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Secret Oyster - Secret Oyster [Aka: Furtive Pearl] CD (album) cover


Secret Oyster


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.09 | 76 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really.

The debut of Secret Oyster holds the promise of a supergroup from Denmark. Everyone of its members had belonged to other great Danish bands such as Coronaria Dans, Hurdy Gurdy and Burnin' Red Ivanhoe. This album got released outside of Denmark with a different cover and title (Furtive Pearl >>> Danish humour I suppose ;o))) but the tracks are the same. Actually the cover of this album pictured above is the self-titled Denmark release and the Furtive Pearl album has a artwork cover in the form of a post card with their portrait as stamp. This album as well as the others from the group have released a recent complete over-haul and features bonus tracks. The Laser's Edge label's superb work is so important that it is actually the first and only official reissue of the SO albums.

As for the music on this album, it is rather strong departure from the music played in their previous groups. We are into a very inspired and inventive early fusion or Jazz-rock somewhere in between Bitches Brew, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi, Headhunter or Sextant albums or also the fabulous Nucleus or Soft Machine (circa Six-era). Starting on the wildly progressive Damexpressen, a 100MPH progressive jazz-rock track, the album consolidates quickly with an equally uplifting Fire & Water, where logically Vogel dominates the debates, being the author of these tracks (and the main songwriter on this album). The lengthy Vive La Quelle is unfortunately the weakest track of the album , aven if the intro is very prog, the track quickly becomes a hard rocking jam that was obviously allowing the solo lives (as shown by the very average drum solo here), and it shows drummer Thirge being the weaker link in the band, he would get ousted (substances dependences) prior to the second album along with bassist Vinding. Don't get me wrong this track rocks pretty hard and wild too, but it tends to overstay its welcome. Blazing Lace is constructed a Bohling riff (his only writing credit on the debut album), and stays a little too repetitive, but allows for some blazing guitar solos.

The lengthiest track (almost 11 mins) Public Oyster is where keyboardist Knudsen makes its presence best felt as the track is the most adventurous with plenty of bruitage and soloing, with its ending finishing in a fish tail, with Knudesn giving a short coda to it through a piano interlude. The weird and experimental Ova-X closes the the album

This music is totally instrumental but so evocative that you feel that there are lyrics or more like you do not need them to understand what they are getting at. Karsten Vogel is clearly the leader but everyone of those musicians hold their own with solid playing. Only "Vive La Quelle", I think, is a little inferior. The bonus tracks do not bring much added value; with a live (and superior, but not soundwise) version of the opening track, and a weird (even derangesome) goofy track. A good debut only to be topped by their following album Sea Son as well as Straight To The Krankenhaus. This album's particularity being the different rhythm section, and the fact that the main writers were only at their first album together are the two elements making this album slightly inferior, but no doubt that the group's oeuvre can be discovered chronologically.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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