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Baku Llama

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Baku Llama Eris album cover
3.48 | 13 ratings | 5 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Discord (1:32)
2. Hamatsa (6:47)
3. Betrayed (4:22)
4. Punch It (2:44)
5. Eris (6:40)
6. Six To Midnight (6:44)
7. This Time (4:55)
8. The Rite (5:00)
9. Discord Resolved (1:12)
10. Dream Eater (4:38)
11. Torrential (3:44)
12. Side Two (9:08)
13. Tragic Mask (3:33)

Total time 60:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Ann Bernath / keyboards (1, 4), piano (9), drums, slit drum (11), recorder (11), vocals (3 - 5, 7)
- David Bernath / guitar, bass (2, 3, 5, 8), NanoPiano (11 ,13)
- Rick Whitehurst / keyboards, electric piano (6)

Releases information

CD 57 Records - B113 (2007, US)

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and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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BAKU LLAMA Eris ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BAKU LLAMA Eris reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Baku Llama has made an interesting official debut here. With influences from jazz, krautrock and psychedelic rock the end result here is a dark, brooding and dreamy musical output.

It's all about mood explorations here, where themes and moods are explored, and contrasts are used extensively to give the music a nerve, thus keeping up interest from the listener. Light and dark, harmony and disharmony, structured and chaotic, grim and beautiful - all contrasting pairs to be found on this record....and then some.

Not everything here works, but most of the songs are good ones, that really will captivate listeners open to this form of music.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Different kind of prog, and it's great!

Nowadays i could say that the internet is one of the best tools that a band can use in order to let the world know about it's music, being here in ProgArchives has really an advantage since here we can discuss with a lot of prog lovers and connossieurs, even with some band members that are here. So i want to thank Richard Whitehurst from Baku Llama for letting me (us) know about their music which believe me is really interesting, so i suggest you to click in the thread where you can listen to Baku Llama's Eris.

Eris was their first of 2 albums so far and was released in 2007, they are a 3-member american band with trained and of course talented musicians, Ann Bernath on drums, piano in some tracks and vocals, David Bernath on guitars and bass, and Richard Whitehurst on keyboards.

Eris features 13 tracks and a total time of over 1 hour of excellent music. It opens with Discord which is kind of an introduction and lasts just a minute and a half, it is an instrumental passage with soft keyboard sound making a cool atmosphere.

Hamatsa has a dark feeling on it, it starts softer with piano introduction, a constant drumming and little by little it is progressing and becoming a little bit more aggressive due to the guitar sound, then the music goes in a rollercoaster where you will listen to different intensities, where you may think the song will explode, it suddenly calms down, and sounds very cool.

Betrayed starts with a soft acoustic guitar playing and it is the first song that features vocals and that gives the music a different flavour, the song goes basically with the same structure, that acoustic guitar, some keyboard tones here and there and a single but nice drumming.

Punch It starts with a kind of funky acoustic guitar and actually i think it follows the previous song style. But this is a shorter and non-lyric track, you will hear to vocals but as i said without vocals, some claps on the song that make me move my head and enjoy what im listening to. A pretty catchy song i may say.

Eris the title track has again that dark feeling that i found on song 2, a dark atmosphere this time accompanied with some vocals, at 1:30 we will listen to spoken words and during the whole song we will find an excellent progression in the music, i like a lot what they can do with their instruments, i don't mean they play something that sounds like a virtuoso, but they play with the sounds, the different sounds their instruments can do. I really like this song and it's atmosphere.

Six to Midnight starts with a delicate piano playing, some soft drumming and then an aggressive guitar playing, this is another great track, it is instrumental and i believe this track shows the eclecticism of the band, there are moments where the song slows down and the music it's about to dissapear, but then it raises again and becomes more powerful, like an stop and go, at the second half of the song where it becomes more aggressive, it reminds me a bit to a part of Pink Floyd's Echoes mainly due to the guitar and drums.

This Time returns with the nice acoustic guitar playing as well as the vocals, what i found cool in the album is the order of the songs, when you believe the next song will have the same dark atmosphere, they surprise you with a calm and softer one, like this track 7 which is a beautiful melody.

The Rite has again that dark feeling, but then is complemented with some keyboard notes that if you listen to it with nice headphones you will be caught by the music itself, and it will become a visual music song full of passages, there are moments where i think the band simply make an improvisation, they experiment a lot and the result is very cool.

Discord Resolved is the other shorter track, sounds alike to the first one, just a piano sound that will last over a minute.

Dreameater along with the provious song, it is like a flashback to the first two songs of the album, which in my opinion sound very alike, with the same form, which does not mean that is repetitive or boring, on the contrary, i believe it was done on purpose by the band in order to give the album a perfect structure, in this song we will listen again to a constant drumming, some guitars making progress, and the always accurate keyboard playing.

Torrential is a different and experimental track where the band uses a slit drum and recorder, a nano piano and keyboards, so you can imagine it is basically a keyboard oriented song, which sometimes sounds conventional but it is nice anyways.

Side Two, with this song we are almost reaching the end of the album, this is a 9-minute epic and probably one of the best tracks of the album. It is another experimental track where the music can be visual and where the band's members experiments with their instruments and sounds. The song has it's ups and downs, and what i really like in this albums i that sense of thinking that when the song is progressing and going up and up, it suddenly calms down and starts again, after all you dont know what will happen the next 10 seconds, so it is very nice.

Tragic Mask is the last song of this excellent album, and here it reminds me a bit to some King Crimson improv moments, the music is played softly and with a delicate sound, and it is a nice song to end the album, it has some melancholy on it, it is like their form of saying goodbye.

I am happy with this album, the music here is different from the classic or conventional style of prog, and as Richard Whitehurst himself told me, they are very proud of the album, and after listening to it i am sure they must be proud of it. Highly recommendable, a 4 solid star album.

Enjoy it!

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars BAKU LLAMA's debut shows some promise, but they still have a long way to go before becoming an excellent addition, in my opinion.

The music, as described above, has elements of jazz, psicodelic rock, krautrock, and other genres here and there. For the most part, it's instrumental, with just a few tracks featuring vocals. The sounds are very spacey, kind of narcotic, and very dense. The tracks tend to be very mono-thematic and repetitive, with dynamics, improvisation and textures being the only elements that bring about any change within them.

Two things bother me about BAKU LLAMA's music: one, related to the music itself, is the poorly developed themes and the lack of variation in the structures of the tracks. All songs start with a theme, usually on keys or guitar over a pulsing, menacing, distorted bass and softer drums, and this theme remains the only one throughout the entire track, with no secondary themes whatsoever. The only changes are in intensity, in textures (though not that elaborated) and in the soloing that goes over the main rhythmic section. Usually it is the keyboard the instrument that takes the theme through different stages, all of them very similar to each other. The variation work is not that efficient, and we end up with songs that sound like recorded jamming sesions. I'll be honest: I have played music very similar to this one with a band some friends and I used to have, mostly for jamming purposes.

The second thing that bothers me about this release is related, or actually maybe the reason that it happens, to the first one. The musicianship is still slightly choppy in some players here. The vocals are fine, but they don't appear too often. The guitars are ok but are hardly interesting; the bass plays good lines here and there but falls in constant repetition; the drums are appropriate but lack variation; and finally, the keyboards, the instrument that could make or break this album, sounds like it was played by someone still on the early stages of learning. When the music is repetitive and everything depends on the skills of the solist to make a track interesting, repetitive keyboards are not the answer. I've heard people who don't play keyboards play solos exactly like some on this record, with two fingers, ascending and descending a scale. There are only a few moments when the keyboardist sounds like he has complete control over his intrument.

There are some great ideas recorded on this album, but the lack of development hurts them. The start of most tracks is nothing short of mesmerizing, but constant lack of change makes them become repetitive. The band manages to create music that takes us back to the 70's or 60's, reminds us of the THE DOORS of "The End" or "Not to touch the earth", plays discordant chords, builds tension with menacing bass lines, but some thematic development, at least the most minimal one, would've helped the experience become a much more rewarding one.

As it's a debut, I'll give it 3 stars. If this had been recorded by a seasoned band, I'd have given it 2. But I hear a lot of promise in BAKU LLAMA. I hope they can correct what's wrong and really create a fantastic album the next time around, and I'm sure they have it within them.

This band has a lot of ideas, they just have to learn how to make better use of them.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I pretty much agree with The Tīs review about this band. I won this album and I had never heard about this trio of american musicians before. Their mix of krautrock, jazz, avant guard and psychodelic rock is very interesting and well played, but needs some polishing. The music is often good and has its merits, but sometimes get a little boring along the way. What annoys me the most if the fact that drummer Ann Bernath has a beautiful and haunting voice that is used so little in the entire CD. Her singing is one of the albumīs highlights.

The very repetitive riffing of all tracks makes this record hard to listen. There is little variation and most of the playing is somewhat contrite. I must say I like those cyclical, minimalistic tones once in a while, but some more harmonies, better and more inventive arrangements would be quite welcomed. This is a CD to be heard in parts. There are good ideas and I enjoyed most of them, but I can hardly listten to it all they way through. Eris is more promising than anything. Those guys are talented, no doubt about it. And also got the chops.They just have to develop their songwriting abilities and make some bolder arrangements. ~

Iīm looking forward to listen to their future releases. As a starting point, Erin is a good efford. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Baku Llama's Eris is an interesting and somewhat unusual addition to the world of prog by the trio from California. I'm not sure it fits most people's definition of prog ? that is, grand sweeping musical gestures and Titanic-sized crescendos, played with musical precision and technical bravado ... (read more)

Report this review (#376164) | Posted by usa prog music | Saturday, January 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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