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St. Elmo's Fire

Heavy Prog

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St. Elmo's Fire Splitting Ions In The Ether album cover
3.76 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Searching for Food (5:43)
2. Gone to Ground in the Khyber Pass (7:37)
3. The Balrog (6:31)
4. Parasites & Bureaucrats (5:46)
5. Aspen Flambe (4:15)
6. The Reluctant Bride (11:18)
7. Fantasy Come Reality (9:34)
8. The Abduction (6:58)
9. The Nuremberg Waltz (8:47)

Total Time: 67:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Erich Feldman / guitar synthesizer, effects
- Mark Helm / drums, percussion
- Paul M. Kollar / bass, 6 & 12 string guitar, bass pedals, keyboards, tape loops, prepared tapes
- Stephen John Stavnicky / keyboards, percussion, gongs, flute, vocals
- Elliot Weintraub / guitar, percussion, effects, vocals

Releases information

CD Sprawling Productions (SPL 9801) USA 1980

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ST. ELMO'S FIRE Splitting Ions In The Ether ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ST. ELMO'S FIRE Splitting Ions In The Ether reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars St. Elmo's Fire could have lived up the hype if formed around mid-70's, but the attack of New Wave, Disco and Punk reduced their chances to success and apparently led to instability within the group.After line-up changes and a few more demo recordings the Cleveland-based quintet disbanded in May 1981.Paul Kollar, who by the 90's had moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, sat down with Mark Helm to work on new and old pieces of the band.The thirst for a reunion led to the establishment of the Sprawling Productions label, on which they released the CD ''Splitting ions in the ether'' in 1998, a good chance for anyone not owning the band's rare 1980 vinyl to listen to St. Elmo's Fire's innovative sound.

But the whole story about this release was the bonus material placed next to the four tracks of the vintage vinyl record of the band.''Searching for food'' is a surprising intro to say the least, a spacious Electronic ambience with a cinematic, almost cosmic atmosphere with grandiose synths and sound effects, leading to the powerful ''Gone to ground in the Khyber pass''.Some 8 minutes of complex Progressive Rock with a tremendous opener, led by a symphonic atmosphere similar to ELOY and based on the majestic sound of Mellotron, before getting in the mood of a Heavy Prog vessel with complicated guitar moves and a steady rhythm section, revisiting the orchestral lines of the opening minutes towards the end.''The balrog'', ''Parasites and bureaucrats'' and ''Aspen flambe'' were all included in ''Live At The Cleveland Agora'', but the 11-min. follower ''The Reluctant bride'' is yet another great piece and fine example of the band's versatility.This could be propably placed next to the early KING CRIMSON offerings, but here the intricate guitar lines and sinister textures are combined with a big symphonic sound, propelled by the mighty Mellotron of Stephen John Stavnicky, some rural passages with interesting flute work and the always atmospheric use of synthesizers.Complex, typical US-styled Prog Rock, similar to PENTWATER and YEZDA URFA.Then comes ''Fantasy come reality'', another piece included in ''Live At The Cleveland Agora'', before the band revisits the principles of ''Red''-period KING CRIMSON with the guitar manifest of ''The abduction'' with its haunting rhythms, complex twists and heavy overtones.The 9-min. farewell ''The Nuremberg Waltz'' is more of the same, dense and excessive guitar-oriented instrumental music with tons of breaks and a slight RUSH nuance next to the powerful and complicated KING CRIMSON experiments along with another short dash of Mellotron majesty.

Complex US Prog with King Crimson as a guiding light, surrounded by influences from Rush, Yes and Yezda Urfa.Interesting and pretty intricate material for fans of captivating, mostly instrumental Prog Rock.Recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars What a wonderfull surprise this album has turned out to be. I got an inexpensive copy on ebay a few weeks ago, I've had a hard time not playing it everyday since. I didn't really have high expectations for it, but now I want to hear more. The disc starts out with some very spacey synth work l ... (read more)

Report this review (#33023) | Posted by gabbel ratchett | Monday, February 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you like King Crimson, Kick ass drums, Thundering Bass, and melodic yet hard guitar, this is the band for you. The music of this band is timeless. It still kicks as much ass today as it did in the late 70's. Spliting Ions in the Either-incredible recovery of the live stuff and how great is ... (read more)

Report this review (#33022) | Posted by | Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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