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Ozric Tentacles - Arborescence CD (album) cover

ARBORESCENCE

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.90 | 202 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Arborescence' - Ozric Tentacles (7/10)

Ozric Tentacles is a band I would not normally like; I would usually find a band with such loose compositions and focus on spacey effects to get boring or irritating, but as it stands, the Ozrics have risen to become one of my favourite psychedelic bands out there. They have a very unique sound to them that sounds like the audio equivalent of an out-of-body astral trip. Quite often upbeat, this band uses plenty of synthesizers, space effects, and guitar doodles, but they usually manage to back it up with some sort of intelligent composition behind it. This is why I like Ozric Tentacles. On the other hand, while they have such a unique sound to them, it can often feel like they are a band that continues to recycle one direction until it is completely exhausted. Entering my fanhood of Ozric Tentacles with the album before this one, 'Jurassic Shift', I get the feeling here that Ozric Tentacles are doing basically the same thing that they have done before on 'Arborescence'. The loose and soaring jam pieces are here are follow the same direction as they did on the previous record, but to a slightly less exciting degree. All the same, if you can try to overlook the fact that Ozric Tentacles have not done anything here to change up their sound, the listener is given another excellent dose of material from the band, as well as another slightly different soundtrack to travel through space with.

Virtually anything I could say about the music on 'Arborescence', I have already said when I reviewed 'Jurassic Shift' some time ago. The music is instrumental, although it uses ambient vocals to mesh in with the characteristically dense sound. The band essentially has two modes here to go with; the upbeat jam that makes no subtle use of synth flourishes and arpeggiated keyboard notes, and the slower, more exotic tracks. Both of these formulas seem geared towards provided a psychedelic, spiritual experience for the listener, and give that sense of floating over the proverbial mushroom kingdom. This is nothing new for Ozric Tentacles, and while 'Jurassic Shift' did the same thing significantly better, that does not stop 'Arborescence' from being fun as hell.

The light mood throughout the album, mixed with the dense production and walls of sound make the music on 'Arborescence' a perfect psychedelic formula. At the same time, I do think that Ozric Tentacles' vast discography would greatly benefit with some more variety, as this album greatly indicates. All the same, on its own and outside of the context, 'Arborescence' is a very good album.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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