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Kotebel - Ouroboros CD (album) cover

OUROBOROS

Kotebel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 119 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Laced with exotic melodies and a quite naturally a Spanish flavor, this is a brilliant and wildly creative venture. The biggest downside for me are the disjointed arrangements- there's an awful lot of "start-stop" antics, particularly in the longer tracks that really interrupt the flow. However, the musicianship is top-notch, and there's so much to appreciate here. For those desiring something beyond run-of-the-mill symphonic music, this is a great acquisition.

"Amphisbaena" After a light synthesizer introduction, things get going. The Mellotron is something of a dissonant aspect to an already dissonant set of riffs, and I cannot help but think of the introductions to "Heart of the Sunrise" by Yes, and I even hear elements of Tales from Topographic Oceans when it stands alone at times. Later, dark piano, bass and drums provide the rhythm for a spiraling series of synthesizer runs.

"Ouroboros" For the lengthy title track, steady bass underlines lengthy notes on the guitar and Mellotron just prior to trickles of dual guitar and synthesizer. There are some jazz and fusion elements to this piece which arise unexpectedly, full of walking (almost running) bass and plenty of snappy drumming. Soon that sole Mellotron reenters, this time holding things down for menacing bass, electric guitar, and synthesizer leads, while the absence of the drums only serves to make it more alarming. The repetitive guitar runs do get annoying though. I think this piece runs far too long, but that still doesn't make it any less a reason to remain enthused.

"Satyrs" The bass stands out the most on this wild ride. While it serves the purpose of allowing the other instrumentalists to perform, the bass very often (usually during the transition to the next measures) lets rip an amazing riff or growling slide. The piano is the other standout instrument, adding something of a mild Latin flavor. Compositionally, I find little to like, though. The music is by and large all over the place and extremely difficult to follow. Furthermore, just when the music comes to a natural conclusion, there is a pause of a couple of seconds, and the band starts playing again, except it is rather unrelated to what came prior. In fact, during that last couple of minutes, it sounds like they are starting a new track about three or four times.

"Simurgh" Everything softens up a great deal on this lengthy track. The very prominent Mellotron is in choir mode . After a piano interlude, the tasteful guitar takes over, playing lengthy notes interspersed with speedy, but subtle runs. Altogether, this is another somewhat disjointed track, but somehow the musicianship makes up for it, especially in the piano and synthesizer department. Drummers and drum-lovers should appreciate the solid work and few solos throughout.

"Behemoth" Plucked acoustic guitar carries on while some dissonant sounds work on top of it, but while those sounds suddenly stop, the disharmonious nature of the music does not. Electric guitar and high-pitched synthesizer. The piece is loaded with Mellotron, piano, and whistling synthesizer, but it retains a devilish air, full of minor and diminished chords.

"Legal Identity v1.5" This short piece begins softly, mainly led by percussion, but eventually is likewise feverish and dark-sounding, this time with synthesizer and what sounds like a thin chapel organ running over a hellish piano. I don't care for this composition much at all, but thankfully, it's a rather brief foray.

"Mysticae Visiones" The jazzy fare returns here, with each instrumentalist taking a short turn to solo. The guitar solo following the jazz is a noteworthy shred-fest, full of lightning-fast playing that suddenly slows down to gentle swells over washes of that seemingly ever-present Mellotron. The bass in the rhythm role is outstanding, managing to play the same few riffs over with subtle variations that keep it fresh and interesting. The only voice on the album is a wistful one that comes from an enchanting female over gentle piano. The piece is really two pieces, I think, because of the lengthy break in between, during which the audience applauds the band's performance. And then the band stops and starts again, just as the fade starts, which seems a tad silly, given that this is a live track, after all.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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