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The Worm Ouroboros - Of Things That Never Were CD (album) cover


The Worm Ouroboros


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 104 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Not to be confused with the USA-ian atmospheric sludge band of the same name, THE WORM OUROBOROS (this one has a "THE") named themselves after the heroic high fantasy novel by Erick Rücker Eddison which came out in 1922. This wriggling band squirmed its way out of the off-the-beaten path of Minsk, Belarus but has created quite the stir for all things 70s zeitgeist reincarnated into the 21st century in the eclectic progressive rock lover's world with their debut release OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE as if they are longing for a mix of their favorite classics that never materialized in the golden age of prog. Well, if it didn't happen then make it happen they did and with grace and utmost respect for all influences on the check off list.

This band is primarily led by the multi-instrumentalist Sergey Gvozdyukevich who handles keys, acoustic guitar, bass, flutes and vocal duties. He is joined by four other musicians including Vladimir Sobolevsky on electric and acoustic guitars, Alexey Zapolsky on bass, Eugene Zarkhin on drums and Vitaly Appow on reeds. The mixture of styles ranges from straight on heavy progressive rock to Canterbury jazz and zeuhl. The mixture of styles and influences is the biggest draw on this album as well as its weakest link. At a near hour playing length OF THINGS THAT NEVER WERE certainly does deliver the prog addict the proper dosage of prog hits at any given moment but unfortunately in the end fails to mix and meld all these disparate styles into the perfect concoction in the cauldron of creativity. Still though. THE WORM OUROBOROS have unleashed a highly enjoyable progressive rock album unto the world and since this is only the debut gives me great confidence that even better things are to come.

The album begins with the reed heavy "L'Impasse Sainte Bérégonee" which floods the listener with a plethora of arenas of the prog past including the plentiful Italian scene with its melodic cloud nine productions of Crimsonian guitar riffs mixed with subdued wind instrumentation choppily parading down time sig alley with pleasant melodies just bursting at the seams to get out. As "Shelieth" continues the progfest, it becomes more obvious that THE WORM OUROBOROS has a thing for classic prog that pay attention to the details of the classic kingdom that came before. The keys imitate mellotrons of the past, the guitars evoke the jazz-fusion greats of the past all the while mixing and melding slow sensual passages with more upbeat but never frenetic eclectic prog workouts.

While most tracks are instrumental some such as "The Pear-Shaped Man" offer a sensible sense of humor in the form of fairly decent vocal additions to a nicely executed time sig frenzy that incorporates acoustic and electric guitars with a keyboard extravaganza egged on by a bass and drum pubococcygeus exercise. While most of this album is based in a mellow and beautiful mix of guitar work that reminds me of King Crimson, quirkiness renowned in the Canturbury scene of the 70s and a nice healthy dose of symphonic prog elements, there are standout tracks that deviate from the norm such as "The Curfew" which are clearly Magma fueled and incorporate all the zeuhl elements which includes the all the wonderful rhythmic Kobaian feelings complete with that signature bass line and even some too-close-for-comfort Zander vocal workouts.

As for time immemorial mimicry, many acts come and go only pathetically attempting to evoke those far away places in the fantasy world of the 70s with only marginal results. THE WORM OUROBOROS succeeds big time in creating a modern day creation that easily could have been embedded in say the world of 1975 and no one would have thought otherwise. The album may evoke a sense of nostalgia but certainly fits well into the modern world as well. The production is a perfect mix of warm and inviting tones and timbres that create a complementary commendation of all the greats. This is a brilliant debut by this squirmy band from Minsk but still needs a little more time to coalesce into something outstandingly original IMHO. While more than competent at taking disparate prog elements and sewing them together in pleasing ways, they unfortunately fail to create a seamless album that suspends all imagination allowing the listener to detach from the experience. Not perfect but a damn good listening experience nonetheless.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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