Turning Tides

SKU: SR3070
Label:
Sensory Records
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With nearly forty-five minutes of brand new material, Turning Tides represents MALPRACTICE at their absolute best, combining intricate progressive metal with catchy melodies topped with excellent musicianship and brilliant vocal harmonies. Professionally recorded by the members of the band at various locations, Turning Tides was produced by the band’s Joonas Koto and Toni Paananen and engineered by Koto, then mixed and mastered by Anssi Kippo at Astra-Studio A and enshrouded by intriguing artwork and design work by Miikka Tikka.

“The lyrical theme of the album is about a guy who is very well educated. In fact so educated and talented that he can't land a job for himself due to over education,” collectively issued the members of MALPRACTICE. “He kind of falls in-between things and ends up in the suburbs unemployed and frustrated. He is ‘the best kept secret’ since no one wants to hire him. His life and sanity starts to fall apart due to his frustration and depression. He tries to fight the system but always ends up deeper and deeper in apathy. The story can be somewhat related to MALPRACTICE's struggle to make it for two decades already. The question is: ‘Is the guy me? You? Or every one of us?’”

 

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  • "Crystal Palace are a progressive rock band from Germany. In the band are Yenz (vocals, bass), Frank Köhler (keys), Frank Brennekam (drums) and Nils Conrad (guitars). Also included are some well-known guests; Colin Edward (Porcupine Tree) and Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner of RPWL fame.The band has been around since the mid '90s and System Of Events is their sixth studio album. With a name like Crystal Palace one would expect progressive music and that is exactly what you get although this batch of tunes is as melodic as it gets. That is what makes this music so utterly enjoyable; these guys know how to write a good tune. A case in point is the album's fourth track "Green Way". The guitar rhythms are some of the catchiest on the disc, a major earworm in every way. The album also ventures into art rock/prog territory. Just listen to the twelve minute "Beautiful Nightmare" to hear the band's proggier side. Chiming guitar chords and understated vocals lead to a dynamic instrumental break of squelching guitar/effects and tasty keys. This is not about playing as fast as you can but more about texture and ambience reminding me of bands like Porcupine Tree. The lead vocals have a slight accent but you need not worry as Yenz has a good voice, well suited to the band's slightly melancholic sound. The title track at over thirteen minutes is the longest song and also my favourite. Its moody and forlorn beginning of stark piano notes and vocals to match leads to a mid tempo groove and some ear candy guitar soli. The instrumental break of voice samples, delicate acoustic guitar and winding keyboard lines hearkens of '70s Pink Floyd. The vocals are outstanding as well.The System Of Events has turned into a another great find. Judging by the quality of this release their back catalogue should be well worth exploring as well. Highly recommended." - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Saw this band perform a couple of months ago and it was an incendiary set.  Goat are a Swedish psychedelic collective.  Their music is incredibly intense that has an African tribal feel - sort of like Black Sabbath meets Fela Kuti.  Twin guitar leads entwine over a propulsive and hypnotic rhythm section.  The band's two female vocalists sing in unison.  Washed in a sea of reverb their voices come across as one.  Love the beautiful fuzzed out guitar leads that juxtapose with the crystalline solos.  This is not late night listening.  This is invite your friends over, fire up a big phatty, and trance out.    BUY OR DIE!"When approaching the follow-up to a record as unilaterally praised and, on a personal level, so intoxicatingly enjoyable as Goat's 2012 debut World Music, all kinds of anxieties are inevitably thrown up regarding the new work's comparative merit. Which is why for this writer, on hearing how the psych journeymen chose to open their latest record Commune – with the ominous clang of a temple bell (like a theological inversion of the opener on Black Sabbath's debut) – it felt oddly apt, fateful almost. It was as if they knew I was scared to listen to the record; they responded by scaring me further with ecclesiastical percussion instruments.Goat should be given full credit for inspiring this sense of meaning and excitement; the album that follows is no stylistic leap forward for the band, yet it still exercises a deeply persuasive power over your head and hips. They largely stick to the heavy, kinetic, afro-influenced rock that proved such a winning formula, the only obvious developments being that the guitarists seem to be taking more cues from desert-rockers like Tamikrest and Tinariwen, and the songs show an increasing preference for subtlety over immediacy in the hooks department. Yet despite the apparent lack of new ideas here, the undeniable success of this work lies in Goat's deepening and development of the musical and spiritual themes presented on in World Music.And I'd go as far as to argue that Commune is very much a spiritually informed record. Whilst Goat hinted at a certain kind of gently cosmic, communal worldview via the obscure vocal samples on their debut, on this record their spiritual statement feels much more pronounced. Not only can this be seen in the song titles (opener 'Talk To God', 'The Light Within') and the appearance of more vocal samples ("There is only one meaning of life, and that is to be a positive force in the constant creation of evolution" – woah there!), but it's also evident in the production. Instruments are slathered in embalming-chamber reverb, ritualistic hand percussion is laced through almost every track, and the more laidback atmosphere means that instead of getting party-starting booty-shakers like 'Run To Your Mama' we get absorbing, contemplative grooves like the headspinning rhythms of 'Hide From The Sun' and 'Bondye', an instrumental track named after a voodoo deity which realises the trance-inducing implications of repetition. When Goat first emerged listeners may have been unsure about the sincerity of their transcendental allusions, and I for one suspected that their flirting with hippy ideologies was a self-conscious part of their selling point. However, with Commune, I'm now convinced this band genuinely have something to say. On tracks like 'Goatslaves' for example, you can actually make out quite easily what the vocalists are singing, and the message is direct: "Too many people living on their knees", yell the female voices over a stern, militant beat. "Dying of freedom, Dying of peace".There are some fuzz tones that are just so gnarly and righteous that they make you glad to be alive. Lots of guitarists nearly get there but there's no mistaking it when you hear that perfect analogue crunch. Tortured, writhing sound-buzzes so crusty and mangled that they sound as if the distortion pedal has been buried underground for six months, making a solo sound like it's trying to break free from the speakers. For me, the most successful examples of this sound include Dark on their album Round The Edges, almost anything by Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske and the almighty solo towards the end of 'Hi Babe' by Zamrockers Ngozi Family. A review of this record would be amiss if I failed to commend the absolutely stonking fuzzed-up guitar solo that hits halfway through 'Hide From The Sun', the album's lead single, which surely deserves a place in this illustrious canon. Nestling stylistically in a place between Omar Khorshid and Tony Iommi, it rips mercilessly through the track's disorienting metre, and may well encourage listeners to stare into the distance with a purposeful look on their face. Fans will be glad to hear that there are plenty more of those moments to be had with this album – see the taut, fidgety funk of 'The Light Within' and the pleasantly pastoral flute on 'To Travel The Path Unknown' amongst others.Goat stand out from the rest of the contemporary psych crowd as an undeniably modern, internet-age band in that they create their own successful and popular sound by synthesising a plethora of B-musics and fringe influences made easily available through the work of labels like Finders Keepers and Sublime Frequencies. Yet Commune is so much more than record-collector rock. Album closer 'Gathering Of The Ancient Tribes', in a stylistic echo of the first track 'Talk To God' features a lattice of Malian-sounding guitars offset against heavy bass and insistent beats, before dissipating into a haze of guitar noise, organ drone and that same meddlesome temple bell. It's details like this that prove Goat are clearly concerned with more than flogging a tasteful blend of trendy influences – Commune is a truly artistic statement." - THE QUIETUS 
    $14.00