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SANGUINE HUM

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Sanguine Hum biography
SANGUINE HUM emerged from the Oxford based band Antique Seeking Nuns, which already recorded three highly acclaimed EP's. Eventually Matt Baber (keyboards), drummer Paul Mallyon, Joff Winks (guitar, vocals) and bassist Brad Waissman decided to move forward to new horizons. Originally more focussed on canterbury styled songs they began to widen their scope while including more rocking elements.

The band started to record basic tracks for their debut during May and November 2008. The change finally revealed when the EP 'Plays The Nuns - Live 2009' was released on Troppers For Sound, consisting of three 'old' recordings played live. SANGUINE HUM's ambitious first album 'Diving Bell' saw the the light of day at the end of 2010, provided with profound song-writing, haunting melodies and excellent musicianship.

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Live in AmericaLive in America
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Imports 2014
Audio CD$21.93
$33.76 (used)
Diving BellDiving Bell
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Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$10.66
$15.29 (used)
Weight of the WorldWeight of the World
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Esoteric 2013
Audio CD$9.38
$7.73 (used)
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SANGUINE HUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 28 ratings
Diving Bell
2010
3.71 | 34 ratings
The Weight Of The World
2013

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

3.05 | 3 ratings
Live In America
2012

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3.00 | 1 ratings
Plays The Nuns - Live 2009
2009

SANGUINE HUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Diving Bell by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 28 ratings

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Diving Bell
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Sanguine Hum were born in Oxford, UK out of the ashes of Antique Seeking Nuns, well, not actually out of the ashes, as the band's line-up is exactly the same with the former group (Matt Baber on keyboards, Joff Winks on vocals/guitar, Paul Mallyon on drums and Brad Waissman on bass), so consider them as an extension of the gone Canterbury-styled group.Sanguine Hum was seen as an evolution of Antique Seeking Nuns's sound and after a short time-out the members gathered again to rehearse on new pieces.Some of them though date back from the later days of Antique Seeking Nuns and with the addition of new pieces the album ''Divine bell'' was released in a limited number copies at the fall of 2010 on the band's own Troopers for Sound label.Esoteric Antenna took care of a more proper release two years later.

If the addition of strong, modern Pop elements can be considered as an evolution, then Sanguine Hum certainly differ a bit from the formation of ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS.The members had already a tendency towards artistic and sophisticated music with Post Rock touches, but on ''Divine bell'' this style was somewhat expanded with the addition of Art Pop and Alternative Rock elements.They still deep into Canterbury atmospheres with the electric piano on occasional display, but they had moved into a more SYD ARTHUR-like vein, where Psych Pop and contemporary Rock appear to be basic components of their compositions.Good thing they kept playing in a fine composing level, they still have left room for some instrumental flexibility, although in a more modern vein with definite Post Rock vibes and the sentimental and almost melodramatic voices and choruses are memorable.So, expect an album, which is now driven by some Pop sensibilities, atmospheric instrumental passages and balanced rhythm and lead guitars, trying to keep the old fashion of the Cantebury scene.Guitars appear to be quite crunchy and even pretty heavy at moments with a slight ANEKDOTEN atonality and the throbbing bass and propelled drums are also driving factors.The keyboards play a secondary role, which still appears to be a vital element in the music, even if offered in a smooth style, but delivering an overall richer sound and the needed dreamy edge.The result is always well-crafted and even pretty emotional at moments with a conbination of heavy and lighter textures.

Slightly more poppy version of ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS, quite paradox, because Sanguine Hum sound a tad heavier compared to the demised band, but the structures are generally more accesible and straight.Quite personal and attractive music.Recommended.

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 The Weight Of The World by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.71 | 34 ratings

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The Weight Of The World
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I would not be surprised in the least if this band gained some commercial success down the road at some point. And while I miss the humour of their former incarnation (ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS), this project draws me in with their powerful, intricate and melodic sound. It's hard not to focus on the modern sounding vocals but man when you really listen to the instrumental work it's impressive and challenging to say the least. Once again Matt Baber's keyboard work (Fender Rhodes, Hammond and synths) gains most of my praise, but the new drummer certainly has chops and he fits in well with the usual outstanding guitar and bass work.

"From The Ground Up" is laid back to start with relaxed vocals, a beat and gentle guitar before things pick up. Love the passionate vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as the contrasts continue. A powerful instrumental section kicks in around 3 minutes with the Hammond screaming out. The last couple of minutes are so uplifting. Such a great track. "System For Solution" is 8 minutes in length and quite powerful. I haven't mentioned the lyrics yet but they are one of the band's strong points and they are brilliant here. I like the way they contrast the powerful with the more intricate and complex passages on this track. Nice guitar work 5 minutes in reminding me of Steven Wilson for some reason. "In Code" is the only instrumental and it might be my favourite song on here. It opens in such an exhilarating manner reminding me of ANATHEMA's latest stuff. This track is simply a joy, one of those "life is good" moments that I don't want to end. Thanks guys. "Cognoscenti" has lots of intricacies to enjoy along with some aggressive guitar at times. The keyboards are fantastic as usual.

"Day Of Release" is interesting to start with the relentless beat and powerful synths as the vocals almost speak the lyrics. Things seem to get more intense and yet they are holding back. The intensity is released before 4 1/2 minutes to the end. Such a cool tune. "Phosphor" is a short 3 minute track that is very mellow with fragile vocals to start. A fuller sound follows. Some nice piano work in this one. "The Weight Of The World" ends the album in style with an almost 15 minute three part extravaganza. Some prominant guitar in the first part but the vocals and drums also stand out. An excellent instrumental section with lots of keyboards kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. It becomes uplifting before 5 minutes and the vocals join in as we have started the second part of this song. Part three begins around 7 minutes in as we get a more serious sound with the wind blowing as the vocals join in. It turns heavy before 10 minutes then back to that intricate soundscape. I like the way themes are repeated throughout this epic track.

Another winner from this talented band. Please check these guys out !

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 The Weight Of The World by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.71 | 34 ratings

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The Weight Of The World
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

2 stars This is another album that I really can't get into very well. It has some interesting parts, but it just seems so "blah" overall. Let me explain:

The vocalist really irks me. I don't know why, but his boy band vox are annoying. I could barely listen to the rest of the album. On top of this, the compositions seem to ramble and really have little to no point. The lyrics are well done, but I really can't remember much about them, except that they seem pointless. Again, though, the composition seems like it was made to sound like prog, and not actually BE prog. It's as if they thought adding extended portions somehow makes them prog.

There is absolutely nothing interesting that happens, and nothing unique or original is ever displayed. There is some nice synth near the end, and the final track is passably listenable. But, overall, the album is below average, whether we speak of the easy-as-pie instrumentation or the overall lack of structure and point. Maybe this is for fans of indie rock and post rock, but it certainly isn't for me.

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 The Weight Of The World by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.71 | 34 ratings

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The Weight Of The World
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Well. What a nice discovery

This is very versatile prog rock.

But I am sure this is no neo prog ...

This is crossover prog in the line of Big Big Train.

But also in the post rock line Tortoise comes to my mind.

¿Why in the Uk there appear so many excellent prog rock bands? There you can find the real art rock,creative rock .... Bands in the US are good too but more oriented to to sales matter.

I can imagine no SH future as successful as Big Big Train .

Beatiful songs,excellent compositions ,very good musician and vocals.

For me the rating is more than 4,5..so... 5 then.

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 The Weight Of The World by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.71 | 34 ratings

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The Weight Of The World
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

5 stars SANGUINE HUM are around in early 2013 with a new drummer on board. Andy Booker debuted for their gig at Rosfest last year after a really short period of practice ... and it successfully worked. So now - consequently - he's a regular band member, completely involved in the new recordings. While being delighted with their debut 'Diving Bell' I started to listen with curiosity of course ... but also somewhat reserved - as we all know - it's really hard to hold such a raised standard or even excel onself with every new album.

Again released on Esoteric Recordings, 'The Weight Of The World' comes with seven songs. The title track is exceptional in some way, due to a length of fifteen minutes, which is quite unusual when it comes to this band. But it's not the running time as such which strikes, moreover this one is also symptomatical for a move towards an eclectic approach. Compared to what they've done beforehand, the music is provided with less catchy moments overall (eh ... probably to be withdrawed though soon?) - however for the benefit of more thoughtfullness, depth and trickiness.

So I had to take the lesson that 'The Weight Of The World' needs proper time to unfold its real beauty - well, step by step, with every round, a new flower was coming into bloom. If you don't go forward, you go backwards - there are new aspects to state musicwise, wheras you still can recognize the band's basics. They waste no time, the first seconds of the opener - just from the ground up so to say - make it clear that you're listening to SANGUINE HUM. Something attractive for me, taking the risk to repeat myself probably, I have to name Joff Winks' charming voice, absolutely unique.

While knowing each other and musically collaborating since their youth, the inspired interaction between keyboarder Matt Baber and guitarist Joff Winks marks the substantial trademark. Somnambulistic compositions are the result here, requiring full concentration to come in. I have problems to highlight any of the songs, wait ... maybe I should take the short melancholic Phosphor with intent, while probably underestimated otherwise. It's a minimalistic piano/vocal duet basically, so lovely nevertheless. Most of the album sections are showing a lush sound though, often with keyboards and guitars multi-tracked.

Baber varies a lot on synthesizer, organ, piano - sometimes it even sounds like he's playing a vibraphone too. Where some album parts are more keyboard laden Winks is dominant on the opening song and shines with heavy riffing guitar within Cognoscenti. From a compositional point of view at least, the album's title track appears to be their masterpiece so far. I wonder how they are able to bring this multi-layered, partially virtuoso attitude to the live stage ... you always have to take up a new challenge.

Now it only remains for me to say 'congrats!'. A thrilling experience by all means, which is also available as a 2 disc CD/DVD edition, including the movie 'The Making Of The Weight Of The World', with the opportunity for some insights. This should not be missed by any progressive rock music fan, a progress at least, for me a new milestone, as I'm following their path since they started under the moniker Antique Seeking Nuns. Reflecting the excellent presence of the bass guitar (Brad Waissman) and drums too, the sound is crystal clear, the mix is simply brilliant. This rounds it all up this time to the highest rating.

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 Diving Bell by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 28 ratings

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Diving Bell
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Not overtly progressive in the traditional sense. No Genesis, Yes or ELP in sight. Maybe a little '80s King Crimson, later Talk Talk and some refined Canterbury jazz tones. Throw in some Umphrey's McGee and the American band 3rDegree and you'll get a picture of what Sanguine Hum might sound like. Honestly, I can't really peg these guys into a box. Sort of like trying to define Max Webster. The great thing about this album is that it sounds modern but never dated. I could picture myself listening to this in 20 years or so and it would sound immediate. Very organic sounding. A great instrumental with "Coast Of Nebraska". Rhodes throughout many of the tracks and non-traditional. Just some fine written songs with effortless playing and no wankery. Very tasteful. Sanguine Hum is great at painting mind pictures. I can't stop listening to this album. Worth the price alone for the track "Nothing Between Us". A great slab of prog which could actually make waves on adult alternative radio if it weren't 6 minutes +. This is a great album to listen to while driving the back roads or during a spring rain (March - May). I would actually give this a personal 5 star rating, but it's going to have to be a 4 because it would only appeal to the secular prog listener and not the provincial. The "neo-prog" label is also VERY misleading.

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 Live In America by SANGUINE HUM album cover Live, 2012
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Live In America
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Well, their gig at Rosfest in Gettysburg this year must have been something special for the SANGUINE HUM crew. This appeared to be the first step to the US ever. Now as the regular drummer Paul Mallyon surprisingly decided to leave the band at the end of 2011, they had to sort out a problem of course ... and finally managed to find and integrate a proper substitute during few weeks. It's Andy Booker, known from the Steven Wilson side project No-Man. Certainly being happy to be involved in such a famous festival they offered a noteworthy performance, taking around 60 minutes. Provided with minimalistic announcements their song collection represents an excursion through different musical periods.

Needless to say that this includes several tracks from their recent 'Diving Bell' effort, which was released in 2010. Furthermore the performance is covering at least four arrangements originating from their former Canterbury influenced Antique Seeking Nuns incarnation, one from the Joff Winks Band plus two other songs which didn't make it on a regular studio production, as far as I know. So here we can explore a mostly relaxed and atmospheric performance overall. Equally known from their studio recordings.they are acting fully concentrated on melody, song structure and perfect interaction. With the consequence however that studio and live versions do not essentially differ - it's even the other way round as usual, the live versions often are shorter in fact.

Hence one or two afterwards may regret the absence of a distinct live ambience, featuring extended songs showcasing some additional variation, surprises, more instrumental solos for example. But obviously this is not their goal. The 'older' songs apparently appear in a heavier outfit and Andy Booker's drumming.is something new to explore of course. Joff Winks pulls the strings due to his guitar work and lovely voice, where keyboardist Matt Baber plays more reserved, but surely a very solid and multi-variant part. I adore Brad Waissman's opening bass line on Cat Factory to go into detail. Earthsong With One Sugar is going through a little remoulding including a fanstastic guitar solo at the end, a piece where they rudimentarily turn it loose

Then I especially want to point out the couple Double Egg and Son Of Bassoon taken from my favourite Antique Seeking Nuns EP 'Double Egg With Chips And Beans', which belong to the finest tracks in melody and arrangement in my humble opinion. Well, when I sum up all my listening experiences regarding this band here and now, I still do favour their studio output so far ... eh, prefering a live gig at the venue above all of course - a wish which hopefully will be fulfilled some day. Thus 'Live In America' offers a solid performance for those who are already familiar with their music, a perfect introduction so much the more to everybody who is new to this exceptional band - 3.5 stars.

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 Plays The Nuns - Live 2009 by SANGUINE HUM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Plays The Nuns - Live 2009
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

— First review of this album —
3 stars This album will surely be considered as an oddity and only as the bridge between Antique Seeking Nun and Sanguine Hum. Bridge ? Well, both bands consists of the same members. The Nuns changed named to S Hum just recently. So in this respect; this is a nice intro to Sanguine Hum and a nice farvel to The Nuns. Hence the title and this album.

The music on the other hand is not particular engaging. We get sixteen minutes of a crossbreed between cool Canterbury scene jazz and post rock. Mostly post rock it has to be said. At least 70 % post rock. Which makes this album a bit of an oddity because Antique Seeking Nun was far more Canterbury Scene orientated than this stuff here and Sanguine Hum again is much more rock orientated. An oddity it is, this EP.

The music is performed with guitars and some tangents. The bass is always in the foreground too. The drums is pounding away too. The tempo is very post rock with speedy sections with more melancholic interludes. All of the music here is instrumental.

The quality....... Well, barely good and I am tempted to give it a duo of stars. But the final melody Earth Song With One Sugar has something going for it and it drags this EP up from a pretty unpleasant bog. The song titles too indicates that this band does not take themselves too serious. In short; everyone can live without this EP. But if find a budget version of it; don't turn down this offer.

3 stars (barely)

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 Diving Bell by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 28 ratings

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Diving Bell
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars SANGUINE HUM are in fact the same band who used to go under the name ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS. Anyone who has had the pleasure to listen to any of their three EPs will want to check out "Diving Bell". The NUNS three EPS were a Canterbury flavoured delight filled with humour and great sounding melodies.This new project seems more serious and more rocking and yet I get the same pleasure from the music.These guys are ultra talented. I mean they use complex and odd time signatures in such a melodic way that unless your really listening you would miss it.The vocals are excellent and it's the kind of cd that you look forward to putting on, like visiting an old friend. I want to thank Uwe who has been an enthusiastic supporter of this group because it's great to talk to someone who is just as into them as I am.

"No More Than We Deserve" is such an amazing sounding track, this could be a single.The vocals really remind me of the guy from the American band 3. I like when it gets heavier and the vocals get more passionate each time. Keys come in later. "The Ladder" is more laid back and we get some keyboards after 2 minutes. It does turn intense late before it ends in a spacey manner. "Dark Ages" opens with acoustic guitar as bass, it eventually settles back and the vocals return. "Coast Of Nebraska" is the only instrumental and the longest track on here. Drums and fat bass lines early.The tempo will shift often. Some spacey organ before 3 minutes then it turns intense after 5 1/2 minutes.

"The Trial" has a great sounding instrumental section starting around 2 1/2 minutes that I like much better than the vocal parts on this one.The guitar starts to solo before 4 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Nothing Between Us" has a mid-paced heavy beat as the melody swirls throughout.Vocals in this one too. Cool song. "Diving Bell" opens with keyboards and light drums then it kicks in fuller before a minute.Vocals follow and it gets heavier 4 1/2 minutes in. "There's No Hum" is fairly laid back but it's fuller a minute in as contrasts continue. I like the more powerful sections on this one.

Easily 4 stars and once this gets out there's going to be quite the buzz among music fans.

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 Diving Bell by SANGUINE HUM album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.71 | 28 ratings

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Diving Bell
Sanguine Hum Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars SANGUINE HUM are Antique Seeking Nuns!? In Germany we would say 'jein' (ja und nein) - yes and no! On one side ... well it's the same line-up exactly ... and distribution of roles, at least when speaking of the instruments. However - the Nuns' compositions are generally based on early ideas by Joff Winks (guitars, vocals) and Matt Baber (keyboards) who musically collaborate since their schooldays. This time though the complete band, also comprising drummer Paul Mallyon and Brad Waissman (bass), are responsible for song-writing and production. And they are drifting away from the canterbury origin, stylistically make progress, clearly widen the scope.

So in order to manifest the transition, the first official band release 'Plays The Nuns - Live 2009' consequently featured 'old' stuff, played on a stage. What ever the reason is for the change of name ... the Nuns are SANGUINE HUM now since 2009 - basta! What remains are significant elements with recognition value, speaking of Joff Winks' remarkable voice for example or the perfected interaction in general. Yes, what they even have improved here and there ... I really dig the charming melodies, the cosy atmosphere they implement on 'Diving Bell'. This includes excellent musicianship, guaranteed once again.

If you like ... just call me an enthusiastic overreacting fanboy when it comes to this fellows, never mind. Please do yourself a favour and reserve enough time in order to let it take effect. They kindly sent me a pre CD-R - which means, I already had time to get in for some weeks. During the first round I was a bit disappointed in light of compositions which sounded more tending to mainstream music in some way - superficially though. It only took time to assimilate the band's new spirit indeed. And so I finally agree with Matt, who promised that 'although if anything this album is more complicated than the Nuns stuff'.

Now, necessarily getting into the songs, they immediately appear heavier edged than ever on the opener No More Than We Deserve - that said with more of a proper rock feel. Straight to the point - the rhythm fraction has a big share. This is lush due to multiple guitar dominance, provided with differing time signatures, which makes it really entertaining. The song swifts to a spacey flow and perfectly blends into the follower The Ladder - turning back to the canterbury infected times a bit - the electric piano is perfectly utilized here. Dark Ages starts relatively innocent but then gradually evolves to a fantastic arrangement where the groovy instrumental Coast Of Nebraska offers rather psychedelic coloured guitars.

Nothing Between Us is such a lovely ballad with acoustic guitar, as for my impression focussed on the vocals - so sweet! Concerning some decent synth patterns I'm inclined to claim this is caused by a theremin. At the latest with the title track everything gets room for development. They are alternating between atmospheric tinged and groovy neo prog parts - the sensitive keyboard input attracts attention including sparkling Rhodes piano ... and another spacey downfall appears towards the end.

I'm completely overwhelmed with emotion! A fantastic production which comes with a vinyl length, but does not contain any filler, nor any minute which is needless. This album surely deserves attention - 'Diving Bell' should join every sophisticated prog music collection. As far as I'm concerned ... the songs cause cheerfulness, offer so much positive energy, warm my heart - even after a long time, can't find other words right now. Essential, yes - a masterpiece? Probably - time will tell. Finally ... to come to an end for the moment ... my hope is to get the chance to see them playing live someday. Preferably as soon as possible ...

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