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The Worm Ouroboros - Endless Way From You CD (album) cover

ENDLESS WAY FROM YOU

The Worm Ouroboros

 

Eclectic Prog

3.99 | 74 ratings

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TCat
Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars This Eclectic Prog band named The Worm Ouroboros that hails from Minsk, Belarus was created in 2006, and has gone through several different line-up changes through the years. After releasing the album 'Of Things That Never Were', which was actually quite an acclaimed album, the band has been mostly quite until Christmas Eve of 2019 when they released their 2nd studio album 'Endless Way From You'. The line-up at this time consists of Sergey Gvozdyukevich on keys, bass, guitar, flute and vocals; Vladimir Sobolevsky also on keys and bass as well as guitars; and Mihail Knichin on drums. Joining this core line-up, there is Vitaly Appow on bassoon, Aliona Sukilyan on oboe and Alexandra Gankova on various percussive instruments including xylophone. This album has 9 tracks and has a duration of nearly 80 minutes.

It all begins with 'Cycles' (14:16), a track that starts with a soft and pastoral sound which consists of nice woodwinds, acoustic guitars, organ and eventually a straitforward beat. The music reminds me of the softer Camel vibe, music that takes its time to move gracefully along, establishing melodies and themes, changing tempo occasionally to further develop the track, but remaining somewhat plush even when it builds the theme and intensifying as it goes. The flute seems to be the main instrument here supported mostly by acoustic guitar with some electric guitar and organ solos throughout. The last 4 minutes gets quite a bit more intense and dark as tension builds and releases with repeated piano notes that take it to its conclusion.

The different styles that make this music eclectic is more apparent in the next track 'Clouds to Owings Mills' (7:27) which begins with a piano led section that borrows from the Canterbury sound with a nice mix of folk and fusion, and courses through the styles of symphonic and then heavier prog sounds, generating intensity as it goes only to release it all to a piano and flute again. The music is more distraught than the first track, taking less time to travel to different progressive realms including forays into Zeuhl territory, yet remaining instrumental throughout.

You know by this time, what you are getting into on this album, a nice eclectic blend of styles, mostly instrumental all the way through. One of the highlights is 'Quest of the Kingfisher' (7:15) which moves seamlessly from simple sounds to a long development section that effectively drives forward with a tense and dramatic section that eventually evolves and resolves into a nice lilting section that features an organ generating excitement as an electric guitar drives the music to its satisfying conclusion.

Another standout is 'The Reality You Can't Stop Dreaming' (13:20) that begins with a sinister sounding oboe that brings in a tense piano and solid bass that push it into a nice heavy, somewhat dissonant and restless sound, often building through tension, releasing it and then rebuilding it again. Interspersed with solid guitar passages and organ and piano flourishes, all of the players get fair time to thread this track through many different moods and textures. 'The Whistler Shrill' (8:03) is also an excellent pastiche of dissonant flutes and guitars that keep pulling pastoral sounds into dark and evil territory resolved by occasional vocal passages. No doubt images of 'Magma' might come to mind, especially when things turn darkly dramatic. This track is definitely an emotional masterpiece.

This one is a bit tough to assign a rating to, because there are sections and tracks that are outstanding, easily 5-star material, but there are more tracks that are lovely and a bit more wandering that take their time to move along, and there are times you might find your mind wandering off and your attention wavering a bit. However, through it all is evidence of excellent musicianship and, even though the band has seen a lot of line-up changes, the music is tight and well-performed. The standouts here are as I have mentioned before, 'Quest of the Kingfisher', 'The Reality You Can't Stop Dreaming' and especially the amazing 'The Whistler Shrill', and if all of the tracks were this immersive, then this would have easily been one of the best albums of the year. But, with a lot of time keeping in slow and easy development, there are too many parts of the album that are excellent, but don't quite engage the listeners as much as the 3 mentioned tracks. Either way, the album is still easily a 4 star affair and should be heard by those that love the sound of 'Camel' with big doses of the Canterbury sound and forays into the heavier sounds of other sub-genres. This is one of the better 4-star albums that just barely misses the 5 star mark.

TCat | 4/5 |

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