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Lands End - Terra Serranum CD (album) cover


Lands End

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Terra Serranum" is a step above the band's debut album "Pacific Coast Highway" and a fairly good match to their masterpiece "Natural Selection". It's hard to describe each of "Terra Serranum"s tracks individually because all of them feature many time changes and musical themes, and I lack the space to go into details. For example, after the quiet 2:51-minute intro, track 2 hits you right away with a floydian wall of sound but soon hooks you with some unexpected choppy beats, some entrancing guitar play over a background of keyboards and some cool, almost murmured vocals vaguely reminiscent of Mark Hollis - the contrast between their smoothness and the tightness of the music is fascinating. Like many others on the album, this track goes through a whole gamut of musical emotions and ends in an explosion of seering guitars and soaring keyboards.

The most interesting tracks are the longer ones (especially the title track) where the musicians are given the space to build on different themes, each blending ever so smoothly into one another. What amazes about "Terra Serranum" is its simplicity and the resulting overall, hallucinating effect. For a truly unique musical experience in psychedelia, immerse yourself into "Terra Serranum". It's prog from the bottom of the sea, full of wavy, lustrous, hidden treasures.

Report this review (#4354)
Posted Saturday, May 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars I found this record to be fairly average overall. I mean there are some beautiful instrumental moments, especially the Gilmour-like guitars.There is also a Pink Floyd vibe and we see that right away on the first song. The second song has a nice spacey intro, but the big let down for me are the vocals. At times they are a little off key and weak. And there is also a Neo-Prog feel at times, that I don't mind, I just didn't expect with a Pschedelic record.

For me the highlights are "Neptune's Last Tear" and "...The End Of Life As We Know It".

Report this review (#89521)
Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first Lands End album was a pleasant surprise. Their soft approach to space (or ocean?) rock was particularly pleasant. And since you never change a winning team, the mood will be very similar on "Terra Serranum".

Some great but too scarce guitar breaks are fully Gilmour oriented ("For Reason Unkown") and add a special style to their peaceful music. This album is probably less personal than "Pacific Coast Highway". Definite and pleasant "Genesis" inspiration during the title track ("Cinema Show").

Best parts of this album are the instrumental ones. I felt vocals a bit weak, uniform and dull at times. Numbers are at times too jam- oriented as well to my taste. My attention could hardly be kept throughout this lengthy album (over seventy minutes).

The longest piece "Neptune's Last Tear" changes so many time from mood, without much of a recurrent theme, that it sounds as a collection of short pieces without unity. Still, it is one of the most interesting songs. There is a part featuring some sorts of whale cries (at least it is what I can distinguish). This reminds me of "Crying For The Whale" album from "Abarax". These two bands have definite musical links. And since water and oceans are a major preoccupation for "Lands End" (where the ocean starts), I guess that this song is fully in-line with their philosophy.

I preferred though their debut album to this one: it is less intense, less structured and less melodic. Three stars and at times useful when you need a smooth break.

Report this review (#151918)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With ''Pacific coast highway'' Lands End came to the attention of Cyclops, which signed the band for their next albums.The bulk of their second work was recorded at the Semprini Studios in Los Angeles, where the band settled down between January and April 1995, while a few parts and the final mix took place at the Pacific Coast Studio in Long Beach.Titled ''Terra serranum'', Lands End's sophomore album was released at the fall of the summer 95'.

The debut of the band was really great, but this one deserves the highest of praises for being an awesome amalagam of complex orchestrations, refined melodies, lush sounds and vintage echoes, actually presented in a style between dramatic Neo Prog ala COLLAGE and lyrical Space Rock in the vein of PINK FLOYD.The biggest bet for the band was again the creation of three epic pieces, all were over 12 minutes long, and these tracks only proove how talented this group was.Soaring synthesizers, energetic guitars, spacious lines and laid-back soundscapes are blended in a perfect mixture, which offers a good bunch of changing climates.And, yeah, there is also some fantastic Mellotron parts in them.They avoid the trap of being too complicated for nothing or even becoming rich in sounds and sights in an excessive exhibition of talent, instead the four musicians try to focus on a modern, symphonic type of rock with a strong synth-based spaceness and the result is a seminar for well-crafted compositions.Some big symphonic sounds in the process, some edgy guitar plays and the constant display of synth waves come close to what bands like THE BODY or THIRD QUARDANT were attempting to do in early-80's.But these Americans pushed the whole thing a bit further.They sound like if PINK FLOYD really wanted to go symphonic and borrow some of the GENESIS inspirations.Really impressive music and composing demonstration.

One of the highlights of the year.Any band, which wants to go Prog and structure its sound around the FLOYD-ian principles should listen to this work.Original, imaginative, dreamy, atmospheric, intricate music, which deserves a high recommendation.

Report this review (#1326833)
Posted Sunday, December 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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