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THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE

Neo-Prog • United States


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The Psychedelic Ensemble biography
The Psychedelic Ensemble is a one man band who chooses to remain anonymous, with the only outside collaboration being with Janos Marton and Alexandra Serban, who together with the artist, carefully selected images produced by artists at the Living Museum as imagery for the album.
The project came about some years ago, starting after the artist stumbled on an article in The New York Times about an exhibition featuring art from the Living Museum, a center devoted to artistic production by patients at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York. Then in the summer of 2008,an NPR interview with psychiatrist and Living Museum curator, Janos Marton struck a chord that brought about the conception of the opening of The Art of Madness: I think that creativity, and artistic production, is almost a symptom of mental illness. From there the album was written and recorded over 3 months in 2008.

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THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 42 ratings
The Art of Madness
2009
3.68 | 70 ratings
The Myth of Dying
2010
3.96 | 101 ratings
The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur
2011
4.11 | 165 ratings
The Tale Of The Golden King
2013

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

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

4.50 | 8 ratings
The Secrets Of Your Mind
2011
4.33 | 3 ratings
Undone
2012

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I hadn't been too big on the last Psychedelic Ensemble album I'd heard - The Myth of Dying - but here on The Tale of the Golden King they show a vast level of musical growth and transformation. A concept album revolving around the story of a king transfigured into a golden statue, and how later generations in the kingdom make ingenious use of the statue to win a battle against tyrannous forces, the band manage to dip into the styles of a range of prog acts of the past. For instance, there's a really good Emerson, Lake and Palmer-styled bit there which reminds me of the best of Tarkus-era ELP, and a bit later on which sounds uncannily like Close to the Edge-era Yes.

The really neat thing they accomplish, though, is having the music of the album flows smoothly from section to section, so the dipping into the styles of past bands don't feel artificial or forced - they arise naturally from the direction of the overall composition, and so they feel much less gratuitous than they otherwise might. This puts the Ensemble well ahead of much of the retro- prog crowd, and it's excellent stuff.

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by M27Barney

5 stars Well - WELCOME ALL YE to THE CD of 2013, Yep - this has got to be the best release this year by a parsec or more I reckon. I have given this two spins and it's knocked the old skin off the prog rice pudding!! yep it most surely has! If you like your prog pudding richly sprinkled with moog runs and bombastic themes, then this is surely for you ! I will be definitely investing in the back catalogue after this masterpiece has tweaked my aural-synapses to the point of prog-ejaculation! It has bits reminiscent of yes (Sound Chaser off Relayer) and a bit of old yes off the "Yes Album" , but I am also reminded of ELP (the drumming is a bit Carl Palmer-ish) - Also - a bit of Greenslade in the keyboard/combos. Loads of sumptuous Moog and Hammond - really nice guitar licks, good strong themed lyrics which add to the overall pomposity of the piece. I think that this is not NEO-PROG but more Keyboard oriented Symphonic Prog or KOSP for short!! Just buy it people and SHARE the LOVE.

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well it's a privilge to review THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE's latest work called "The Tale Of The Golden King". Like their last record this is a concept album and we get lots of synths and that YES- like flavour that pops up once in a while. This is a long one at just over 72 minutes but it's a pretty cool fairy tale that takes us back in time.

"Overture-Our Great Kingdom" opens in an epic manner with lots of atmosphere and orchestration. A minute in picked guitar and flute add to the drama. Synths and drums follow as the vocals join in singing about the benevolent king and his great knigdom. Some nice guitar before 3 minutes. A change follows as it becomes more serious. They really let it rip at times the rest of the way. It blends into "The Prophecy Of The Seer-The Transformation Of The Knig" as things settle right down. Beautiful sounding acoustic instruments lead the way as vocals and harmonies follow. An interesting blend here of dramatics and tranquility. Keyboards and drums then lead as the vocals stop. Nice guitar solo too around 3 minutes in. Quite the uptempo instrumental display at times on this one. "The Golden King" opens in a melancholic manner with orchestration. A change before 2 minutes as the synths lead the way and then the vocals join in. An excellent instrumental section comes in after 4 minutes before the vocals return then more instrumental prowess as the guitar takes the lead. Lots of piano around 6 minutes as the vocals return. A change before 8 minutes as melancholic sounds end it. Good song. "Captive Days" is piano and synths mostly early on. I like the intricate and impressive drumming that joins in.

"The Queen Of Sorrow" with that acoustic guitar and instrumental sound really brings the days of knights and castles to mind. Female vocals become the focus in this melancholic tune. Gilmour-like guitar before 3 minutes then that orchestral vibe returns. Some cool atmosphere after 3 1/2 minutes as it becomes darker. The mood brightens 5 minutes in as we get an instrumental attack of sorts. Mellow with vocals again before 6 minutes. "Save Yourself" opens in a creepy manner with various sounds coming and going including voices. It picks up with male vocals before a minute. Kind of a jazzy vibe going on here. Some soaring guitar leads follow. Everything is so intricate after 4 minutes, I enjoy just listening to these guys play. Vocals are back late. "Make A Plan-Golden Swords" sounds really interesting with the atmosphere and vocals early on. A melancholic piece that is almost bluesy. Check out the instrumental display after 5 minutes as it picks up. The guitar is grinding away here. The organ then leads. "The Battle" is an excellent tune that's a little heavier with guitar front and center. What an instrumental display ! "Great Day" brings back the female vocals as we get an uplifting mood. Even the instrumental section is about celebrating. "Finale-Arise!-Great Kingdom" ends the story with the longest tune yet at close to 12 minutes. Lots of orchestration early on then the guitar comes in. It settles with vocals after 2 minutes. Again the mood is a happy one. Love the instrumental work before 4 1/2 minutes. The vocals will come and go contrasted with those uptempo instrumental outbursts.

This actually brought back memories of when I first got into Prog and really jumped into the Neo-Prog genre. Good memories. And while concept albums with orchecstration that play over 70 minutes usually don't do it for me, this recording certainly pushed some of the right buttons as I have to give it 4 stars.

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by cajapandora3

5 stars The anonymous multi-instrumentist artist beyond The Psychedelic Ensemble publishes his fourth album of pure symphonic rock concept, in which all subjects are bound to create a coherent narrative knot. The new album, full of a great dramatic spirit, is full of progressive proposals, both in form and in substance. The spectacular and magnificent compositions, developed from a melodic and dynamic sense, are full of references concerning the most forceful and legendary symphonic rock. We must add to all this some certain religious, classical and Renaissance music details in the arrangements and an evolution, backed up on an exquisite and very technical vocal epic interpretation, all based in long instrumental developments, full of bombastic keyboard solos, electric guitars played with great ease and the inclusion of attractive and graceful traditional instruments that enrich the music the group expresses as an epic genre of infinite possibilities. This musician is so enlightened and intelligent that knows how to build the themes from the melody and the musical drama to give us a result of a very high symphonic rock quality. Perhaps we are witnessing one of the best composers since the seventies: he does not blush at any time with his approach to progressive rock from a traditional and academic authentic flavour. From a sensationalist concept that serves the musician as a mere excuse and flowing from the narrative, the artist guides us with an exhibition of supreme instrumental magnitude transporting us to an unexpected, labyrinthine world where abrupt instrumental passages reign. I must add to all of this that there are a lot of devilish rhythms continually breaking the beats and we are in front of musical developments of great taste supporting the complex and fantastically beautiful compositions written, above all, with great intelligence. We don't realize that we are immerse in a time machine that has transported us to an ancient and nostalgic time where musicians told us stories. We are facing forgotten stories when Renaissance, Rick Wakeman, Le Orme, Pink Floyd, ELP, Jethro Tull or PFM were ruling the progressive essence, but from a modern and new perspective that accentuates the longing and hope in a genre so scorned. There are many progressive musicians that hide themselves behind cinematic sounds in order to recreate sound spaces that guide their music, but The Psychedelic Ensemble needs no excuses to show us a raw and authentic progressive sound in his music. TPE is what it is: emotion, tenderness, virtuosity, warmth, delirium, excitement, impact and, above all, heart. I am stunned before one of the best instrumentalists and one of the greatest releases of all time. And I surrender, totally admired, before a splendid and indescribable music. From my point of view this prodigious recording will never be forgotten. An undeniable genius. Twenty out of ten.

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars When I started to listen to this record I thought the singer was from Britain because he sung so nicely. The voice wasn't very unlike the singer's of Big Big Train of United Kingdom. This album seems to be a story of a king and a kingdom. The Psychedelic Ensemble is an anonymous one man band but it really doesn't sound like ONE man. It gets help by singing from Ann Caren on a couple of tunes. The picture seems to be an old style church window. "The Tale of The Golden King" was released 2013.

The music of this record is a great adventure for the listener. He meets musical intertexts from the Medieval times, from Yes, from classical music, folk storys and the tradition of prog music in particular. Especially important on this record is the keyboards; they are driving the music forward and do not apologize for anything. Not afraid for hitting the highest notes and almost reuse Yes themes the Psychedelic Orchestra manages to make an awesome prog record. Because I am seldom totally pleased I think it was a bit too long and didn't hit the really best points but the standard is high and the record is very even. There is no bad tracks. The "worst" did get 7/10 points by my and the best 9,5/10 so the high class is indisputable.

The vocals are very good, I said they sounded British, and that is kudos. The female helping voice(also solo) on two tracks was so nice, I am a little sad they were'nt used more. On "The Queen of Sorrow" and "Great Day" Ann Caren sings and does it very well. The male voice has an unusual feeling too. The keyboards sound retro or original and on "The Prophecy of the Seer-The Transformation of the King" the beginning riff of Yes' Heart of the Sunrise seems to be reused just like on "Finale-Arise!-Great Kingdom" where I think I hear something of "The Fish"(Fragile). Those intertexts do great in this music. It feels very real all the time: the keys, the drums and the guitars. My favourite track is "The Golden King" which is very orchestral and encreases all the time, where we hear a lot of a beautiful voice, a flute and an orchestra. The ending track is almost as good as the last mentioned, also very orchestral and a main theme returns.

This record is amongst the best til now from 2013 and really worth listening. Perhaps I should give it some more examinations to be fair, now I nearly drowned in the music. I will give it four strong stars!

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by ProgInterviews

5 stars Without going into song-by-song detail (which seems nearly pointless with an album so seamlessly connected), it is safe to say that The Psychedelic Ensemble has added some new twists this time around to what is by now their signature sound. Specifically, this album has been augmented by the inclusion of a (female) guest vocalist and a full orchestra! While the orchestra is used more sparingly at some times than others, it does lend to the album a remarkably different (and, to my ears, absolutely inspired) character from previous TPE albums. And Ann Caren, the guest vocalist, turns in some stunning performances here which really help to dramatize the concept more than in previous works. If you enjoyed previous TPE albums (and how could you not?), everything you loved from those is still here (the frenzied instrumental virtuosity, the fantastically complex writing, and that authentic "classic prog" sound are still 100% in tact); however, TPE is clearly not resting on their laurels. And isn't this - especially when pulled off with such consistent quality - what the prog genre is all about?

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars At last... Waiting for this piece of art... And arrived..

Yes at the first times PE was some kind of project of a multi composer and multi instrumentalists...that didn't have very good results. Some good and talented compositions ..but the recording sound and execution of music was quite regular.

But it improved....and album plus album...this masterpiece at last.

So beautiful and complex compositions...so well recorded...with great instruments and musicians performance...

This is what we would like to listen to YES nowadays(this is a very yessian album of the classic days)but the need of competition to other AOR rock bands made Yes a regular band nowadays.

So this is a very nice surprise

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 The Tale Of The Golden King by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.11 | 165 ratings

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The Tale Of The Golden King
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars He's done it again, folks! TPE has created another masterpiece of progressive rock--this time a "prog rock drama" telling an original story synthesized from medieval sleeping hero and mountain king legends, The Tale of The Golden King. A benevolent, Arthurian-like king is rewarded by the gods by being turned into a gold statue with the attached promise to his sad reverent subjects: When the time comes your king will return. The Great King's disappearance results, of course, in the invasion of a greedy and oppressive lot, "The Henchmen." Fear and despair fall upon the citizens until finally a revolt is planned--with the ensuing battle, victory and celebration. The "return" of The Great King, however, is not as one would expect, which is the clever twist in this allegory for a new age. Musically, TPE has surpassed all previous work by not only expanding upon his multi- layered, multi-instrumental wizardry but also by exploring a broader variety of musical genres than previously--using more medieval and theatrical jazz instrumentation and themes. Also, TPE has expanded his horizons by incorporating orchestration in the form of The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra and guest vocalists, including the crystalline voice of Ann Caren for female leads and background vocals. And, as usual, the artwork of TPE's CD and booklet are breathtaking.

1. "Overture - Our Great Kingdom" (7:22) Opening with a Gong, a background note held by some Gregorian monks, and a wooden flute, and oboe, you just know this is going to be epic. Next, the acoustic guitar and lone synth present some themes that you'll hear a lot? followed by electric guitar with another theme. Shortly the whole band is in sync, multiple synths, electric guitar, and calmer-than-usual drums, the themes weaving together, "Hail, Great Kingdom" repeats the vocals in self-proclaimed glory. The classic TPE layers of multi- instrumental melody weaves, with numerous individual instruments taking turns to step into the spotlight to solo, even if ever-so briefly, is well-established by song's end. I've never heard any artist or band so clever and masterful at this multi-multi-instrument solo-weaving. The themes here, unfortunately, seem a bit too familiar--as if I've heard them in other TPE songs. (8/10)

2. "The Prophecy of The Seer - The Transformation of The King" (6:04) begins with a kind of midnight lull, a gentler, calmer feel to the music--as a messenger is presented to The King. At the one minute mark a RICHIE HAVENS-like voice enters as The Seer--and awesome and majestic is that voice! This whole section is quite magical and sophisticated. I have to admit that, for me, the sound and presence of even more guest vocalists would be a welcome addition to the TPE sound. The break-neck speed and awesome guitar and synth soloing of the fourth minute are big highlights of this one. It's a very ELP-sounding section. Awesome! At 4:40 an eerie church organ provides background to the proclamation of The Gods as, all the while, the band of subjects tries to intersperse with some of its themes as if to convey a sense of normalcy, while actually expressing denial and an unwillingness to hear the prophecy and "curse." Great theater. Awesome song! (10/10)

3. "The Golden King" (9:24) opens with a return to orchestral presentation while TPE instruments singly interject themes and voices. As the song takes full form around 2:15, an absolutely gorgeous and infectious melody and vocal presentation is opened and developed?all occurring with a full and very intricate weave of endlessly soloing multi- instruments dancing and sparring in the background. Awesome bass lines throughout this one, too. Incredible guitar solo initiated at the five minute mark, which is then masterfully tied into the main themes before decaying into a gorgeous piano-based section before returning to the main vocal theme. At 7:45 the 'rock' sounds and themes of the song stop, making way for a gorgeous orchestral section, led by a beautiful flute solo. Gradually the orchestra builds around the flute's melody, crescendoing as an electric guitar caps off the celebration of this theme. This song is definitely the high point, musically, of the album for me. (10/10)

4. "Captive Days" (4:12) is an instrumental that begins with a wonderful almost-pensive medieval sound and feel. It evolves by the second minute into what sounds like a kind of Broadway jazz dance scene--Bob Fosse would've had some awesome choreography to this piece. Pianos, brushed drums, big orchestral accents. The congas and fretless bass rising to the forefront in the third minute are a nice touch. (9/10)

5. "The Queen of Sorrow" (8:22) opens with a solo lute before piano, acoustic guitar, distant drums and some orchestral background break out to support the crystalline and angelic if melancholy voice of the Queen of Sorrow, the wonderful Ann Caren. The syncopated background piano chord play is a highlight for me in this song. At 3:45 there is a shift in the music to a kind of clandestine, hidden and very eerie section in which odd Arabian horn-like instruments flit and float around behind The Queen's almost-whispered, fear-filled vocal. The ensuing instrumental solo section is very Keith Emerson/ELP-like. Cool! At the six minute mark the piano play, Queen's vocal and background vocal mix is extraordinary. Devolving with support of cello into the final 100 seconds of orchestral supported medieval sounds while The Queen once more states her case. (9/10)

6. "Save Yourself" (6:10) opens with some mood-setting sound eerie sounds-like we're in the catacombs beneath Paris. The music enters with some jazzy popping, fretless bass and jazz-styled drumming. Great vocal melody is supported by some synths, organ, and twangy electric guitar. Great section! Great organ sound and solo at the two minute mark. This is so fun! The follow-up guitar solo is also vintage early 70s jazz fusion guitar--like Steve Khan or Larry Coryell. The bass solo shortly after the four-minute mark once again reminds me of what a bass virtuoso is TPE. Electric piano and fuzzy guitar finish the soloing as we get back to the story with this excellent vocal and haunting melody. (10/10)

7. "Make A Plan?Golden Swords" (7:10) opens with a bluesy feel: electric guitar filling a large-room sound and a kind of blues-styled vocal intro. Soon the usual cast of synth characters noodle their way in, though organ, bluesy piano, and fuzz guitar seem to be the constant sounds threading this weave. The drums are, thankfully somewhat muted and mixed in the background for in the third and fourth minutes their rapid fire gattling gun sound gets a little overwhelming and distracting form me. The vocal performance of the wise elder, The Court Blacksmith, could have used, in my opinion, a different voice or style--if only to help convey that wisdom that has supposedly earned the respect--and ears--of the rest of the kingdom. (7/10)

8. "The Battle" (4:16) is an instrumental that uses some interesting sound and rhythmical constructs to convey the march into and conflict--there is a definite sense of confidence and insistence conveyed through this music. And with many underlying and tangential sounds strings moving around, behind and from within the main music, it has the very cool effect of evoking the minor skirmishes that invariably occur within and at the edges of a battle. The ghost-like synth floating background is also an ingenious tool which serves to convey the fog-like precariousness of the conflict and the tide-like ebb and flow of the potential outcome. (10/10)

9. "This Great Day" (7:35) opens with some relaxing pastoral acoustic guitar play--joined shortly by a strumming 12-string and a flute-synth. The Queen's voice enters with a melody that harkens back to Jon Anderson's classic solo "Your Move" section near the beginning of "I've Seen All Good People." As a matter of fact, the entire first two minutes is quite strong in its evocation of YES: "Your Move," "Wond'rous Stories," Wakeman. Then a very cool electric guitar solo takes over, bridging out way to music with a kind of celebratory mood. Here some multi-level, rondo-like vocal harmonies are used to great effect--as is the continued use to the kind of country twang-and-delayed electric guitar. Synths, piano, and guitars go into a kind of collective game of hot potato--each taking turns to burst forth a brief solo. The song finishes with a brief return to the opening YES theme with a collective harmonized chorus, "Yesterday is gone, it's through, The past has flown away. All you thought and all you knew, Have turned the other way. This Great Day!" (9/10)

10. "Finale - Arise! - Great Kingdon" (11:39) opens with "celebrate the dawn"-like music as presented by The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra. Beautiful recapitulating weave of the album's themes. With the third minute comes a modified reprise of the "Great Day" mixed with the medieval instrumentation of "Captive Days." The singing is quite celebratory--apparently the prophecy has been fulfilled-not in the expected form of the King arising from the dead/gold-preserved form, but, rather, the Kingdom has arisen--using the very gold of the statue of the Great King to forge their weapons of rebellion and victory. This song is replete with layers of recapitulated themes and instrumental ejaculates all morphing in a seemingly constant and unending mobius strip weave. Cool if perhaps a bit drawn out. (9/10)

If I've ever had any complaints with TPE's music it would be in the drum sound (particularly one tom-tom that is often used over-exuberantly a la Keith Moon), the drumming style (snares and toms used to mirror exactly the flash-speeded keyboard and guitar soloists) and the vocals. With The Tale of The Golden King both have been improved wonderfully. The drumming employs a greater variety of drumming sounds (and is mixed further back into the middle of the soundscapes) and nice mix of styles (brushes and jazz styles, to be exact), and less frenetic tom-tomming. The vocals have been improved with the use of other vocalists (particularly the wonderful voices of the Richie Havens-like "C. Francis" and The Queen of Sorrow, Ann Caren) and through the use of much more intricately layered and dispersed background and harmony vocals. I am also quite pleased to hear a broader spectrum of musical influences and sound styles: the increased use of piano and the jazzier rhythm sections are employed quite nicely, and, of course, the presence of The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra is a wonderful and quite welcome addition. (More, please!)

The story of The Golden King--supposedly "a true story invented by The Psychedelic Ensemble" and "based on medieval sleeping hero and mountain king legends"--is a bit simple and somewhat predictable, but these are the kind of mythological tales that are popular in the mainstream (witness: The Lord of the Rings/Hobbbit, Game of Thrones, and Hunger Games movies). While I love an allegorical concept album, this one, in my humble opinion, falls a bit short. Lyrically there is a bit too much repetition and something too cliche in many of the phrases used. Plus, the word choice is just missing something . . . something from the realms of dark mystery and poetic creativity.

I really enjoyed experiencing the greater variety of musical styles and vocal and instrumental choices (including those of the wonderful Ann Caren and of TPE orchestra) used in this album. It's always quite ambitious to undertake A) a concept album and B) one which tries to tell an epic or mythological tale--especially if this tale is trying to convey a social-political message. I wonder if the Great King is a metaphor for American Democracy or one of The United States' iconic Presidents (Washington? Lincoln? Kennedy? The hyped- and hoped- for Barack Obama?). Is the tale presenting the theory of possibilities for a society's potential to realize its release and freedom from bondage and darkness through taking the power of democracy back into our own hands and fighting as a people, tooth and nail, with the golden essence of that democratic ideal--that we might realize that the true power of our democratic ideal was not in the idolized word and fear-inducing and disempowering form our government but in the action of our own hearts and hands? I wonder.

TPE's unique multi-layered multi-instrumental sonic weave and sophisticated composition skill always make for a listening experience that I HIGHLY recommend for all music and prog lovers. The music TPE creates is fascinating, creative, and intricately worked--and masterfully performed. Check it out!

Another masterpiece of music that is difficult to compare and categorize and yet awe-some to behold.

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 The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 101 ratings

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The Dream Of The Magic Jongleur
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US-based outfit THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE appeared more or less out of nowhere in 2009, a one man project whose creator prefers his endeavors in the field of progressive rock to stay anonymous. "The Dream of the Magic Jongleur" is his third full length production and was released in 2011.

The Dream of the Magic Jongleur" is an impressive creation, especially since it has been conceived, developed and recorded by a single person. And while some friends do help out with some details, this is the vision of one man. A man with a strong and deep affection for yesteryear's brand of symphonic progressive rock, and who has tried and, at least to my ears, succeeded in crafting a disc filled with music that should find strong favor among others who share his fascination, in particular for the sophisticated varieties of it.

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 The Myth of Dying by PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 70 ratings

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The Myth of Dying
The Psychedelic Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I dunno, guys, I really don't know. When the mystery of precisely who is behind The Psychedelic Ensemble is more interesting than their actual music you know there's got to be something wrong. With reasonable but not exceptional production values and a vague concept about dying (as though we don't already have enough concept albums about wild near-death experiences or post-mortem journeys), The Myth of Dying presents a sound rooted in rather pretty and accessible space rock reminiscent of what would happen if post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd got into a collaboration with Mercury Rev.

The problem I have with it is that I can't really get a handle on the atmosphere it's going for - if, indeed, it's going for one at all. It's too laid back to go for a bombastic Floydian rock out, but too busy to be a relaxing New Age soundscape trip, and flirts just enough with both of those styles that I keep expecting it to definitively plump for one or the other but it never does. I just don't get the appeal here.

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