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Sarcophagus Now - Maneter CD (album) cover


Sarcophagus Now


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 3 ratings

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4 stars "Sarcophagus Now" is a Eclectic Prog band from Sweden. The band is quite new, having formed in 2018. In May of 2019, they released their 2nd full length album called "Maneter" (Jellyfish). The album has 4 tracks and a total run time of almost 34 minutes. The line up for this album consists of Gustav Kieri on guitar; Johannes Behndig on keyboards; Torkel Holmstrom Ljung on bass and Nils Mortzell on drums. The album was recorded in a cabin in the woods of northern Sweden. The music is an instrumental jazz/rock fusion style on this album. The change in their sound resulted in their line-up going from a quintet to a quartet when they lost one of their guitarists, and the band also recruited a new drummer.

The first three tracks have individual run times of somewhere between 6 ? 7 minutes. The first track is "Kasputin Jarr" which starts off with atmospheric dissonance created by guitars and synth. Soon, the drums establish an upbeat rhythm and then the band creates a quirky and mellow jazz fusion style with the drums following and embellishing the guitar. The music moves from quirkiness to smoothness as it moves from one theme to another. The band plays pretty tight in the more progressive passages, with a looser feel in the improvised sections but with many chord changes.

"Samma Gamla Samba" (Same Old Samba) starts off quite laid back with a soft keyboard supported by guitar chords, bass and a slow tapping percussive sound. The guitar also takes a turn. Around the 2 minute mark, things suddenly intensify a bit and the percussion becomes more prominent and progressive, and the instruments follow suit with the guitar taking the lead. The sound remains in the modern jazz fusion style but with many changes in meter and style. There is a feeling of structure in the complex instrumental support, but an improvisational aspect in the lead instrument. "Bitontologen" has a loose, funky vibe and there is uncredited brass in there also. A tricky meter supports a guitar that wails along until the meter changes and a swirling synth takes over. The beat remains progressive and a guitar takes over, then wordless vocals and whistling emphasize the melody being played by the guitar, which later starts to improvise.

"Maneter i Etern" (Jellyfish in the Air) is the last track and it is over 14 minutes long. Keys play over a moderate and steady rhythm with a foundation established by the other band members. The keys and guitars switch places back and forth, things get a little more complex, then the rhythm stops and keys and synth float along as things get minimal for a brief period. Cymbals, bass and guitar hang on loosely and the drums come in to help tie things together, but everything remains quite laid back. Just when everything seems to come together, the tempo speeds up and a new percussive pattern begins as now the keys begin an interesting progression and then the guitar joins in with a quirky pattern. A sudden heavy intensity comes in with a distorted guitar and everything suddenly gets louder and a bit chaotic. The rhythm stops and starts as a new sound is established, becoming more progressive, then slipping back into the laid back feel again. Before 10 minutes, the rhythm gets more solid and the band follows this groove for a while, yet they continue to push in progressive transitions keeping things from stagnating. A brassy sound provided by the synths comes in to jazz things up a bit more.

This album provides a high-quality style of progressive jazz fusion instrumentals that are quite enjoyable. The band works to throw in a lot of surprises to keep the sound from becoming too standard and keeping the music from stagnating. They work quite well together in both structured and improvised sections and the sound varies from a laid back looseness to structured tightness and can flow from one style of playing to another with ease. It makes for a nice variation in sound while remaining in the jazz fusion realm throughout the album. It is nice and mostly laid back, but not afraid to intensify and get a little experimental from time to time. This is an excellent album for those that love that fusion style with a lot of progressive quirkiness and a pinch of experimentation. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |


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