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SEVEN IMPALE

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Seven Impale biography
Six young men from Norway with a background in jazz and classical music were signed to Karisma Records. Influences they mention include Everything from Jan Garbarek and Side Brok Enslaved, Tool and Meshuggah.

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ContrapassoContrapasso
Karisma 2016
Audio CD$9.57
$12.43 (used)
City of the SunCity of the Sun
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$9.01
$21.04 (used)
City Of The Sun by Seven Impale (2014-08-03)City Of The Sun by Seven Impale (2014-08-03)
Karisma Records
Audio CD$77.08
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SEVEN IMPALE discography


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

4.12 | 234 ratings
City Of The Sun
2014
3.82 | 43 ratings
Contrapasso
2016

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

SEVEN IMPALE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.45 | 14 ratings
Beginning / Relieve
2013

SEVEN IMPALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Contrapasso by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Contrapasso
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

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

4 stars The future of progressive rock music is in excellent hands if it stays in the hands of young rockers like Norway's Seven Impale. 2014's City of the Sun was undeniably one of that year's best albums, but this one is better! Far more adventurous, experimental, confident (if that's possible), and bold. The band's infatuation with computer, electronic and radio-like sounds (sometimes in a way quite similar to the work of Holger CZUKAY in the 80s) is one area in which they have really branched out. The other would be in the variety of styles, sounds, and effects used for Stian ěkland's vocals. Both of these changes are, to my ears and mind, very positive and only help prove the growth and adventurous nature that the band is going through. Growth--and change--is GOOD!

1. "Lemma" (8:59) has a very pretentious feel of melodrama not unlike that of DISCIPLINE or BLACK SABBATH--only here, with Seven Impale, I take it all tongue in cheek--all for fun; for the band's amusement as well as ours. Musically, the song is a perfect vehicle for the melodrama taking place but then, out of the blue, there is a wonderful shift at the 6:15 mark which feels like it is a saving grace for all of the bombast that has come before. Awesome stuff! I love it! Great song! (10/10)

2. "Heresy" (7:16) opens feeling familiar in sound to City of the Sun though the melodic movement is more jazzy. When the vocals enter the 'old' Seven Impale is cast aside and we are brought into a world that is more farcical, more Tim Burtonesque. The song quickly develops into a storytelling vehicle in the same vein as MOTORPSYCHO's The Death Defying Unicorn, only compacted into a single, seven minute song. At the three minute mark there is the "Doldrums/Flotsam/Sculls in Limbo"-like interlude, followed by a spirited return to full dynamic force a minute later. If I hadn't heard TDDU I might give a little more credit to Seven Impale here--though their intent may just have been to show the world that an entire 80-minute rock opera could be adequately fit into a seven minute song. (8/10) 3. "Inertia" (9:09) opens with some eerie piano, bass, guitar noises, with drums before sax shows up to throw everybody in line with a nice staccato rhythm progressing over a cycle of several key changes. The vocals on Contrapasso, overall, are quite different than their debut--quite a bit more diverse and using quite a variety of effects--which I like. The band's growth, adventurousness and confidence must be very high. A very nice elongated REINE FISKE-like guitar solo in the third and fourth provides a buffer between the first and second vocal verses. The next instrumental interlude is awesome. In some ways similar to both "God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman" and, again, MOTORPSYCHO's The Death-Defying Unicorn, and yet completely its own. Here is where I notice that this album includes a much greater presence and use of spacey keyboards, effected instrumental notes (from piano, percussives, synths or guitars Excellent song. A top three and probably my favorite full-length song on the album. (10/10)

4. "Langour" (7:39) opens like a djenty song from LEPROUS or even MOTORSPYCHO--even when the organ, saxes, synths and vocalized melody join in. At 1:45 things quiet down into an ominously spacious, pregnantly potentialized jazz song. Stian ěkland's familiar voice enters fifteen seconds later with the force and presence of JIM MORRISON. At the three minute mark the music stops and we are left with only an irritating high pitched squeal and some wobbly guitar notes picked individually and intermittently. The vocal finish sounds almost like church choir-like--and then, to top it off, a church organ and tubular bells-like keyboard enter to finish the song! Theatric and wonderful! (9/10)

5. "Ascension" (1:37) uses a guitar (and, later, harmonizing piano) to spaciously recreate the arpeggio that formed the main melody for the instrumental exit jam from their last album's epic masterpiece, "God Left Us for a Black- Dressed Woman." Perfect title! Awesome idea! (10/10)

6. "Convulsion" (5:05) is, as the song's title indicates, a vehicle for the conveyance of some heavy stoner rock sonic convulsions. The echoed and delayed multiple-voice vocal delivery and shifts in song direction and style every minute or so also plays into the health-threatening feel of this music. The fourth major shift, into a kind of TOBY DRIVER postlude of psychedelia is odd and unexpected but effective when paired with the phrenetic predecessor and the typical end of peace and calm that follows a convulsive attack. I really like the tight, compressed feel of the first two thirds of this song. (9/10) 7. "Helix" (9:16) opens with synth bass and drum time kept on a hi-hat. The group vocal that joins in creates another KAYO DOT-like sonic environment. While not as starkly earth-shaking as the typical Toby Driver delivery, there is an effective mood conveyed here--one that feels as if it is slowly building in potential energy ready to be released in some kinetic explosion. Then, at the four minute mark, things quiet down (the calm before the storm?) for about a minute before, yes, the caldera blows. Hoarse, screaming vocals add the icing to the cake, until, just as suddenly, at the six minute mark everything settle back into a quiet, resting mode--though the melodies and chords interjected by the bass, keys, and saxes are quite ominous--quite filled with warning of more doom impending. Even the piano interlude in the eighth minute holds so much warning. Again, it's like the calm before the storm. But then, oddly, the music switches to solo treated organ and the crescendo never recurs. Until the opening of the next song... Not a bad song, it just feels unresolved and incomplete. (8/10)

8. "Serpentstone" (7:20) opens quite heavily and then downshifts into a really nice, full-band ominous groove. This groove turns into a nice multi-layered instrumental section in which synths, saxes, and guitars are weaving within a deep, dark subterranean tapestry. A great vocal takes over. Again I must reiterate how remarkable it is that the effects and stylings of Stian's voice are so different from City of the Sun. Cool song! One that I know will continue to grow on me with repeated listens. (9/10)

9. "Phoenix" (11:14) opens almost like a 1970s hip-hop rap with a bouncy melody line in the low end while chopped and echoed vocals from some British television comedy show (or shows) play along with. The vocal sample track comes to an end at the three minute mark as a female voice says, "This is just freaking me out," which is then immediately followed by a deep male voice laughing, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" The odd carnival-ish hip hop synthetic rhythm continues while sax and other instruments join into the mix. It all seems so until 5:25 mark when heavy bass, guitar, and drum riffs enter and establish dominance. When synths join the song takes on a bit of a JAGA JAZZIST Starfire sound/feel to it. The final two minutes find the song meandering into the realm of space-radio wave soundscapes. Interesting. This one, I have to admit, does not please me. I feel as if the band has almost wasted some of my time--11:14 of it, to be precise. Too bad. (6/10)

My long-lasting question after listening to Contrapasso a couple of times is: Are the boys intentionally showing off their influences? And, if so, are they doing so out of respect or out of an attitude of "anything they can do we can do, too (. . . if not better)???

Not quite as consistently high as their debut album but I definitely like the fearless exploratory nature of the band's energy here--and I hope the mixed reviews are not enough to discourage the band from continuing to experiment, take risks and grow.

 Contrapasso by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Contrapasso
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars I was reading a review from another reviewer that mentioned groups like Beardfish and Van Der Graaf Generator, so I was immediately intrigued since those are two favorites of mine. I gravitate towards eclectic stuff since I find it interesting, but I also still love a good symphonic piece. Contrapasso is a very good album on it's own, but it is more experimental than the superb City Of The Sun. I actually hear many similarities to Motorpsycho, another Eclectic Progressive Rock band from Norway. There are times like listening to the track Inertia, where I could stick that right in the middle of The Death Defying Unicorn. There is also an injection of space rock in the mix. The vocals are very different on Contrapasso, with a deeper darker tone than the more softer singing approach on City Of The Sun. Contrapasso is a worthy addition to any prog lovers catalog. If you are new to Seven Impale, I would start with City Of The Sun first.
 Contrapasso by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.82 | 43 ratings

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Contrapasso
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars

After a great first album, the band is back with this new album. Could they match up the first one? After playing together for 2 years, the band is much tighter and it really shows in this new work. From the opener "Lemma", we are in space territory with a big voice from the deep and the sax of Benjamin Widero who will be a highlight throughout this album. There is a break with a funny atmosphere, but the song switch to more dark melodies. "Heresey" brings a female voice, a Frank Zappa like part and some strange time signatures and strange keyboards passages remind me of VDGG. "Inertia" brings the first psychedelic guitar solo between some furious sax passages. "Langour" is where the album is starting to pick up with some brilliant music! The band is switching from the intensity of the heavy guitars to the calm piano and bass lines. There's another type of vocal harmonies here, some Jazzy parts and weird synths. The sax plays in a different mode. "Convulsion" has some brilliant bursts of energy and breaks with vocals and music that remind me of Killing Joke. We are again in some dark territory where the melody is built slowly in the fusion of the vocals and the instrumentation. "Helix" has some cool synths effects, dark atmosphere, and various piano/keys tones. The band is playing with many tempo changes.In "Serpenstone", the vocals are quite unique and the melody is again building his momentum slowly with some beautiful keyboards in the Beardfish style, an influence that is spread out all over this album with many others of course. The last song starts with samples of conversations with some strange atmosphere, spacey keyboards, ambient passages and a special guitar break.The song was meant to slow things down after all the previous intensity. If this long song is not the most impressive track , it end up very well the album. If you enjoy adventurous music and are not afraid of dissonant music, oppressive atmosphere covering different styles, this is an album to look for.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Porcupineapple

5 stars Did you ever wonder what an ambitious jazz player drowning himself in progrock might sound like? Seven impale has the answer for you with this album.

We are looking at a young formation hailing from Norway, which consists of six men with a background in jazz and classical music, obviously having a strong crush on progressive rock. Trying to blend all this in one might be risky, which is exactly the feeling you might get during the first listen of their new album. By the time it ends, you will find it difficult to wipe the WTF face expression off your face, making you hit the repeat button to give it a second go. And if you are opened for something new, that is when you will realize that Christmas came early this year, as this album is nothing but one of the best from 2015.

Tricky time signatures get jazzed up here (literally) by progrock beats crossed with wild saxophone runs, as the dreamy versus proggy parts eventually give way to beautifully controlled chaos. Whilst the end result is difficult to be compared with anything, it does remind you of a jazzy King Crimson or Anekdoten at times, whilst exceeds those in a way also. And although the album only rambles on through five songs, each of those will have a surprise around the corner, such as "Oh my gravity" or "Eschaton horo" throwing some dirty and ruthless progriffs in your face emerging from the jazzy soundscapes, or the closing track ("God left us for a black-dressed woman") focusing more on the melancholic bit, eventually ending the 14-minute-long song and the whole album in such a mighty and epic way that you will be left to beg for more. And although with these three songs to album sets the bar high enough for the other two not to fully live up to these, all in all it is a rewarding journey through these different (and yet similar) genres. It is not an easy listen, but is an ambitious project, as well as a beautiful marriage between jazz and progrock, at the same time paving the way into a promising future for these six young prog-jazz freaks.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by ergaster

4 stars 4.5/5

This was one of those albums that came out of the blue. A recommendation from a friend, he also provided the warning: "give them a chance" -- which can be regarded as either a challenge, or a red flag. And the first time I played the album, I knew exactly what he meant: I spent a lot of the time thinking, "What the hell is going on here??" But I also got that feeling...the one where I have no idea if I liked what I heard, but there was something. Albums that start out that way, that leave me bemused and intrigued, that demand revisiting in order to make sense of them, often end up being long-term winners.

Who are they? A six-piece from Bergen, Norway. What are they? Well, it is hard to describe what they do. Psychedelic jazz-rock-fusion, lots of saxophone winding all through prog-like songs, they sound deceptively loose and crazy, but don't be fooled. What we have here is masterfully-controlled chaos.

While they do not really sound like any of those bands, they are reminiscent of Soft Machine, Quiet Sun, a bit of jazz-era Crimson. Each song is a surprise, the way the elements are all intertwined, sliding smoothly from raucus disorganized noise to nice melodic themes, changing up the time signatures but not in that self-referential way that too many modern prog bands tend to do--when it happens, it's like it takes everyone by surprise, listener and performer both.

Every time I play this album, I am surprised how much I like what I hear, because otherwise every musical instinct tells me this is not the kind of thing that holds my attention. But these guys are the real deal. They don't sound quite like anyone else, and sometimes they sound less like a band than a loose collective of people wandering in and out of the songs at random. If you do choose to listen...well, give them a chance.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Norway seems to be churning out the bands these days and SEVEN IMPALE is another new band who have received a lot of adoration by Prog fans world-wide. In fact on PA here their "City Of The Sun" album was voted the third best recording of 2014 which is very impressive. I almost feel like I have to explain why i'm not giving this five stars despite being very impressed with it overall. For me it's the blasting sax. And it's not that it turns me off per se but it just really isn't my thing. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is an example of blasting horns and while I appreciate that track and gave the album 5 stars that song just doesn't resonate with me. And I love horns too but just not the blasting style. Okay I think i've made my point. Just my tastes that's all.

This is a six piece band with two guitarists, one being the vocalist along with bass, drums, keyboards and sax. They are a young band with varied influences who have come up with a beauty here in "City Of The Sun" which is a great title, and I dig the album art as well. They really do the bombast versus mellow sections really well and I have to say the final track "God Left Us For A Black-Dressed Woman" has to be one of the best songs of 2014.

"Oh, My Gravity!" opens with the sax gently honking as other instruments join in gradually. It settles in after a minute then builds in intensity. A change follows as we get a guitar/keyboard section before the vocals, drums and sax return. A calm 4 minutes in as the vocals and a mellow sound take over including organ. It kicks back in and man this is intense. The sax is blasting again then we get some ripping guitar after 6 minutes. A killer instrumental section arrives 7 minutes in and vocals return a minute later. Some great sounding sax before 9 minutes. "Wind Shears" opens with a relaxed sound as reserved vocals join in. I really like this. Sax and a jazzy sound arrive as the vocals step aside. Vocals are back before 3 minutes then they stop as it kicks into gear heavily. Another calm arrives as contrasts continue.

"Eschaton Horo" opens with keyboards that are followed quickly by a full sound. A calm a minute in as fragile vocals join in. Some lazy sax excursions before 2 minutes as it stays mellow. By the 3 minute mark the intensity kicks in as we get outbursts of power. It turns even heavier before 5 minutes and there's some cool sounding guitar here. It all stops as the band yells at 6 minutes then it kicks back in. Another calm from 7 minutes to the end. "Extraction" is fairly bluesy and we get an all out blitz early on with drums, guitar and organ leading the way. It settles back as the sax arrives then these passionate vocals almost shout the lyrics as the music becomes more powerful. It settles back again as the vocals continue but in a more laid back fashion. Themes are repeated.

"God Left Us For A Black-Dressed Woman" is my favourite track and it's almost 15 minutes in length. Picked guitar to start as the sax and liquid keys take over. Drums and more follow. I love the deep sounds before 2 minutes then it starts to pick up. So good. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes as the vocals arrive. Man this is good. Then the tempo and mood begins to shift at will. An experimental section arrives before 7 1/2 minutes then we get outbursts of power until it calms right down with sax and more. Reserved vocals are back. It's heavy again at 9 1/2 minutes before it settles in with vocals. Love the keyboards and guitar. It's so uplifting 13 minutes in then we get a big finish.

A very solid 4 stars and the future certainly is very bright for this young band.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars The best album that came out in prog in 2014. Period. There's too much to like here: the swift changes of rythm, the urgency of the vocals, the sultry sax, the manic moods in the drums.

This is so intoxicating It is like having blended VDGG and King Crimson into one.

I really hope this guys keep together enough to produce another couple of CD's more because running to this in the morning makes my heart flutter with delight. Pretty much recommended to anyone who is a serious in prog as I am (don't worry, if you are reading this, of course you are).

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Norwegian band SEVEN IMPALE was formed back in 2010, and has released an initial EP and one full-length album to date. "City of the Sun" is the name of the latter, and it was issued through the Norwegian label Karisma Records in the fall of 2014.

Seven Impale has released quite the impressive debut album, a quirky, sophisticated and challenging ride that blends jazz rock, progressive rock and arguably even progressive metal into a cohesive and rather appealing brew. Dreamladen and careful, even frail at times, but also bombastic, aggressive and at times more than a little bit complex. With a strong groove, and always with a good ear for melody as well. Highly recommended, especially to those who prefer their progressive rock to have strong ties with jazz as well as being challenging and demanding on multiple levels.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Imagine that '21st Century Schizoid Man' is a strip of photographic film. You know film, right? Most progheads should remember film. So imagine this classic song and some of King Crimson's other early heavy stuff is also part of this strip of film and now expose it to 'Nucleus'-era Anekdoten, develop it in The Mars Volta, and wash it with Pinkroom and voila! You have Seven Impale's 'City of the Sun'.

This is an easy album for me to get into because of all the heavy prog passages that crop up in every song. And I actually really love how the saxophone takes the lead throughout most of the album. We get a lot of slower and gentler passages and sections and at times a bit of piano or organ, and then suddenly there will be this total badass heavy prog section with bombastic guitar, saxophone, and one of those prog-a-licious odd rhythm meters. I just soak this stuff up!

I had a hard time placing Stian Okland's voice. It's soft and from the back of the throat like Anekdoten's male vocalist on 'Nucleus' but when it gets a bit gutsy it made me think of the singer on Colosseum's debut album except that that guy can sing from the abdomen. Then the Mars Volta similarity occurred to me, minus the louder screaming aspect. In any case, I think it works.

Only five songs here and one over fourteen minutes long with a total running time of about 46 minutes. That makes this album pretty easy to digest and after the first listen I already had a strongly favourable opinion forming. At this point I can't think of much else to say. It hinges on weird like The Mars Volta and Anekdoten hinge on weird. It also gets heavy like Anekdoten and Pinkroom get heavy. And it has its lighter side as well. Quite simply, if you haven't heard this PA 2014 top 20 pick (number 11) and you like the bands I mentioned above, then I recommend checking this one out. It's not quite five stars for me, more like 4.3. I'm sure there are plenty of members on this site who'd dig it.

 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.12 | 234 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Seven Impale burst forth on "City of the Sun" with fresh ideas, incredibly complex music and have put the prog scene on high alert such is the impact of this debut album. The band take a blend of early Van der Graaf Generator whipped up with the cream of Mahavishnu Orchestra, and then glazed over with King Crimson eclecticism. When this is put in the kiln, the refining fire of jazz fusion takes on a very odd shape. This is highly original music with a razor edge of some of the more adventurous off kilter compositions you are likely to hear.

The unusual time signatures and sporadic fractured rhythms are jarring to the ear. Yet the dissonance is infectious as it grows on each listen. 5 tracks of unmeasured diversity and a potpourri of instrumentation. This is one of the delights of 2014.

'Oh, My Gravity!' is 10 minutes of off the wall jazz chaos. It jumps out of the blocks with saxophone bliss over intense out of sync percussion. Just as you relax into it's syncopation it diverts into 7/8 rhythms and then launches into a guitar lick that feels like Robert Fripp entered the room. The vocals are an oddity in themselves, feeling estranged and out of tune yet maintaining a jaded harmony despite the dissonance. The VDGG cacophony of sound is heard reminding me of their masterpiece track 'A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers'. The opening track builds in tension until the sound becomes layered with organ, heavy guitar riffs, and then Crimsonish stop start chops. A sheer delight on every level and a genuine surprise when discovering this album.

'Windshears' opens with quiet guitar plucks but this is a nice break after the previous madness. The jazz feel is prominent with grand saxophone soloing. I was even reminded of Miles, prog jazz albums such as "Bitches Brew". Eventually the atmosphere is dense and augmented by heavy staccato blasts of guitar and sax. It has a feel of classic prog and of course as such is a proggers delight especially those of us who like the more complex off kilter side of music. Diagonal produced an album like this and it became a treasure in my collection instantly.

'Eschaton Horo' continues the shattered rhythms and features some intricate guitar licks and keyboard lines. The vocals sound like Radiohead's Thom Yorker in all respects. Very laid back on a high register. I love how the sax keeps interjecting and those chimes are gorgeous. This is the more beautiful side of Seven Impale. It still blasts into a crunching instrumental section. This is where the band take off and are at their best. The experimental nature of the music is intoxicating. It is always searching for new directions and explores these over tempo switches and audacious rhythmic figures. My dog didn't like it when they screamed out, and then it blazes away on a hypnotic motif till it settles into a haunting sax solo. The vocals return on a one note verse and it ends.

'Extraction' behind with insane guitar cranking over a wall of jazz cacophony. The melody here feels familiar and the vocals are at times aggressively executed. There are Hammond splashes, floating basslines, and a sizzling sax melody. The guitar solo is beautiful with delay and is joined by sax blasts. The music spins out of control until the organ ropes it back in.

'God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman' is a mini epic of 14:41 length and has as many twists and turns as a fairground roller coaster. It opens with guitar picking and a sax simmering over gradually building to a crescendo of keyboard interplay. The vocals remain laid back giving way to the sax solos and weird time sigs. The bass at times reminds me of the distorted bass on VDGG's "Vital". Their is a cool sax solo and some intense percussion. It gets into some bizarre territory with irregular metrical patterns. The metronome swings oddly as sax and guitar compete got domination. Vocals return to mediate between the duelling instruments. At 9 and a half minutes in the sound becomes raspy with staccato outbursts of music then locks into streams of guitar before coming to a tranquil place. The final melody is infectious and hooks into the brain to culminate in one of the most dynamic eclectic tracks I have heard in years.

It is difficult to convey the type of music on offer here but those who have heard the more adventurous side of King Crimson or VDGG should take delight in this album. I rate it as one of the albums of 2014.

Thanks to epignosis for the artist addition.

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