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SMELL OF INCENSE

Prog Folk • Norway


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Smell of Incense biography
SMELL OF INCENSE are a Norwegian psych band with roots in the mid eighties and a long, sordid history that includes connections to such hardcore and obscure Scandinavian D.I.Y. acts as THE NEW INCREDIBLE HEADCLEANERS, FAMLENDE FORSØK, YM-STAMMEN, and DØVE MUNKER. Smell have existed as a fluid and sporadic lineup for years, issuing just three studio albums along a handful of singles and collaborations in since 1986.

The band's debut album, the now out-of-print 'All Mimsy Were the Borogoves' consisted mostly of a number of little-known as well as irreverent covers, while their later releases focused more on original material blending pop, folk, trip-hop and heavy psych for a unique sound reflecting both the psychedelic traditional and experimentation present in much of modern Scandinavian progressive music.

Smell's albums were all limited-release issues, and most are difficult or impossible to find today except from the occasional on-line reseller. The band deserves a place in ProgArchives for their unique and interesting history, not to mention for their highly creative and experimental psych-folk sound.

>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<

Smell of Incense official website

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SMELL OF INCENSE discography


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SMELL OF INCENSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 14 ratings
All Mimsy Were the Borogoves
1994
4.18 | 18 ratings
Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber
1997
3.66 | 10 ratings
Of Ullages and Dottles
2007

SMELL OF INCENSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SMELL OF INCENSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.91 | 4 ratings
A Curious Miscellany
2010

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

3.05 | 2 ratings
Smell of Incense/A Visit With Ashiya
1994
2.10 | 2 ratings
Why Did I Get So High?
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
Smell of Incense w/ Ethereal Counterbalance
1997

SMELL OF INCENSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Of Ullages and Dottles by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.66 | 10 ratings

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Of Ullages and Dottles
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by stinavina

5 stars While The Smell Of Incense gained some attention with their two first albums ("All Mimsy Were the Borrogows" from -94 and "Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber" from -97), the third album "Of Ullages and Dottles" was largely ignored when it came in 2007. That's a pity, because this album contains some of the finest songs they've ever made! The bands style is often refered to as a kind of psychedelic folk-prog, but in fact they have developed their own quite unique style with a lot of obvious influences, but always with the distinct Smell Of Incense-sound. The melodies on "Of Ullages.." are particulary good! Sometimes conventional, but always strong. Listen to "Laughing Song" by Lumpy Davy or "The Golden Knot" by Han Solo and you'll hear songwriting of highest standard. I think this album is a sadly overlooked masterpiece! .

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 Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.18 | 18 ratings

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Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Smell of Incense are a quirky band from Norway who blend 60/70's psychedelic rock, acid folk, progressive and even electronic dance influences into a frequently messy but always fascinating original style all their own. With a band made up of some very curious characters (I mean, check out their names!) you get a wide variety of modern and classic influences, alternating male/female vocalists, and hippie/middle eastern elements. The band, fortunately, don't take themselves too seriously either! Their second album, `Through The Gates Of Deeper Slumber' takes lyrics from the books of four different fantasy writers and puts them amongst a heady brew of different styles and amazing sounds.

Along with the first Clearlight album, I don't think I've ever heard the Mellotron used so much and so often! Whether it's choir, flute, or strings (sometimes two at once), it's plastered over just about every inch of this album, and there's even a few solos with it! One of the only other cases of this I can remember off the top of my head is on Camel's `Never Let Go'! More, please, other prog artists! So in other words, Mellotron masochists, you know what album to look into tracking down next.

The centerpiece of the album is the side-long 25 minutes piece `A Floral Treasury'. This epic drifts through a huge range of sounds and styles, and is split into three different sections. With fairy tale-like lyrics throughout, the track begins with a wall of dirty real-deal Mellotron, (not some clean emulator!), seemingly utilizing some sort of woodwind sound, backed with an unsettling funereal drum beat with pulsing electronics not far from the first side of Klaus Schulze's `Timewind'. Soon after sitar and tabla enter, followed by female singer Bumble B's droning and imploring vocals, very mantra like! A dizzying and spiraling mess of backwards guitar swirls amongst a vacuum of Mellotron, sounding not unlike the eerie menace of the first Zone Six album. There's pounding drums that will drive you mad, before morphing into dancey programmed beats trying to break through the waves of 'Tron and slightly funky guitar. Great female vocals float through the now clubby vibe, with droning and harsh electric guitars, almost sounding industrial, before a very bent and off sounding Mellotron solo! There's a brief ambient break, with eerie flute Mellotron, very psychedelic before the final section kicks in. Sounding not unlike early Barrett/Pink Floyd with choir Mellotron and a fairly awful flat high-pitched vocal from Bumble B, there's a lovely dreamy quality to the actual melody, and she's eventually joined by male vocals (not sure which member, though). The finale has an unpleasant and whirling circus melody that spins around in circles that is quite maddening, before a reprise of the dirty Mellotron orchestral sounding intro. In the end, this piece is an endlessly inventive and daringly unique blend of styles and ideas.

`Columbine Confused' sounds like a lost 60's psych pop acid folk gem, topped off with great upbeat male/female vocals. It has a stomping beat and snarly guitar, and of course is packed to the gills with Mellotron! There's also a mixed up loud and proud repeated Mellotron solo in place of an actual traditional vocal chorus! I kind of love the arrogance of it all - "We don't need no freakin' chorus with words, we've got a 'Tron!!!"

`A Word In Season' has a renaissance/medieval folk feel, with lovely harpsichord and classical influences throughout. The track is kind of naïve and incoherent, sometimes seeming like a bunch of fragments thrown together, and despite some inconsistent vocals, there's a childlike and hypnotic quality to it.

`From The Third Hemisphere' has another killer dirty murky repeated Mellotron melody/theme, the instrument really seems to sing on this one! There's slightly awkward and charmingly accented male lead vocals, with an upbeat poppy middle section with Bumble B's multi-tracked harmonies sounding amazing and joyful. There's an endless haze of instrumental variety throughout the bulk of this piece, with a dancing violin theme, weeping and wonky sax breaks, grinding bendy guitar playing that sounds quite like Steve Hackett, and some gorgeous `Saucerful' era Gilmour guitar.

While I find this album really outstanding, it's occasionally unsuccessful in trying to throw so many different styles together, with some of the longer sections suffering slightly. However, it's kind of in keeping with the psychedelic, lysergic tone of the album and the different personality and influences of the individual band members. Some listeners may not enjoy what they find to be an uncomfortable addition of modern dance influences on the side long piece, but that's one of the things that makes the album so memorable. However, this sound has not been used again before or since the release of this album by the band, which is a bit of a shame.

Special mention must be made to the exquisite front cover painting. Strange that the Archives picture here seems to show the back cover (still good, but the proper front cover is unbelievable!). All of the Smell of Incense albums having amazing artwork, and it's become quite a recognizable trademark of the band. Really wish I'd snapped up a vinyl copy of this one - which I've made sure to do with all the band's later releases.

Although able to be proud of their other releases, Smell of Incense, through embracing their vintage influences and adding modern elements and sounds, released probably their best and most daring album with `Through The Gates...', with frequently stunning results. It's certainly their most defining musical statement to date.

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 Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.18 | 18 ratings

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Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars It's amazing how the album that I'd like to listen to in 1970 has been released in 1997. I have read of it on PA and I took very long to find a used copy on eBay. I don't know anything of the band's members, apart that they sound like the early Renaissance of Viv McAuliffe with a more psychedelic approach. The epic 25 minutes track has a lot of sitar and oriental flavors and lyrics about fairies and fairy tales. The hypnotic rhythm and the bass line playing on a major chord have a relation with Krautrock. This is clearer in the psychedelic part after the 10th minute, subtitled "The Song Of The Nightsmade Fairy". Here the song changes drastically. No more sitar and oriental flavors. Electronic drums and keyboards make it closer to Ozric Tentacles or some instrumental pieces of Porcupine Tree. When "Bumble B" sings we are in a sort of dark chill-out. It's like 30 years have passed between part 1 and 2 and this. Part 4 is different again. A section of progressive electronic with a lot of keyboards to bring the 70s back. It's "The Song Of The Queen Of The Meadows Fairy". This part is "broken" by an interlude made with sound from a carnival, then there's another space-rock moment. The epilogue fades out and it's done.

"Columbine Confused" seems written in 1969. It's a song that I can easily imagine played at the Isle of Wight. The Renaissance debut comes immediately to my mind but not only. I hear influences of Doors and Syd Barrett, but it's so end-60 that if you concentrate you can hear almost every band of that period. Every and None at the same time.

"A Word In Season" is strange. The passages are unusual. I can't identify what they sound like, but this song makes something ring in my memory. The Who of Tommy is one of the things that they make me think of, but also the psychedelic period of the Beatles. Bumble's vocals sound very similar to Annie Haslam on this song. From the lyrics point of view we are still speaking of fairies. For my tastes this is a 5 stars song.

Last, there's another song in 4 parts. About 15 minutes. It's likely because the part 1 is entitled Atlantis and the vocalist is male, but I think to Eloy. The second part is another acid version of Renaissance with the main theme that's close to something that I've already heard but I can't identify. The 4th part is instrumental and closes an excellent album. Highly suggested.

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 Smell of Incense w/ Ethereal Counterbalance by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Smell of Incense w/ Ethereal Counterbalance
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars Smell of Incense caught my attention a few years ago when I first heard their fairly accessible pop/psych/trance/dance album 'Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber', and particularly the stunning 25-minute plus "A Floral Treasury" which opens that album. It was apparent even then that these guys have deep roots in (and extensive collections of) progressive and psychedelic music and not all of their interpretations are as easily digested as their three proper studio albums. Some of their most reaching work resides on various long singles (mostly on vinyl) as well as joint projects like this one with Ethereal Counterbalance aka Rod Goodway.

I'm not completely clear on the history of this 10" vinyl EP, but I know it came out around the same time as 'Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber' although according to the liner notes most of the tracks were recorded earlier than that. The front side of the disc consists of two old Gong songs by Gilli Smyth, while the backside is covered with three original compositions written and performed by Goodway who was apparently introduced to the band through his early seventies work as Magic Muscle and later as Ethereal Counterbalance.

This stuff is much more hardcore psych than what ends up on most SoI albums, although the trademark trippy synthesized sounds, occasional drone and melodic passages do show up along with plenty of fuzz guitar, whacked lyrics and lengthy, disjointed arrangements. I have to say I was a bit surprised to hear the band have a go at these two Canterbury tunes, but they manage to be true to the originals while still imbuing both with their unique brand of 90s psych. "Magick Brother" sounds especially like a solid and respectful cover, while "What Do You Want?" takes a while to get going and is a bit hard to connect to the Gong version without a few spins to get one's bearing.

Things really get hazy and weird on the backside of the record, with Goodway launching into three successively increasing brooding psych numbers. As someone who gave up on recreational stimulants years ago I almost lament the lack of insight they might have given me into these heavy psych dirges.

The first, "Bodyland II" was recorded with Simon House (ex-Hawkwind) for his album 'House of Dreams' that wasn't released until five years after this version came out. I can see this one being on an album by someone who cut their teeth playing for a heavy psych band like Hawkwind. It's spacey, thick with chords and dirty rhythms, and was probably heavily improvised in the studio.

"Liar's Boogie" is a heavy blues-rock number layered with raunchy piano, blistering psych guitar licks and ranting backing vocals that sound like something Ted Nugent might do if someone slipped some acid into his Perrier about an hour before a live show. A beautiful blend of blues and psych that couldn't have been easy to pull off but it stays tight throughout except maybe a little at the end with a disjointed and abrupt closing. Otherwise this one takes me back to at least 1976 and possibly even further.

Finally, "Flight 49" was recorded live at the Earth Ritual II Festival in Belgium in 1994, a soundboard recording apparently because the crowd noise is barely perceptible and the quality is quite good. The song takes a long time to get going with a slowly building guitar solo that is eventually joined by bass, drums and a rhythm guitar for an orgy of psych noodling around a blues-based tempo ala Black Sabbath or possibly some of the raunchier Uriah Heap stuff. This is the longest Goodway song on the album but it feels much shorter, probably thanks to the long and understated lead-in.

I'd also like to give props to the outstanding artwork courtesy of Smell of Incense's violinist/ singer Bumble B, who has provided or contributed to pretty much all the SoI album art over the years. This one is a real throwback that sort of combines the intricacy of sixties and early seventies psychedelic art with the black-and-white, barebones DIY punk feel of the latter seventies.

This is an EP (or maxi-single even) but is long enough to qualify as an album at more than 34 minutes. Four out of five stars for sure; while the Goodway material makes this not quite a proper Smell of Incense release, their contribution to the packaging, as well as their unique take on a couple of Canterbury classics makes this a great addition to your collection if you can find it.

peace

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 A Curious Miscellany by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.91 | 4 ratings

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A Curious Miscellany
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars As advertised, this album is both a bit curious and is filled with a miscellany of Smell of Incense recordings. Those who are familiar with the band won't find a lot new here. For those not into them, understand that the band makes mostly poppish pysch music that tends to be heavy on covers of obscure sixties psych one-hit wonders. That and occasionally they throw in some recorded sounds, synth or drone just to mix things up. In all their music is entertaining when they are on their game, and mildly annoying when they aren't. You take the good with the bad.

The opening track gave the band their name, and comes courtesy of sixties nut-job Bob Markley and guitarist Ron Morgan of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. "Smell of Incense" was also a minor hit for a band named Southwest F.O.B., a Texas-based pysch group best known for launching the late Dan Seals and John Colley, the duo who later achieved major commercial success as the soft-rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley (remember "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"?). Of the three versions I like this one best, mostly because it benefits from modern production (both the original and F.O.B. versions were recorded in the sixties). Also, as with so much of their music Smell of Incense have this way of taking rather dated psych guitar chord progressions and presenting them in a new light, vibrant and accessible as opposed to the sometimes turgid fuzz guitar sounds that dominated late sixties psych music.

"Why Did I Get So High?" is another cover tune from 1967, in this case from Peanut Butter Conspiracy, another band nearly lost to history but who comes up in trivia settings from time to time for having given Jefferson Airplane their drummer (the late Spencer Dryden) after Skip Spence went wacko. In this case the original is a better tune as it was (at the time) a rather serious psych anthem while the Smell of Incense take appears to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. This was the band's second single back in the mid-nineties, appearing on that disk with Fifty-Foot Hose's "If Not This Time" and "Coming Down", a tune recorded by the United States of America for their seminal self-titled album. "Coming Down" also appears on this compilation (an extended version, not the one from the original Smell of Incense single), and is another case of a decent cover but not up to par with the original which was penned by psych icon Joe Byrd. Anyone who's ever tripped out to the United States of America album would almost surely agree.

"I Wanna Live in the) Golden State" is one of two original compositions for the band, and along with "Christopher's Journey" (both appear here) were among the band's first serious demo recordings in the early nineties. Both are decent but with fairly sparse production and clearly not of the caliber of most of the songs they cover here. Neither lives up the band's potential either; the band would deliver a much-improved version of "Christopher's Journey" with more complex percussion and stronger guitar work for their debut full-length album, 1994's "All Mimsy Were the Borogoves".

And speaking of that album, the next track "Witch's Hat" appears there as well, this is a Robin Williamson composition (Incredible String Band), written for their landmark 1968 album 'The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter'. Nobody can adequately cover Williamson, although again the newer production qualities of this version make it memorable, and the female lead vocals from Bumble B offer a pleasantly different take on this heavily folk- influenced tune.

Next up is another obscure one-off, this one courtesy of sixties San Francisco garage-rock cult band William Penn and His Pals. Written by their guitarist Mike Shapiro, "Swami" was the band's only single in their short-lived existence, and once again the band was left to wallow in music trivia limbo while one of its members went on to fame and fortune elsewhere (keyboardist Gregg Rolie, who would score a gig with Santana before cashing in big-time with seventies crotch rockers Journey.

Merrell Fankhauser wrote "A Visit With Ashiya" and recorded it with H.M.S. Bounty in 1967. Fankhauser is another in a long line of odd characters that seem to have found their way into Smell of Incense' consciousness, or at least into their record collection. He would go on to appear with Fapardokly and Mu (along with Jeff Cotton of Captain Beeheart fame) before dropping out for an extended (30-plus years) trip in Maui. This version comes from another Incense single, the same one they used to issue their namesake song in 1994. Here the band plays it fairly straight as psych numbers go, with fuzz guitar aplenty and Bumble B sounding pretty tripped out, especially for someone who missed the height of the flow-power days by at least a generation.

For a change of pace "Varulv" is a traditional Norwegian folk tune, performed by Bumble B on her 2003 solo album 'Flight of the Bumble B'. While this is a folk tune the arrangement features snare drums, electric guitar and keyboards, giving it a modern touch and some pretty decent production. Her solo album is kind of hard to find, but if you get the chance to pick it up I'd highly recommend it, particularly for those who are prog folk fans.

Probably the most obscure cover on the album is the heavily tripped-out "Tread Softly on my Dreams" from the almost completely forgotten British act Czar. I've never heard the original by band bassist Paul Kendrick, but I can imagine it was deep stuff for its day. This version sounds every bit like something that was recorded in 1969 with spacey vocals, erratic tempo shifts and brooding keyboards. Torch one up before you spin this track for sure!

Finally, the album closes with "I'm Allergic to Flowers", a rather silly tune by Dave Burgess and originally recorded as a single under the faux studio-group name 'Jefferson Handkerchief'. I've never seen this on a proper studio album, but it appears on all kinds of b-list sixties compilations that have been released over the years. This one is pretty light and silly, and makes for a nice closing touch to a thoroughly enjoyable album.

Smell of Incense are a bit of an enigma, with records that are hard to find and an incredible range (from awful to awesome) in their recorded output. This collection makes for a very decent anthology of the band, although I personally would have loved to have seen at least one track from their best studio work 'Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber', which features not only the band at their best, but also several original compositions. No matter, 'A Curious Miscellany' is worth hunting down and adding to your collection if you are a student (or fan) of vintage psych pop, or really if you're just looking for something fun to occupy an hour of your time. Four stars (out of five) and well recommended.

peace

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 All Mimsy Were the Borogoves by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.84 | 14 ratings

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All Mimsy Were the Borogoves
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Smells like a compilation album.........

The Norwegian band Smell Of Incense's debut album is a strange mix of proto prog, space rock, folk rock and only god knows what. The variations between the songs are pretty huge. Hence, it feels like this album is a compilation album with several bands instead of a mostly cover album with one band.

Smell Of Incense does cover versions of Pink Floyd, Peter Hammel and some other artists here. Their cover versions is said to be original and not true renditions of the original versions. Which off course is fine. The result is both some of spaced out pieces of melodies and some easy folk rock tunes. But mostly; this is hippie rock with plenty of vintage organs, vintage guitars and ditto vocals. This album is a trip to outer space, in short.

The quality is good throughout and the music stays interesting throughout. The Pink Floyd cover is the best song here. The rest is good too. The diversity of the material is my main gripe with this album. That and the lack of some really great tracks. I am neither a passionate detractor or a lover of this album. It is a good effort and that's it. This album is recommended to all space freaks out there and to the aliens.

3 stars

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 Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.18 | 18 ratings

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Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For those who like their prog with a nice twist of the psychedlia then look no further my friends as you have found sanctuary for the mind. The Smell Of Incense blew me away with their All Mimsy Were The Borowgroves release and this one falls not far out of line from it in many ways. Throught The Gates is centered around the sweet psychedelic sounds of the 60's put to as very dark and forboding modern sound offering a very unique and different feel. Instruments like the Mellotron, Wurlitzer pianos, harmonium, synths, harpsichords, Flutes, sax and floral dust sonic synthesizer help create a sonic landscape which will leave you drooling. I love the very spacey atmospheres the create and this album is perfect for the ol' headphones. Be warned my friends that listening to this with the lights low may cause anxiety and even be fatal. Highly inventive and heartly endorsed to those who are brave enough....

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 All Mimsy Were the Borogoves by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.84 | 14 ratings

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All Mimsy Were the Borogoves
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Now I must admit that I am still recovering from how amazing this recording is??..I was amazed when a kind friend of mine introduced me to The Smell Of Incense, but after owning and having had repeated listens I am hooked. All Mimsy Were The Borogoves is very hard to peg down but I would chalk it up somewhere between Art Rock and Psychedelic. SOI blend acid laced guitars with very psychedelic sounding voices and landscapes "in the most delightful way" This highly polished and professional band create some of the most psychedelic landscapes I have heard and their wide use of instruments inject different flavors throughout. Sound reproduction is superb ,but I do understand that this album is in supply shortage which is a crime. Highlight for me is their very trippy rendition of Pink Floyd?s Interstellar Overdrive which in contrast to tribute bands offers a much more expansive view of this tune than perhaps even Floyd observed (of course the Floyd version is a classic!). Highly recommended.

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 Of Ullages and Dottles by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.66 | 10 ratings

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Of Ullages and Dottles
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. This is THE SMELL OF INCENSE's third studio album but it's been ten years since their last one which was called "Through The Gates Of Deeper Slumber" which for me was a masterpiece. This one is my least favourite of the three and i'm actually surprised that i'm having such a hard time with it. I like it but it's not nearly as satisfying as the last two. One big difference is that Bumble B has pretty much taken over as the lead vocalist. She's good but I do prefer the male vocals.

"Bumbles And Dragons" really surprised me the first time I heard it with the opening distorted guitar and guitar solo that follows. So unlike this band. Vocals and the main melody arrive a minute in. Some aggressive guitar continues to come and go. It turns light before 4 minutes. "Laughing Songs" is pleasant enough and it does have this Folk attitude to it. It ends with samples and experimental stuff. "Where Forlorn Sunsets Flare And Fade" opens with what sounds like Spanish guitar and bass. Marching style drums join in then vocals. Sitar follows. A calm with flute and vocals after 3 1/2 minutes. Themes are repeated.Vocal melodies and mellotron before 8 1/2 minutes followed by flute. "Song" opens with birds singing, in fact I don't think they really leave this song. Light drums, flute and vocals lead the way. This is the song you put on when you want to frolic and prance around in the backyard with your tights on (haha).

"The Golden Knot" is excellent. She sings with more passion and I like the mellotron. It just has a good vibe to it, it's more psychedelic than the others. "The Haunted Chamber" is a good little tune with some prominant guitar. "Well In It" is my favourite. It's kind of haunting early with violin and synths. Vocals a minute in with strummed guitar. Spacey synths before 2 minutes as male vocals (yay) come in. Piano then violin follows. A catchy melody after 4 minutes. A change a minute later as it gets darker, kind of Swedish sounding. Another change 7 minutes in as it calms down. It picks back up after 8 1/2 minutes. "Of Pygmies, Palms And Pirates" opens with a light melody with female vocals. It's more FLOYD-like 1 1/2 minutes in with male vocals, very Psychedelic. Nice guitar too. Female vocals and that lighter sound returns as the contrasts continue.

This is really good but unlike their other two albums there's songs and passages i'm not fond of.

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 All Mimsy Were the Borogoves by SMELL OF INCENSE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.84 | 14 ratings

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All Mimsy Were the Borogoves
Smell of Incense Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This band is one of my all time favourites from Norway. This happens to be their debut. Originally they had planned to do covers of Psychedelic or Acid Punk songs from 1966-1967 but they sort of drifted from that goal and also made some of their own music. Oh and this all sounds very late sixties to early seventies to me. Anyway they did three covers, but for the other songs they used lyrics from other artists but created their own music to go along with them. I understand why this is listed under Folk but for my money this is pure Psychedelia.

"Alice" refers to "Alice In Wonderland" of course. It's a little silly to open but when the main melody comes in with drums, bass, organ and guitar it's all forgotten. Male vocals except for some brief female ones on the chorus. The guitar is angular before 5 1/2 minutes as organ plays on. Great way to end it. "Faerie Emerald" is laid back with dual vocals and acoustic guitar. I like when the sound gets fuller, especially the electric guitar and female vocals. Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in when the organ arrives. I like this better than the opening track. "Fancy" is a KINKS cover. It opens with the birds chirping away as sitar and percussion come in. The birds stop 1 1/2 minutes in as the sound gets fuller. Dual vocals after 2 minutes.This is so trippy for the rest of 7 plus minutes. Just love it !

"Christopher's Journey" has this beat as male vocals come in. Female vocals join in with a fuller sound. A nice acoustic guitar / bass section 2 1/2 minutes in. Electric guitar and organ take over. Dual vocals return. Original melody follows. "(The Smell Of) Intersteller Overdrive" is a PINK FLOYD cover of course. Bass and organ lead the way early before electric guitar and drums join in. A psychedelic calm before 2 minutes before it kicks back in around 4 minutes with bass, drums and a spacey background. Nice. Cello 5 1/2 minutes in. Amazing sound here that goes on and on. "Witch's Hat" is a THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND cover. Female vocals and a catchy melody on this one. I like the electric guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "Shrine" is actually a Peter Hammill poem that they put music to. A gong opens the proceedings as male vocals and a full sound arrive. It picks up a minute in. Female vocals join in as the tempo continues to shift. It ends with a sample (music) of the Alice In Wonderland movie.

Lots to like about this one. Lots of mellotron as well. A solid 4 stars.

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Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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