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II

Mother Turtle

Heavy Prog


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Mother Turtle II album cover
3.93 | 69 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (1:46)
2. Harvest Moon (13:08)
3. Ennui (3:31)
4. Walpurgi Flame (20:15)
5. The Tower (2:56)
6. The Art of Ending a Revolution (14:44)

Total Time 56:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Kostas Konstantinidis / guitars, MiDi, ukulele, lead & backing vocals, composer
- Giorgos Theodoropoulos / keyboards
- Babis Prodromidis / saxophone, flute
- Alex Kiourntziadis / violin
- George Filopelou / electric & fretless basses
- Giorgos Mpaltas / drums, backing vocals

With:
- Alexandra Sieti / vocals (4)
- Maria Mariadou / vocals (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Aristotelis Mavropoulos

FLAC download - bandcamp.com (2016)

CD self-released (2017, Greece)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOTHER TURTLE II ratings distribution


3.93
(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

MOTHER TURTLE II reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Incredible eclectic prog from Greece. Each time I find myself listening to this album I am blown away by A) how good it is, B) how familiar it is, C) how diverse the styles represented here are, and D) how much it sounds like some long-lost 'classic' from the 1970s--like a new release of a heretofore undiscovered BABYLON tape.

1. "Overture" (1:46) acoustic ditty introducing the epic that follows performed in a kind of Renaissance-style vocal herald la GENTLE GIANT. (9/10)

2. "Harvest Moon" (13:08) a song that sounds like it was left off a VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR or KING CRIMSON album in the 1970s or perhaps a more recent DISCIPLINE/MATTHEW PARMENTER--only with a different vocalist. Great drumming, great keyboard work, great saxophone, great vocals, amazing ending! (10/10)

3. "Ennui" (3:31) a gentle yet insistent STYX/RUSH-like interlude between the album's twin towers. (8.5/10)

4. "Walpurgi Flame" (20:15) Like two songs in one: the first a eight-minute rendering of an amazing though long lost Zeuhl (GUAPO?) warm up, the second a contrasting gorgeous, hope-filled symphonic folk piece with female lead vocalists feeling similar to a CIRRUS BAY song (though it sounds more, in fact, like a song from Chile's AISLES' 2009 In Sudden Walks because of the incredible vocal melodies). Methinks the lyrics refer to the trouble a typical (or particular) Greek individual might have with his country (as well as his species') preoccupation with money and power when, at basic biological status, all are equal. My new favorite prog epic of the year 2016. (10/10)

5. "The Tower" (2:56) a beautiful and incredibly powerful tribute to the shock and confusion of the eye-witness observers of the destruction of New York City's Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. (10/10)

6. "The Art of Ending a Revolution" (14:44) is a decent if fairly bland and simple prog epic about the lesson humans are supposed to learn "the art of smiling while someone is stabbing your back," the art of practicing The Golden Rule, the art of patience with hope, the art of detachment. Nice electric guitar chord progressions, nice vocal, nice message, nice bass play, nice saxophone work--just a nice song. Nice. Like we're expected to be. Despite the chaos and corruption surrounding us. The best part of the song begins with the eery Twilight Zone-like synth over which David Strathairn reads Edward R. Murrow's famous anti-Eugene McCarthy speech from the 2005 film, Good Night, and Good Luck... and then the powerful final two minutes. (9/10)

This is one of the most brilliantly conceived and realized concept albums I've ever heard. I hope it gets the attention it deserves--both musically and moral-politically.

A true masterpiece of progressive rock music and an album that should be heard around the world--especially in times like these.

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review N 254

Mother Turtle is a progressive rock band from Thessaloniki in Greece. They were formed in 2011 originally as a jam band, using the moniker Hogweed. In the jam sessions, some solid musical ideas were developed and after a lot of rehearsing the band were evolved into proper songs. They decided to change their name to Mother Turtle sometime in 2012, following the realization that they wanted to create their own music, based on common musical interests. Mother Turtle is influenced by great artists of the genre. Mother Turtle was the wedding of the classic prog with the modern prog. On their Facebook page the band includes as some of their influences Spock's Beard, Camel, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Rush, Marillion, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, Pain Of Salvation and Kansas.

The music of Mother Turtle tries to adapt the different elements of the prog rock music into their own music, taking advantage of the artistic freedom that prog rock provides. Out of the loose jams more and more concrete musical ideas developed, which ultimately led to their own pieces. Mother Turtle released three studio albums until this moment, their self titled debut studio album "Mother Turtle" in 2013, their second studio album titled "II" in 2016 and their third studio album titled "Zea Mice" in 2018. The second of these three albums is the one which will be the subject of this review.

So, "II" is the second studio album of Mother Turtle and was released in 2016. The line up on the album is Kostas Konstantinidis (lead and backing vocals, guitars, MiDi, ukulele and composer), Giorgos Theodoropoulos (keyboards), Babis Prodomidis (saxophone and flute), Alex Kiourntziadis (violin), George Filopelou (electric and fretless basses) and Giorgos Mpalats (backing vocals and drums). The album had also the participation of Alexandra Sieti (vocals) and Maria Mariadou (vocals), as guest's singers.

So, three years after their impressive homonymous debut, Mother Turtle released their second studio album, simply entitled "II". The band once again takes over the release, thus indicating the autonomy and determination to achieve their musical vision. Bolder than ever and with more experimentation this time, Mother Turtle shows us a renewed version of their sound, where the heavy and symphonic elements gives way to directions that refer more to the jazz "sensitivities" of the Canterbury scene. All musicians have now the time and space to unfold their own talents and improvisational ability and the significant additions to the band composition reinforce this commendable effort. "II" is a big step for the band, in the context of continuous improvement, both synthetic and executive, and could be an album with a timeless value and recognition in the progressive rock scene. Mother Turtle plays inspirational and adventurous prog rock with a rich sound, showing their vision and ambition. That is perfectly perceived by its very first listenings. "II" has six tracks. The opening "Overture", despite its short duration and minimalistic development nicely takes us aback by the repeated multiple vocals that bring to my mind similar moments of Gentle Giant. "Harvest Moon" is really a great track with clear influences of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. It also reminds me Discipline, at times. The saxophone and violin operate faultlessly, combined with the theatrical tone of the vocals. This is one of the best tracks I've listened to in the last years. "Ennui" sounds like an atmospheric evocation, an intense emotional moment where the flute and fretless bass make the piece hover. "Walpurgi Flame" is the lengthiest track. It's a truly adventurous piece with interesting changes and escalating tensions. The violin and saxophone duo gives a dramatic tone until a pretty delicate melodic "crust" is formed. The female vocals add some sensuality to the piece. "The Tower" comes to remember the terrible memories of September 11th. This is a very beautiful and power piece of music were the drumming work shows confidence and comfort linking the changes between the rhythm and musical themes. "The Art Of Ending A Revolution" is a melancholic piece that begins with optimism, where the contrast of emotions is identified and alternates with the singing of wind, string and electric guitar, until complete it with an exemplary climax in the end.

Conclusion: I think Mother Turtle has all the ingredients to be a great band. I must say that I was very impressed with their second studio album. In reality, Mother Turtle manage to meet all the expectations, thanks to the maturity, evolution and quality that can distinguish them. Perseverance, passion and extra experience are clearly here. It seems the band has a serious musical project very well structured that can measure the pulse of both, musically and lyrically. "II" is a choice that meets the ambitions of a band that filters out its influences and delivers a set of choreographed, mature and well crafted compositions. "II" has become truly beautiful, sometimes almost fragile, a retroprog album of a special kind. With this album, Mother Turtle proves they master very well the art of not giving up on to evolve on their music. This is an excellent conceptual album. The genre fans should be thrilled. The album gives to them a good way.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The 2016 sophomore album by the eclectic Mother Turtle was a remarkable improvement over the band's insecure debut, recorded three years earlier. The difference can be heard in the newly expanded roster, with saxophones, flutes and violins adding vibrant instrumental color to what had previously been a strictly secondhand palette, borrowed from too many Anglo-Prog role models.

The new music was still mostly vocal but featured longer, less song-driven passages, all of it more deeply rooted in the soil of their native Greece and revealing an exotic Balkan flavor appropriate to a young group at the crossroads between Europe and the Near East. And it's a concept album, too: another healthy sign of renewed ambition.

The subtext is artfully oblique, and totally open to interpretation. But it can be discerned in the many recurring musical and lyrical motifs, beginning with the a capella "Overture": a looping multi-tracked mantra recalling Gentle Giant at their knotty mid-'70s best. "People tend to forget / People tend to forgive", chant the overlapping singers, the implication being that we shouldn't do either.

That lilting refrain is repeated elsewhere, emerging again in the album's epic centerpiece "Walpurgi Flame", one of the more convincing long-form Prog fantasias in recent years. The ominous introduction recalls (without imitation) classic Van Der Graaf Generator, to a degree where I almost expected to hear Peter Hammill begin screeching about Scorched Earth, instead of the soulful female guest singers, together adding another oblique stylistic layer to the revitalized Mother Turtle sound.

The song eventually rises to a thrilling crescendo of Mellotrons, real strings, and aggressive guitar work: old school Progressive Rock, but framed in a more contemporary setting. A chilling epilogue follows, built around eyewitness documentary sound samples from the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks: uncomfortable to hear, even after nearly two decades, but investing the album with deeper thematic meanings.

The same can be said about the album's video 'trailer' of song samples, edited to images of Jeanne d'Arc's martyrdom by fire...are you seeing a connection yet? And finally there's "The Art of Ending a Revolution", closing the album on an extended medley of dramatic instrumental jamming, and strong enough to elevate my conservative rating another full star. The slow fade-out suggests unfinished business, musically and (perhaps) thematically: an obvious signpost to the near-masterpiece of "Zea Mice", released two years later.

In the span of a single album Mother Turtle jumped from being a band worth watching to a band worth following. Not bad for a group named after a plodding amphibian synonymous with inertia.

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