Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Brotherhood Of The Machine

Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Brotherhood Of The Machine Trip Hazard album cover
4.30 | 11 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Meditation of the Blue Serpent (6:16)
2. Hin und Zuruck (36:32)
3. Flying Saucer Patrol (5:12)

Total Time: 48:00

Line-up / Musicians

- John Francis / guitars
- Dave Francis / synths, sax

Releases information

Digital album (2014)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry


BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Trip Hazard ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Meltdowner
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Trip Hazard is Brotherhood Of The Machine's second release, and it's a great album that manages to blend spacey and psychedelic music with strong electronic work (or is it the other way around?)

The first track, 'Meditation of the Blue Serpent', starts by setting the mood with some interesting industrial-like electronic sounds and arabic percussions that sets the stage for the hypnotic saxophone solo, which leads the rest of the song.

'Hin und Zuruck' is the central song of the album with more than 35 minutes. It features an extensive use of sequencers, in a very classic Tangerine Dream way, and great programmed drums, that slightly reminded me of early Ozric Tentacles/Porcupine Tree's work. The mixing and panning throughout the entire song are very well done, contributing to the psychedelic mood. There's also an high level of details, like lots of sound effects (including train sounds, as the cover suggests) and some occasional guitar bits with flanger effects that keeps this epic very interesting.

'Flying Saucer Patrol', is a bluesy guitar-driven track accompanied by sequencer and programmed drums.

Overall, this albums is very good, although the opener and closer tracks pale in comparison with the epic. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Psychedelic/Space Rock and/or Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Breaking the spell

I have to be honest: when I first heard this album my mind instantly conjured up images of Tangerine dream ca 1973. The analogue synthesisers and wonderful sticky organs almost screamed Phaedra in my ears, yet for some inexplicable reason I found it increasingly hard pinpointing exactly why that was. Over the last couple of weeks though I've come to the conclusion that while Brotherhood of the Machine quite openly employs the same kind of gear you'd find in those early days of Tangerine Dream, you'd be hard pressed to find any other similarities between the two.

It's the same problem most bands face when they start incorporating acoustic 12 string guitars and mellotron into their work. People yell GENESIS at the top of their lungs and the band in question very quickly receives a rep of being one of those inferior sounding clone bands that never really sounds as great as the big Kahuna - the real McCoy. Well....there are certainly hundreds of Genesis and Tangerine Dream clones out there, so I guess there is something to be a little wary of when facing new acts with strong ties to either progressive electronic or symph prog, but, and I must stress this, it is a real shame when something extraordinary comes along with but a mere hint of the olden days that instantly gets thrown in the copycat bin, because some dude over the internet believes that certain sounds and instruments shouldn't be allowed outside maybe two or three bands, as they were the first ones to employ them.

While Brotherhood of the Machine does implement the kind of esoterically charged and hazy feel of ze Germans and their equally riveting sense of improvisation, you still get music that stands proudly on it's own two feet....yeah well maybe that's a poor analogy, as most of the material featured within Trip Hazard is the kind of saucy moonlight batter that'll have you floating out among the stars with huge teacup eyes and the milkyway streaming through your toes like a sensuous interstellar liquid. Fact of the matter is that I've finally come across a modern electronic/psych band that sounds old and analogue in all the right places - yet without ever losing it's own persona.

Starting off with Meditation of the Blue Serpent, Trip Hazard lures you into a slow moving ouverture with a simple hand drum pattern, electronic carpeting (like in thick cashmere rugs and prog rock beards from the 70s) and this deep melodic saxophone that very eloquently takes you by the hand while evoking pictures of sand dunes and Middle-Eastern bazaars. The feel is enigmatic, larval and pensive like a man contemplating what the heart of the mountain really looks like.

After this wonderful welcoming the album unrolls it's piece de resistance with Hin und Zuruck. With it's 36 minutes of delightful delirium it, perhaps inadvertedly, challenges today's music fans and their short attention spans - hopefully taking them prisoner in a beautiful dreamscape where music that pulses, writhes, contorts and floats with time transforms into something completely different - something I find electronic music does with great gusto and conviction: elegantly and with much ninja-like behaviour erasing the need for the tangible and straightforward in music. The hypnotic and almost stroboscopic gestures of the synths slowly but comfortably work their way into your mind and after a while you sense a change - you feel ripples multiplying in your inner head lake and suddenly the music echoes from within you and the very line between the sounds and you vanish, disappear. Hin und Zuruck very eloquently showcases this slippery idea of mine, and to anyone interested in the arts of meditation and the ever persuasive wormhole of the mind, please take a chance with this thing. When it works and you really disconnect your brain-seatbelt, you change or metamorphose and go from the hard surface-like structure of the human body to the sparkling and flowing entity of a white rolling river. If that's too far out for you, then imagine the modern US Electronic duo of Zombi and their combination of rock and Electronic, only here conveyed in an old school analogue dressing.

A lot of people have a hard time getting into this kind of thing - especially folks coming from branches of music that revolve around the guitar and a noticeable drum beat. Well even for those poor souls it seems as if Trip Hazard could be the gateway drug into the electronic genre, as you get wonderfully charismatic guitar playing as well as some beefy drum kit action to boot. The latter though most likely generated by a computer......but it does what it's supposed to, which is to infuse a bit of wild and reckless rock attitude into the mix - something that pours gasoline over the electronic embers and suddenly you see hightowering flames licking sensuosly at the clouds. Still, I would've loved to hear this album with real drums - y'know the ones that exude natural warmth, the oak tree note as I'd like to call it.

I'd recommend this album to anyone into psychedelic music and sure to fans of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze - just don't expect it to sound the same. This is music for tunnel-digging in your head - for watching cloud movies in the sky - shooting the breeze without bullets and perhaps most importantly: for proving to the world that similar sounding instruments don't necessarily equate to clones.....but sometimes, rare as it may be, lead you into altogether new sonic avenues.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE is essentially the project of two brothers(Dave and John Francis) who are greatly inspired by Krautrock, Electronic and Psychedelic music of the late sixties to mid seventies. According to their web-site they are a combination of TANGERINE DREAM and HAWKWIND. The three primary instruments used here are synths, guitar and sax and we get three very different tracks including the centre piece "Hin Und Zuruck" a 36 1/2 minute Electronic masterpiece. I love the album cover too which points to that long track with that train travelling at night.

"Meditation Of The Blue Serpent" opens with this loud buzzing synth as drums and electronics join in. Love the mellotron- like sound just before a minute that sweeps in. Sax before 1 1/2 minutes as it plays over top in a relaxed manner the rest of the way, kind of an Eastern vibe here too.

"Hin Und Zuruck" is like a dream come true for me. I've heard so many rhythms that reminded me of a train ride but this is the first that intentionally does it. We get that sound of the train going across the tracks along the whistle blowing on and off throughout this suite. It opens with this electronic beat with windy synths blowing across the tracks as we start our journey. There's the train whistle before a minute. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the drums become more prominent while the rest settles right down. An electronic beat is back quickly but it's the focus this time as the drums then spacey synths and sampled words join in. It settles back before 11 minutes and there's that train whistle again and what sounds like the train tracks. We are travelling at a high speed here. Some cool guitar expressions after 13 minutes and there's that whistle again 17 minutes in. An electronic beat follows and the drums join in as well. It's hard not to groove to the sound here. Train track sounds again after 20 minutes then it all stops briefly before 24 minutes but then returns in a more spacey mode. Another change 25 minutes in as the electronic beat returns with spacey synths blowing over top. The pace picks up 26 1/2 minutes in. So freaking good! It starts to slow down at 29 minutes with mellotron-like sounds and spacey winds. A train whistle just before 30 minutes then the drums return a minute later as we start our journey again. It's picking up after 32 1/2 minutes until we're almost out of control! It's so powerful after 34 minutes, like a nuclear bomb just went off. It's slowing down as out trip is coming to an end.

"Flying Saucer Patrol" features synths, heavy drums and more in a powerful soundscape. The guitar starts to solo over top before a minute the rest of the way.

Probably closer to 4.5 stars but I'm bumping it up. "Hin Und Zuruck" has quickly become one of my all time favourite Electronic tracks, I mean listening to it at night while driving or in the dark at home with the headphones on it's just one incredible trip. The other two songs are also excellent with that sax on "Meditation Of The Blue Serpent" and the guitar on "Flying Saucer Patrol".

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Dave and John Francis are brothers, I guess this is where the band name is from. Dave is also one of our "pen friends" here on Progarchives and about 2 years ago he gifted me of a copy of this album. I'm a bad guy. I haven't reviewed it until now so it's time to try doing my best,

We are speaking of something between psychedelia and progressive electronics, if we look at how the subgenres are defined on this site. Both the elements are present, but if we think as example to the debut of Tangerine Dream, also Electronic Meditation had boht the elements inside.

But we are speaking about Trip Hazard. It's only three tracks, but the core is 36 minutes long, so something not possible in the vynil days. I remember side long tracks up to 30 minutes on vynil, but 36 are likely too much.

The first, "Meditation Of The Blue Serpent" is a good intro in which I hear the influence of early Pink Floyd. It's like playing Tomb Raider with the soundtrack of "Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun". It's mainly electronics, even if Dave blows good notes into his sax and the percussion sound quite natural even though it's very likely a synth giving that sort of oriental touch with made me think to the Ummagumma days.

Then it comes the "monster". "Hin und Zuruck" is the 36 minutes core of the album. I guess that the title in German ("Departure and Arrival" more or less) is a reference to Krautrock, but it's also the title of an opera by some Paul Hindemith written in 1927. Anyway the album is fully instrumental so this is destined to remain a guess. As in the standard Progressive Electronics, the first 2/3 of the track are repetitive with few variations, but respect to the standards, there is rhythm so it doesn't need the huge dose of patience that equivalent minutes of keyboard soundscapes usually require. it's rock after all. The last 3rd has a different mood, the rhythm changes and it's like another track is started, but there's enough continuity.

Last, the third track "Flying Saucer Patrol" is my favorite. It's just 5 minutes long, but it's a rock instrumental with an excellent guitar solo by John. The basic chords are mainly a blues tune which with a different arrangement could have been sounded like a police or spy movie of the early 70s. Very enjoyable.

The album is on Bandcamp. Give it a try.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Trip Hazard is the Brotherhood of the Machine's second and, sadly, last album to date. In my humble opinion, the album improves on its predecessor by taking the best elements and further refining them. The album title is once again a pun, since "trip" can be taken to mean "fall" or "drop" as well as ... (read more)

Report this review (#1713499) | Posted by Replayer | Sunday, April 23, 2017 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE "Trip Hazard"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.