, all the tracks, respectively versions you can listen to, are previously unreleased without any exception.

Since they have ten experienced years in the back now, let me state how prolific and multifaceted the foursome is in the meanwhile! This for a first summary, until it goes into some details straight ahead. 'What is considered a drug rather than a food varies between cultures ...' - that may describe the band's mystic aura. Droga represents the title track of their newest studio album, which is lyrically and musically inspired by visions of their homeland, and again holds traces of Southern Russia's ethnic music. And so this electronic beat, caused by Arkady Fedotov's synthesizer I'm quite sure, might be something derivative, operates like a hypnotic mantra all the way through. A gripping affair, while additonally decorated with Ivan Fedotov's brushes as well as a noteworthy melancholic collaboration, contributed by Alexander Kuzovlev's space guitar and Alexey Klabukov's synthesizer. A fantastic entry to this song collection, simple as that!

Deeply inspired by the 60/70's German subculture The Strangest Thing In The Ocean is taken from the 2012 'Subkraut' release ... and it only get's better ... Rudolf Sosna of FAUST fame originally wrote the song Jennifer at the Oxfordshire Manor House studio in 1973, straightaway after they had a somewhat impressing encounter with a red-haired country girl. Okay, as is known lyrics are quite simple, however musically the VESPERO interpretation comes with a new fantastic livery, where they are able to cover the song's original gorgeousness as well as weirdness, but also modify this affair a bit according to their own musical approach. So Jennifer, aka Elena Belozyorova, marks a short intervention and the original whacked piano outro is substituted by a way more crazy electronical attack.

Well, now step by step, you're getting clues, how multi-varied drummer Ivan Fedotov is navigating through the songs. Clouds appears with flute and melodica support, it's the rhythm branch first and foremost which serves a strong trip hop/new jazz touch. On the second Faust cover J'Ai Mal Aux Dents I can hear two wonderfully complementing guitars, which leads to the assumption that this one steps out of line, might be a studio product probably, overdubs inclusive. But wait - two guitars - this is at least regularly reserved for the last avantgarde styled song Tanz - guest musician Alexander Chuvakov from the band Kalutaliksuak is aboard here, which you will immediately recognize when you're familiar a bit with the creme de la creme of Russian prog.

Finally it only remains to mention another extraordinary excerpt from the new 'Droga' album - Oboo features a halting behaviour, again the regular bass guitar is substituted by a repetitive electronic beat - somewhat far-away this shows extraordinary space guitar and swirling synths.There you are - irresistible modern kraut and ethno flavoured space rock - equipped with a proper amount of electronical stuff and some successful vocal parts - making a lot of fun.in any case. Though not having heard the new album 'Droga' in total yet (which may house some new surprises probably) 'Liventures, etc' already blows me away really. A prolific and entertaining collection which deserves the highest rating.

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 Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 83 ratings

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Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars VESPERO's fourth album is significantly referring to the German U-Boat tradition (how terrible!) in the same way as to the special German rock music legacy (how irresisitible!). Similarity and contradiction at once - 'U-Boats Willkommen Hier' - this sounds provocative to me, sorry, probably meant as a pun - tainted with considerable speculation overall. But now for some clarification, the official label (R.A.I.G) announcement tells us that the album 'is a conceptual framework for six instrumental kraut-rock songs which are inspired by Russian Futurism of the early 20th century, German musical underground of the 70's, modern American fiction writers, as well as mysteries of the Great Ocean still not completely explained by mankind'. Yup!

'The Art Of Positive Thinking' - well, come what may, the title of the last song points us in the right direction, right?. Also put with intent I'm sure ... the song titles are alternating between English and German, just like following a policy or so ... German efficiency, eh? Seriously now ... there are bands I gradually have lost interest, since some repetiition in style and approach occured over the years. VESPERO obviously differ ... every album sounds in another way somehow. Often accompanied by a trancy behaviour they have worked with native female vocalists for example, but now they are on another track. There's a strong space jam appeal to state, which shows them close to Oresund Space Collective or the current Electric Orange style here and there. And subtle sax and violin input brings some variation to the general impression.

The groovy Underwater convinces me due to a very nice harmonic interplay of synths and space guitar. I can imagine a somewhat modern submarine boat incarnation - gliding underwater at first as usual, but then gathering speed, coming up crossing the surface, and finally blasting off into space. Another collaboration - I mean drums and percussion - is striking too here. Concerning the title Angriff, Ran, Versenken! this leaves me with mixed feelings, musically though the song is nominated for the album's highlight on the contrary - expresses dramaturgy all through, it's a very dynamic exemplar. I still do believe in artistic freedom by the way.

Some songs like Anpeilen! and Alarm ... The Art Of Positive Thinking show a drum work tending more to a typical hypnotic respectively mechanical appearance anyhow. That said, for some reason this really might be the closest album to krautrock they've ever recorded so far. But - on the other hand - since VESPERO started with 'Rito' in 2007 such influences never could be denied for sure, are reflected in every album, sometimes more, sometimes less. Although thematically a bit problematic for me I won't complain - music-wise this is another outstanding band output. If you still are not familiar with this crew, it's about time.

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 By The Waters Of Tomorrow by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.18 | 129 ratings

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By The Waters Of Tomorrow
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well this does sound a little different from their previous album "Surpassing All Kings" as they've added violin, cello, flute and mellotron this time around. Mind you the mellotron isn't that outfront and according to Andy at Planet Mellotron it's sampled. The drumming is my favourite part of this record, the guy can flat out play.

"Daphne" kicks in quickly then the guitar starts to play over top as they seem to jam throughout this track. "Percious" has this spacey atmosphere to start as sounds echo, pulse and cry out. Some guitar and drums before 3 minutes as it builds. The tempo picks up too. Great sound here. It settles back around 5 minutes. "Amaryllis" opens with the drums sounding so good. The guitar comes in at 2 minutes lighting it up. Spacey synths replace the guitar then the guitar returns around 4 1/2 minutes. "Gao Zult" features drums and spacey sounds early on. It settles 4 minutes in then kicks back in quickly. Violin before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Tall Tree" has a relaxed and melodic soundscape. The guitar starts to light it up before 4 minutes then it settles back before 5 1/2 minutes. Cello joins in then it all kicks back in at 6 1/2 minutes. "Punto Fijo" is uptempo and led by guitar, spacey synths and drums. It settles before 2 minutes and it's very spacey here. The guitar starts to wind it out 6 minutes in followed by cello. "Pavani Lacryme" is strummed guitar and atmosphere until we get a beat 2 minutes in. The violin starts to cry out. "Seagulls Sing (When It Rains)" opens with whistling then drums come to the fore after 1 1/2 minutes with plenty of atmosphere. It's brighter before 3 1/2 minutes with flute. Seagulls can be heard after 6 minutes with waves to end it. Great track ! "Aurora Borealis" has this urgent sounding rhythm with the violin playing over top. Spacey winds join in as well.

Call me crazy but I like "Surpassing All Kings" better and I know i'm in the minority with those feelings. Still we get another winner from these Russians, in fact if you can get anything they've put out I wouldn't even hesitate.

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 Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 83 ratings

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Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Vespero is an instrumental band from Russia who generally specializes in space-prog. This is the first full album I have heard from them and it is obvious from the album title and the music itself here that there is a strong Krautrock influence on this album. I think the title translates to "U-Boats Welcome Here" and two of the song titles sound like made-up German words. Basically you get your guitar, keyboards and a rhythm section but also some guest musicians adding percussion, cello and saxophone to the mix. The music genrally reminds me of Ozric Tentacles but sometimes also of Hawkwind, with a good dose of motorik style hypnotic Krautrock of course. The music here is not very complex but rather rhythmic and hypnotic; it's music you get into, not music you want to impress you.

"The Strangest Thing In The Ocean" opens the album in an almost Ozrics fashion. Eventually a groove is established. I like the percussion in this track, it adds a lot. Great spacey guitar soloing in this song. "Anpeilen!" is more in Hawkwind territory with its modified sax playing. Unlike Hawkwind there is no guitar riffs dominating this track. The guitar here mostly stays in the background adding texture. Some altered talking and/or laughing can be heard. The drumming becomes much more motorik and hypnotic as the song progresses. Later the drums keep a steady beat while additional percussion work gives the music an added urgency.

"Underwater" begins with some classic electronic prog sounds including some bird-like sounds done on synth. Gradually a beat on drums enters the scene and turns into another beat as sparse guitar notes join it. The guitar plays more notes faster and then eventually sort of solos as the music gets spacier and the cymbal work on the drumkit makes everything more hypnotic. As the guitar does its own thing, the drums kind of stop and then come back again with the main synth almost playing a melody. Some fast percussion and just a constant bass drum thudding as the guitar goes into some rockin' tones. The drums play a beat again as the guitar does some great spacey soloing.

"Target Selection" has a beginning that reminds me of some industrial music. Dark and spacey. Gradually things get spacier and noisier for awhile. Some nice cello here. Drums eventually appear, sounding low in the mix on purpose. "Angriff, Ran, Versenken!" opens with a very hypnotic sequencer pattern. This track has a Ozrics-meets-Hawkwind vibe with some motorik Krautrock elements as well. I like the beat the drummer goes into after 5 minutes with the Ozric-like flute playing over top. The guitar playing gets more rockin' and the rest of the instruments get more intense sounding. The guitar plays a sort of melody at one point.

"Alarm...The Art Of Positive Thinking" has a hypnotic 3-note sequencer pattern lay the foundation for the other instruments. Basically every song here starts out this way with the original sequencer getting buried in the mix until you forget all about it. The drumming here comes and goes and the guitar is generally in solo mode, but not for the whole song. The drumming gets almost jazzy at one point. Gets into a nice groove towards the end with some great wah-soloing on guitar. This album is great modern space-prog with Krautrock influences. It's fairly consistent with no one track standing out. The sound and production is good and the playing is more than competent for what the music requires. My final verdict will be a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

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 Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 83 ratings

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Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by raigor

5 stars Prog-heads, beware! Vespero's "Submarine Kraut" is a very special album, a sort of cheerfully crafted tribute to a sub-genre known as Kraut-Rock, in its groovy motoric form. The tracks are built around simple rhythmic beat-sequences and feature steady developing textural arrangements. The music is whole instrumental and ? if you listen to a quality disc instead of poor mp-rip ? reveals itself in sophisticated combinatorial interaction of multiple layers. Instead of simply following the path of their previous, highly acclaimed "By the Waters of Tomorrow" album, Vespero demonstrated a different approach to the creation of their music. This effort ? from the point of both artistic courage and capability to give adequate forms to initial ideas ? deserves the highest assessment. File it under: neo-kraut, space-rock, instrumental cross-over. 2xLP version of the album (by German Krauted Minds Records) also features 20+ minutes of extra-music - 2 parts of previously unpublished "Liventure N.8" opus.

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 Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 83 ratings

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Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by s. sargassov

5 stars "Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier" - conceptual musical canvas, inspired by the ideas of Russian futurism of the early 20th century, the German underground music 70's and contemporary American science fiction writers.

The album will be the fourth full-length account numbered album. Previous studiynik - "By The Waters Of Tomorrow" - was released in 2010 and collected a lot of positive reviews in the foreign press. Musical style VESPERO difficult to identify unambiguously. Members of the group claim that they play psychedelia with progressive shifts in the direction of the 1970s. However, experts are finding music in the music VESPERO influence the manifestation and many other styles.

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 By The Waters Of Tomorrow by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.18 | 129 ratings

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By The Waters Of Tomorrow
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

5 stars Upon first listen to this album I didn't think it was as good as the three live albums I own by VESPERO: Foam, Liventure #19, and Liventure #21. But, I was wrong. Yes, I miss the wordless singing of Natalya Tujrina, otherwise this studio album is an amazing accomplishment of collaborative creativity.

1. Daphne (9/10) starts the album off with a fast paced jam in which the mix of synths are used very creatively and in which the drumming is mesmerizing, captivating.

2. Percious (8/10) has a very slow, spacey beginning but eventually picks up. Around 4:30 it feels like the drummer gets lost!? The music slows and thins at 4:50 with only pluck-echo-guitar and cymbol play for a while. At 6:30 it picks back up with some jazziness--and with some awesome 'trumpet'-sounding violin!

3. Amaryllis (8/10) starts slow but builds quickly until at 1:40 things really kick into high gear. Great searing guitar solo but, by 3:30, the band sounds a bit discombobulated. Perhaps going a bit too gang-busters. This is soon coorrected. 4:30 sees a shift to interweave of arpeggios by guitar, bass, and keyboards played against a very fast drum beat. At 6:30 there arises a discordant screaming guitar (reminds me of TODD RUNDGREN on 1973's "Todd"'s "In and Out the Chakras We Go")

4. Gao Zült (7/10) starts with drum brushes! Guitar, synths, violin join in in a PORCUPINE TREE way and play together for a minute and a half before bass and fuzz guitar take over against new frenetic drum patterns. The drummer is going so fast with such a syncopated line while the spacey background keyboard wash tricks you into hypnotic sleep--until 3:00 when 'harmonica/accordian' sound and countrified electric guitar. Then at 4:10 a real Mexican fiesta sound/beat takes over. A real hodge-podge of interesting time signatures. Ends with Gypsy-ish violin solo playing over same Mexican rhythm.

5. Tall Tree (10/10) begins with a slow, hypnotic violin. An unexpected key change at the 1:25 mark brings us into a "White Rabbit" chord progression. Here there is INCREDIBLE drumming! The guitar lead takes over at 3:38. At 5:23 there is a return to the ambience of the intro section and brief violin solo until 6:12 when an arpeggio weave paves the way for the return of the screaming electric guitar. Another key shift at 6:51 until at 7:11 the electric guitar bottoms out to fade.

6. Punto Fijo (8/10) starts at a frenetic pace with a kind of "Rasta-punk" feel/beat. The guitar takes the melody, but from behind-- from a floating place in the background! At 1:30 there is a long pause/interlude of synth noises, drones and echoed guitar 'Frippisms.' At 3:40 enters tympani and violin. From 4:50 wah-ed guitar strums join in until 6:00 when a GILMOUR-esque "slide" guitar solo takes over. Again: the drum playing is absolutely fascinating here! 7. Pavane Lacryme (9/10) is a pretty little song with treated guitars à la ROBIN GUTHRIE. Synths, violin solo and jazzy drums.

8. Seagulls Sing (When it Rains) (10/10) opens with an X-FIles-like modulated synth playing eerily over jazzy cymbol play and guitar and violin harmonies. The drumming--especially the cymbol play--is fascinating. A female voice joining in at about the 2:30 mark is a beautiful and welcome touch. Turns jazzy with nice 'flute' and, later, synth soli. That drummer!

9. Aurora Borealis (10/10) opens with a great, driving ELOY/"Blade Runner Main Title"-like keyboard bass-line around which all other instruments jam (violin, synths, awesome percussion). Again, the drums and percussion (and violin) are fascinating to follow. At 8:20 a distorted guitar enters, followed by the fadeout of all other instruments. Interesting way to end a song and album!

As I said above, it took repeated listens for this excellent album to grow into me. And boy has it! This is a masterpiece of creative, experimental jamming. Kudus to all involved. Thank you, drummer, for an amazing ride.

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Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition.

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