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Sanguine Hum - A Trace of Memory CD (album) cover


Sanguine Hum



4.09 | 66 ratings

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4 stars Once more the boys from Oxford release an album of excellent musicianship, engaging sound, and wonderful production covering a bunch of banal songs that fail to grab or keep a hold.

1. "New Light" (3:04) An instrumental to open the album containing one of the most interesting and completely engaging sound palettes I've ever heard from this band. (8.75/10)

2. "The Yellow Ship" (13:08) opens with a RADIOHEAD sound and feel until the vocals enter, then it's all STEVEN WILSON. It then slogs delicately along for the entirety of its mostly-instrumental thirteen minutes despite several failed attempts to break the chains (at 6:15, 7:55, and 10:35). (21/25)

3. "Pyramids" (4:50) opens with a very strong similarity to STEVEN WILSON's latest more-poppy song styles; though it's still quite definitely prog, it's got that RADIOHEAD simple-feeling complexity. Interesting and different. I like it. (8.75/10)

4. "Thin Air" (4:45) an instrumental with an odd mixture of faded in and out synthesizer sequences over which low notes of a guitar are plucked before bass, electric piano and programmed-sounding drums (Matt Baber) play. Nice build and bridges take us to the three-minute mark where a reverse-noted electric guitar solo is let loose before switching into jazz chords. Nice acoustic guitar and electric piano arpeggiated chord sequence leads us into the Post Rock (Monobody)-like finish. (9/10)

5. "Unstable Ground" (4:10) ominous chords and arpeggi woven together within a syncopated, odd time signature over which Joff sings. The music again reminds me of Chicago avant jazz/Math Rock band MONOBODY. Great section in the third minute. Return to the ominous mood for the final minute. Good stuff. (8.75/10)

6. "Still as the Sea" (3:22) piano and guitar arpeggi interwoven with piano-right hand and Joff's vocal melody-making. At 1:20 we transition into a powerful LYLE MAYS-like jazz piano motif--by far my favorite motif on the album! This is what I've been wanting from SANGUINE HUM ever since then threw away the Antique Seeking Nuns! (9.5/10)

7. "Automaton" (8:49) an instrumental to end the album. A little more interesting and unusual than the rest but still nothing to get too excited about much less quite home about. (17/20)

Total Time 42:08

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. The song "Still as the Sea" is, for me, worth the whole price of the album.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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