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Ozric Tentacles - Technicians of the Sacred CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 218 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The cover sure looks encouraging, some guy going by the name of Natan "MantisMash" was responsible for the cover and it's very much an Ozric cover. This guy sure has Blim's spirit in the artwork, those similar psychedelic colors (lots of yellow, orange and blue). The title I'm certain came from a book published in 1968 by Jerome Rothenberg, which happens to be entitled Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia & Oceania, which is as the book describes: poetry from indigenous tribes from around the world. Meaning it's the kind of book you could imagine Ed Wynne would read and likely felt this would make a nice title for the new Ozric release. Turned out Ed stated the title had to do with Mayan astrology, he made no mention of the book, but I'd be surprised if he didn't get the title of "Techicians of the Sacred" from that book.

The Wynne family included a returning Paul Hankin as well as Hungarian drummer Balazs Szende, and let me tell you this one just blew me away. It's literally the best Ozric release I've heard in a very long time, and easily the best with Brandi. This album has a more grand and epic feel than Paper Monkeys, with a more spacy vibe, and in fact perhaps one of the spaciest Ozric albums I have ever heard! Paper Monkeys seemed more rock-oriented, this one tends more heavily on world music, lots of Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian gamelan) and Middle Eastern styles, and some reggae thrown in (as they sometimes do, but used to do more frequently in their early releases). Of course, you still get treated with synths and Ed's trademark guitar playing. Lots of reminders of the Ozric past, but on some of the songs they actually try something new, such as electronic percussion that sounds different ("Zingbong" has some of that percussion that sounded like Jean Michel Jarre used on "Equinoxe V" or "Oxygene IV"), new synth textures I've never heard on an Ozric album before (I just love that gliding synth on "Zingbong"), and a strange experimental piece with strange sounding violin on "The Unusual Village". There's also strange female tribal chants on "Butterfly Garden" and "Changa Masala" while the latter also includes a quote from "Kick Muck". "The High Pass" has this grand intro, but they really get rocking.

Either I'm losing my mind, or I'm some fanboy, but I really think this is their finest release since their glory days, in fact I rank it up there with their best material ever! I know Brandi is on here, and the stuff the Ozrics done with her on board has been frequently dismissed, but for me, the truly stands tall with the classic. And in hindsight, the stuff they've been doing since Spirals in Hyperspace has been a bit inconsistent (usually some ugly techno experiment), each of those releases still had great material. Plus I found Paper Monkeys surprisingly consistent, which I felt was a turn in the right direction. Technicians of the Sacred really exceeded all my expectations, this is truly a masterpiece, although many might not agree, it sure sounds like one to me! It's a masterpiece if it consistently reenters my CD player!

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |


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