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Satin Whale - Desert Places CD (album) cover


Satin Whale


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3.97 | 63 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I wish I had this album back when I was younger it suits my tastes perfectly. Great vocals, tons of instrumental sections and especially that bluesy guitar that I could listen to endlessly. T2 might be a good comparison with those great guitar led songs. The bass player/ vocalist had a part in the writing all the songs. Should mention that the organ is prominent with the bass and we also get flute and sax, more of the former and both played by the talented guitarist!. They thank Klaus Schulze in the liner notes. Vocals are in English by the way and there's not an average song on here it's all pretty incredible to my ears. Only the cover art is average in my opinion.

"Deseret Places" opens with flute but it kicks into gear very quickly. A calm before 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks in again with organ leading this time. Soon it's the guitar leading the way. Vocals after 3 minutes as it settles some. man this is good. The flute is back after 4 minutes as the vocals stop. Pulsating organ then the vocals return after 5 minutes.

"Seasons Of Life" opens with multi-vocals as guitar, drums, bass and organ join in. Nice prominent bass here then the guitar leads as we get an instrumental section. It settles as the vocals return as these contrasts continue. A change in sound after 3 minutes. man that organ sounds amazing in this instrumental section. The guitar starts to lead before 5 minutes then the organ before the vocals return before 6 minutes.

"Remember" opens with guitar before piano and outbursts of power take over. The guitar then leads with bass, drums and organ supporting. A calm before 1 1/2 minutes with bluesy guitar as the vocals join in. It kicks in before 3 minutes as the vocals stop. Contrasts continue. Fantastic! The organ leads after 4 minutes then the guitar takes over and he's lighting it up. It settles some but then the guitar is back lighting it up. The organ takes the lead around 7 1/2 minutes before the guitar returns late. A melancholic tune.

"I Often Wonder" is where I hear the sax for the first time. Bass, drums and organ help out before the organ leads as the sax steps aside. The guitar and organ trade off 2 minutes in then we get vocals before 4 minutes. Nice. The guitar starts to solo after 4 1/2 minutes as the vocals stop. Vocals are back as contrasts continue.

"Perception" is the almost 13 minute closer. It opens with bass, keys and light guitar. A nice change before kicking in with the guitar leading. Vocals follow. I like that driving rhythm 3 1/2 minutes in as the vocals step aside and the organ plays over top. Piano after 5 1/2 minutes as the organ stops. It turns jazzy, well at least the bass is jazzy before 7 minutes as the guitar solos. The organ is back trading off with the guitar before 8 minutes. Sax 9 1/2 minutes in then it settles some before 11 minutes as the organ runs. It picks up with guitar before 12 minutes then calms down to the end.

My only experience with SATIN WHALE previously was with their 1978 live album which was more Symphonic and I'm not a fan of it. Apparently they went into that style with the followup to this one. I'll stick with this beauty.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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