Specter, Fate & Fable

SKU: MP-02CD
Label:
Private Release
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Second album from this New York based prog trio.  The band is heavily influenced by early period Rush but elements of Yes and Kansas pop up as well.  The album highlight is the near 18 minute epic "The Eternal Spring".

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  • Latest in the 40th anniversary series featuring remixes by Steven Wilson.  Here is what you get:CD contains a new stereo remix plus 3 alternate mixes.  The DVD contains 5.1 remix of the album, a 24/96 and 24/48 stereo remix, the original album mix and alternate takes and mixes in 24/48.  The video content is the complete Beat Club performance and is worth the price alone.  
    $20.00
  • "HBC are guitarist Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech/Jean Luc Ponty/Elektric Band), bassist Jeff Berlin (Bruford/ABWH/Vox Humana/Passport/Allan Holdsworth/Kazumi Watanabe), and drummer Dennis Chambers (Santana/Mike Stern/Brecker Brothers/John Scofield/John McLaughlin/Niacin/Parliament/Funkadelic), three musicians who should be no strangers to anyone with a passing interest in jazz and jazz-rock fusion styles. The long list of legendary bands & artists that these guys have played with is staggering (see above for a very small sample), so you would have to image that this trio putting their skills together would make for some entertaining music right? The answer to that questions is a resounding YES!Henderson's bandmate in Tribal Tech, Scott Kinsey, is along for the ride here helping out with production and what sounds like the occasional keyboard coloring and solo (though he's not credited as such), in what turns out to be a wild recording for all involved. Hearing Scott's sizzling jazz & blues rock licks running circles around the equally trailblazing bass grooves from Berlin, all while Chambers' busy stick work keeps it all in check, is just a joy to experience. The menacing, muscular opener "Actual Proof" shows just what these three bring to the table, offering up sizzling leads from Henderson and Berlin's acrobatic lines on a song that's all about the interplay & soloing but yet the tune is melodic and memorable. Wayne Shorter's classic "Mysterious Traveller" is majestic and atmospheric, chock full of Berlin's gorgeous bass lines and Henderson's dramatic soloing, while another of Shorters tunes "Footprints" (yes, plenty of Weather Report related tunes being covered here) is given a quirky, fun treatment, as Chambers and Berlin lock into a serious groove while Henderson unleashes a flurry of blazing jazz solos and complex chords. Once again dipping into all things Weather Report, the trio cover Joe Zawinul's "D Flat Waltz", a rumbling, groove laden affair led by Berlin's uncanny Jaco Pastorius inspired fretwork. Another dip into the Zawinul songbook is "The Orphan", again with Berlin delivering some stunning, melodic lead bass lines that are just magnificent, floating above some tranquil keyboard washes that provide the perfect backdrop.Shorter's "Sightseeing" follows, and the band tears through this one with reckless abandon, as Berlin's walking bass line shimmers around Chambers' intricate fills & cymbal hits while Henderson unleashes a torrent of white hot shards of guitar mayhem. The trio delivers their first original song on the CD in the form of "Wayward Son Of Devil Boy", a blistering blues number featuring some scorching solos from Scott, and change gears for Berlin's piece "Threedom", a classical romp for the bassist to really show his dexterity on his instrument. The album closes out with a bombastic rendition of the Billy Cobham classic "Stratus", kicking off with Chambers' blazing intro and giving way to bubbling bass from Berlin and Henderson's raw, crunchy riffs and wild solos, as he seemingly pays homage to both Tommy Bolin and Jeff Beck. Listening to all three mixing it up at the finale is simply jaw dropping.As one would expect, this is musical fireworks from start to finish, as these three virtuosos come together and provide an hour's worth of musical excellence for all fusion fans to enjoy and cherish. Highly recommended!" - Sea Of Tranquility 
    $15.00
  • Japanese SHM-CD in a mini-lp sleeve."Even though Master of Puppets didn't take as gigantic a leap forward as Ride the Lightning, it was the band's greatest achievement, hailed as a masterpiece by critics far outside heavy metal's core audience. It was also a substantial hit, reaching the Top 30 and selling three million copies despite absolutely nonexistent airplay. Instead of a radical reinvention, Master of Puppets is a refinement of past innovations. In fact, it's possible to compare Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets song for song and note striking similarities between corresponding track positions on each record (although Lightning's closing instrumental has been bumped up to next-to-last in Master's running order). That hint of conservatism is really the only conceivable flaw here. Though it isn't as startling as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets feels more unified, both thematically and musically. Everything about it feels blown up to epic proportions (indeed, the songs are much longer on average), and the band feels more in control of its direction. You'd never know it by the lyrics, though -- in one way or another, nearly every song on Master of Puppets deals with the fear of powerlessness. Sometimes they're about hypocritical authority (military and religious leaders), sometimes primal, uncontrollable human urges (drugs, insanity, rage), and, in true H.P. Lovecraft fashion, sometimes monsters. Yet by bookending the album with two slices of thrash mayhem ("Battery" and "Damage, Inc."), the band reigns triumphant through sheer force -- of sound, of will, of malice. The arrangements are thick and muscular, and the material varies enough in texture and tempo to hold interest through all its twists and turns. Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best heavy metal album ever recorded; if it isn't, it certainly comes close." - Allmusic
    $16.00
  • So here's my personal confession...after Neal left I felt that Spock's Beard lost their way.  Nick is a fine vocalist but there was something quirky about Neal's writing that had a reverential old school quality that I found lacking.  The albums didn't grab me.  Nick left and Ted Leonard took over on vocals.  Whether it was Enchant or Thought Chamber, he's always stood out and he fits Spock's Beard quite well.  The new drummer Jimmy Keegan slipped into the blend with no dificulty.  The result is (to my mind) a resurgence from this band.  Ryo Okumoto always puts on a show - in particular his heavy reliance on Hammond organ reminds me quite a bit of Steve Walsh.  In fact the sound of the whole album has a Kansas vibe. Coincidentally David Ragsdale guests on one track.  I'm not sure I can remember the last time I said this about a Spock's Beard album - Highly recommended."Very few bands are so recognizable that you know who you are listening to within 2 seconds.  That is all it takes at the beginning of the first track on The Oblivion Particle to know you are listening to Spock’s Beard.  There is no slow buildup or keyboard swells, just straight BAMM!, here we go.  And if the opening notes don’t get you, the organ 5 seconds in will.  The band’s 12th studio album, this one the second with singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan, is a culmination of years of perfecting a sound and identity, one that not even 2 major lineup changes could fracture. With this new album, Spock’s Beard up their game again and show that this lineup is here to stay.If there was a track that defined what Spock’s Beard are, it might be the opening track, “Tides of Time.”  There are certain checklist items that mark their sound and they are all in this track.  The organ, the harmonies, the acoustic breakdown, the rocking middle and the epic ending.  Each member finds their moments to shine on this one and it provides a jaw-dropping sound overload that could leave one satisfied at that moment; only there is another 60 minutes to go.The album zigs and zags through a few more experimental moments, mixing in some surprises with more traditional Prog elements.  The album’s second track and first single is “Minion”, is a perfect example.  The opening a cappella harmonies provide the sort of memorable chorus and harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.  While, the following distorted keyboard section is also standard Spock’s Beard.  But the verse and middle of the song is much darker and takes us on a surprising journey.The most unique song the album is the brilliantly titled “Bennett Built a Time Machine”, which the album’s cover is based on.  Drummer Jimmy Keegan takes lead on the vocals here and sounds incredible.  His voice actually fits the track better than Leonard’s probably would have.  The song is one of the album highlights and helps keep the record from sounding redundant.  It is almost a pop song most of the way through until turning on the jets and shifting into Prog mode.There are some heavier moments such as “Hell’s Not Enough” and “Get Out While You Can”. “The Center Line”, however, might be the most similar to something you might have found on their group’s previous album “Brief Nocturnes…”  The track opens with an expansive piano recital piece, before turning into a combo Prog-Western bounce with acoustic guitars carrying the groove. Ted’s voice lifts the choruses flawlessly and creates an almost cinematic soundscape.Even with all of these great moments, it is the album’s closing track that is the best song on the album.  “Disappear” might be one of the best songs the band has recorded since Neal left the group.  “We could disappear, you and me, we could be, anyplace else not here” sings Ted in the chorus as he wonders what might be if we left with no one knowing what happened.  The song is really the closest thing to a ballad on the album, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.  2 minutes in, the song stirs into a frenzy just before a brief cameo by Kansas’ David Ragsdale, appearing with his violin.  Of course, the big epic orchestral ending takes us home as Alan Morse provides the finishing touches with his unique finger picking soloing excellence.Spock’s Beard are Prog rock’s most reliable unit.  They have yet to disappoint and always provide comfort to their faithful fans with music that is both inspiring and breathtaking.  And while The Oblivion Particle shows a harder edged Spock’s Beard, it also displays a group that shows no signs of slowing down and is ready to take on all comers." - The Prog Report 
    $12.00
  • "Not many tunes delivered by bands from my southern neighbors, within the borders of Germany, are haunting my mind during these grim and frostbitten cold days of wintertime. Only melodies of Andy Kuntz & Co from prog metal act Vanden Plas, and one of last year’s best prog metal debuts “The Old Man and the Spirit” created by Beyond the Bridge are still able to cradle me to sleep. The question is then how the hell has prog rock/metal act Dante gone unnoticed by my eyes and ears so many years? That is still a mystery to me. I guess it’s time for some changes now. After watching the official trailer of the full album “November Red” describing it as “A New Masterpiece of Progressive Music” and getting my face slapped by words like Power, Passion, Epic, lyrical, Progressive and Breathtaking, I have packed my gear and ready for a great adventure into their musical universe. Will you follow me on my musical adventure? I’ll leave that up for you to decide, but if this has sparked your curiosity, then please keep on reading our fellow reader. You will not regret…Let us start from the beginning. Seven years ago guitarist & bassist Markus Berger, who sadly passed away early this year (R.I.P. metal brother), teamed up with his longtime friend Markus Maichler on keyboards & piano, and created prog rock & metal act Dante after playing around with some of their own musical ideas in Berger’s own studio. Two positions were still left open, so they recruited vocalist Alexander Góhs (former frontman of Berger’s previous act “Twelve”) and drum machine Christian Eichlinger to complete their crew of musicians in control of this new German prog machinery. With some fine tuning of this machine based in Berger’s recording studio, they unleashed after two years their self-produced & self-financed debut “The Inner Circle”, which was applauded and met with great respect by many metal reviewers all around our globe. Same year bassist Michael Neumeier was hooked up, and took over the bass duties of Berger, and then became a permanent member of the band. Two years later in 2010, and the sophomore album “Saturnine” saw the light of the day, released by their new label ProgRock Records, continuing the success of the band. The following year bassist Michael decided to leave Dante, and they welcomed guitarist Markus A. Bader on board their prog metal flagship instead, and Berger returned to his old role as the bass player of the troop.So finally here they are, welcoming 2013 with their long awaited third craftsmanship entitled “November Red”, ready to quench the thirst of many progheads out there…My great adventure through the challenging musical landscapes created by Dante has sudden come to an unexpected end after counting more than one hour of total playing time. It was a continuous bombardment of my ears with strange & complex rhythms, tempo changes, awkward time signatures, mellow passages, gorgeous 70’s styled keyboard sounds blended with heavy and crunchy guitar riffs and solos, all complemented with symphonic influences to make it an interesting and pleasant listening experience. Maybe they borrow some ideas from legendary prog titans Fates Warning and Dream Theater, but arresting them for being a copycat would not hold up in court. It’s a roller coast ride through the whole album, and each of the seven songs is molding our ear wax as different as night and day. The opener “Birds of Passage” is a soft and mellow introduction, whereas the following song “The Lone And Level Sands” is exploring the more heavier and aggressive sound of Dante. “Beautifully Broken” is walking on a total different path, and is the only ballad song included. It’s a melancholy song told with beautifully and mesmerizing piano melodies and by the voice of Alex singing with great control and emotion in his preferable low to mid range registers. Fourth song, and the star of the show is “The day That Bled” a tune delivering myriads of shades and musical colours for you prog enthusiasts to delve into. Next on the list is the song “Shores of Time” following in the footsteps of its predecessors, followed up by the softer and slower song “Allan”. The title song “November Red” is the final destination of our journey, and closing of with a big bang. It’s the epic of the album, delivering some of the most heavy and aggressive moments, broken up by mellow passages.Production-wise, this is wrapped into a high quality package, and the musicianship is first class, but it still suffers in the vocal department. Vocalist Alexander Góhs would not be my first choice in the front seat of a traditional prog band, because of his lacking range and dynamics in his vocal performance. He knows his weaknesses and strengths, and mostly stays in his comfort zone the low to mid range registers, and then actually becomes quite enjoyable. His voice definitely takes time to get used to, but is one of the band’s signature sounds for better and worse.So let’s cut to the chase. The latest creation “November Red” delivered by Dante is not a quantum leap forward for progressive music, but they still have a huge and very unique distinct sound of their own. It’s a moody and melodic progressive music experience, and if your ears find comfort in listening to the likes of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, then don’t let this release slip through your fingers. “November Red” takes time to grow on you, but stay open-minded, and it will bury itself deeper and deeper under your skin. It’s definitely one of those progressive bands I’ll keep my eyes and ears locked on too for many years to come." - Power Of Metal
    $15.00
  • For reasons beyond my comprehension this German six piece band is being lumped in with Graveyard and Witchcraft.  Yes this is a retro sounding band and hard rock is one of their primary influences and yes there is an occult theme running through the album.  I hear much more of a 70s hard rock sound.  Think in terms of Uriah Heep, Lucifer's Friend and Deep Purple but also some undercurrents of bands like The Devil's Blood.  There is Iommi-type riffing that turns up so I guess that's the Sabs influence and the connection to those Swedish bands.  I'm digging the swirling organ sounds. "Orcus Chylde are a band with a sound that is very hard to categorize. Parts Doom, Pysch, Prog Rock, Proto-Metal mixed in with a delicious 70's Occult Rock feel.They are part of the new breed of Doom Rock/Metal that is starting to make waves through the rock world. They have just released their astonishing debut S/T Debut album. An 8 song and 48 minute blast of out of this world psychedelic riffs.The album is expertly produced and played by everyone involved.If your a fan of 70's Hard Rock Bands such as Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple then your going to love this. It takes the music from that era but adds some cool modern Doom Rock riffs to truly stand out from the crowd.This album feels like a greatest hits collection of this great band rather than their debut album. All of the songs  are great especially - The Day The Seventh Angel Came, Valley Of Thorns, Over The Frozen Rivers.All showing what this great band does so well. Paying homage to great bands past and present but putting their own spin on things. Such as the sublime vocals of vocalist Tobias and the Organs. The organs add a dream like quality to their music. Some times unsettling but altogether original and fucking superb.This album is receiving a whole lot of praise all over the place. And rightly it should. As it's Orcus Chylde's callling card to the world of Hard Rock/Doom Metal that a truly important band has arrived on the scene. And that they are here to stay for a long, long time.Long May It Continue. An outstanding album by a great band from our German Brothers.If you want a truly operatic theatrical doom rock/metal album full of original ideas and riffs then I recommend you check this excellent band now. You would be mad to miss out this excellent album." - The Sludgelord Blog
    $15.00
  • "VOICIANO is the new acoustic project of the EDENBRIDGE's Sabine Edelsbacher (vocals) and Lanvall (grand piano, acoustic guitars and other string instruments, percussion). VOICIANO is based on acoustic instruments exclusively, mainly the grand piano. However, many other instruments like acoustic guitars, hammered dulcimer, kacapi, bouzouki, mandolin, saz and diverse percussion instruments, can be heard on the album. There is also a real string orchestra, Junge Philharmonie Freistadt.The music for "Everflow" was recorded almost exclusively without click tracks — in other words, without any predetermined tempo — which accentuates the liveliness and soul of the songs. The piano parts were recorded live.Says Lanvall: "The idea [for VOICIANO] was born after our EDENBRIDGE promotion acoustic show in Vietnam."In 2010, Sabine and I flew to Vietnam for a 10-minute showcase to perform three songs at the 1000 Years Hanoi festival. The simplicity of the whole process concerning the rehearsals and the show were pure fun for us. You just request a microphone and a grand piano, enter the stage and perform."When we came back, I went through my files and piles of sketches of numerous ideas, which remained unused to this point. I was astonished how many great songs I found in layouts in this acoustic form. This inspired me immediately to write completely new songs additionally."Adds Sabine: "I always had the idea for a solo project with more balladesque songs. VOICIANO is exactly what I had in mind."In VOICIANO, my voice gets more room in all its nuances. This is what I enjoy, of course. Furthermore, I will bring myself in into the lyrics. The mystic atmosphere of our songs will remain, of course. I think we cannot do it differently; it's a part of us."Sabine and Lanvall were also able to procure some great guests for the album. Most of them are longtime friends with prominent names.Says Lanvall: "After the huge production of the last EDENBRIDGE album, 'The Bonding', it was extremely important to gain distance musically and be involved in something which is different."The reduction in the music and the process to record much of the music live gave me tremendous joy."I believe that everybody who loves EDENBRIDGE will love VOICIANO too, although it shows us from a completely different side."When I began to arrange the songs, I was immensely touched by the feeling and the souls of the songs. This inspired me to learn new instruments like the hammered dulcimer, which can be heard in a couple of songs and creates an own mystic atmosphere."The "Everflow" cover artwork was created by Günter Leitenbauer and can be seen below.Will Sabine and Lanvall now concentrate on VOICIANO exclusively?Says Lanvall: "No, of course not. VOICIANO is a project among our main band, EDENBRIDGE, to live out this faible for acoustic music. All songs would also work with just vocals and piano in the live situation. I think that after this album I will also be really inspired for a next big EDENBRIDGE album!"Adds Sabine: "I am convinced that we will attract a bigger audience apart from the metal scene with VOICIANO. Even better when they learn about EDENBRIDGE then. This will be a total win/win situation."Concludes Lanvall: "With all the wonderful experiences we made with the crowdfunding action related to our last album 'The Bonding', where we were able to outfinance the whole orchestra costs. We wanna continue this way with our new project VOICIANO, and here even more than in the past. In recent times the relationship fan to musician/band is more important than ever. It was extremely enriching to see in the process of 'The Bonding', how many people wish to support 'real' music. Therefore we wanna bring in our fans to join in as part of a record label and advance suppliers, and came up with some special and interesting packages. With your pre-orders and sponsoring donations, you guarantee the best possible production of the VOICIANO album 'Everflow'." 
    $15.00
  • Kindly Bent To Free Us is the long awaited third album from Cynic.  It finds the core trio of Paul Masvidal, Sean Reinert, and Sean Malone intact.  Just as Traced In Air was an evolution from Focus, so is Kindly Bent To Free Us a natural sounding progression from Traced In Air.  There is a common underlying sound which is clearly Cynic.  The music still maintains metallic and jazz roots but it serves as a foundation for a sound that owes more to prog rock.  If you are expecting Focus you will be disappointed.  This probably owes more to Porcupine Tree and Riverside as its not quite as technical as in the past, relying more on atmosphere.  But don't get me wrong, there is some unbelievable playing going on.  Once again Sean Malone demonstrates that he is the most underrated bassist in the world.  Highly recommended.
    $11.00
  • Prospekt are a British Progressive Metal band influenced by bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Circus Maximus, as well as film scores and fusion. Prospekt combine the fierce technicality of progressive metal with the symphonic elements of contemporary prog.From brutal riffs coupled with odd time-signatures, to majestic melodies, the principle of Prospekt’s music is to create an intelligent and atmospheric mix of melodic, modern progressive metal. Incorporating passionate higher ranged vocals, frenetic guitar work, haunting orchestration and solid grooves, every composition remains both interesting and original.The Colourless Sunrise was mixed by  Adam "Nolly" Getgood of Periphery and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street.
    $13.00
  • Fifth studio album from this always interesting Polish prog band.  Lizard's music always has a dark quality to it.  At times there is a noir quality that reminds of King Crimson but there is a strong symphonic rock component that dominates their music.  Master & M is a conceptual album based around Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master & Margarita" novel.  It consists of five long chapters with some intense instrumental passages.  Vocals are excellent but the problem with Lizard is that band leader Damian Bydlinski sings in Polish.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • I could easily make this write up short and simple: Bad ass old school progressive rock served up by a bunch of Canadian virtuosos. Instead I'll elaborate a bit more. Druckfarben is a quintet based out of Toronto. They are fronted by Phil Naro who some of you may remember from his days with Billy Sheehan in Talas. With this prog rock venture he does his Jon Anderson best to fit in and he does perfectly (no hints of metal on this disc). Naro is the best known of the band but everyone playing on it obviously have a love for 70s prog rock and they have the chops to nail it down. This debut is an amalgam of all the good stuff - ELP, Yes, Kansas, Rush, and Gentle Giant all rolled into one. If you like your prog the way it used to be you have to hear this disc. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "Freaks is the third release from Qoph, a Swedish psychedelic rock band on Transubstans Records. Basically, all I needed to say was Transubstans Records and most of you regular readers of SoT would have assumed this band was from Sweden and played in a retro style, and you of course would have been correct. Qoph are comprised of Filip Norman (guitars), Rustan Geschwind (vocals). Federico de Costa (drums), and Patrik Persson (bass), and together they lay down some interesting sounds here on Freaks.Imagine a cross between The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and early Soundgarden and you have an idea of what to expect with Freaks. Trippy, fuzz toned guitars permeate "Hearts & Sorrows" and "In Your Face", while the crunchy "Ride", with its heavy riffs and squealing saxophone, comes across like a midnight jam session between Soundgarden, Jimmy Page, and John Coltrane. Geschwind's vocals are a cross between Chris Cornell, Robert Plant, and Jim Morrison, very expressive and fitting every aspect of the bands music. Some of the mellower, more haunting songs such as "Seconds & Minutes" and "Feverland" work quite well too, and " The weirdness to come" even has some space rock elements mixed in with the heavy arrangements. The most adventurous track though might be the lengthy closer "Remedy", complete with jam-like guitar patterns and mysterious sax explorations, a must hear for any fan of psychedelic rock.Solid stuff here on Freaks, a very enjoyable album that will certainly appeal to psych lovers of all ages." - Sea Of Tranquilit
    $15.00
  • Of all the Yes albums that needed a remix this is the one that needed it the most!"Relayer (1974) is the third in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been remixed into stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The DVDA also contains the original album mix in high-resolution, and a complete alternate album running order drawn from demos/studio run-throughsRestored artwork approved by Roger Dean, the release of which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the album’s original late 1974 appearance."
    $20.00
  • Latest studio album from this lethal German band.  SBE was formed by guitarist Christian Peters in 2007.  The quartet (twin guitar, bass, and drums) will deeply satisfy the musicial appetite of any fans of 70s psychedelia, space rock, and doom metal.  They may well be the ultimate stoner rock band.Revelation & Mystery finds the compositions a bit tighter than previous efforts but that's a relative term when the title track runs past the 12 minute mark. Vocals don't interfere too heavily with the acid laced space trippin' guitar work.  Peters sings a bit and then they get down to serious business jamming their way into the cosmos.  If you are fan of early Guru Guru, Hawkwind, and Black Sabbath, or even Deep Purple you need to hear this band.  I got high just looking at the cover art.  This album is a total lease breaker to boot.  BUY OR DIE!  "The second album from Samsara Blues Experiment in as many years, Revelation and Mystery (World in Sound) takes a surprising turn in approach from their Long-Distance Trip debut, distilling the jams of the first record into more structured, song-based material. The tracks of Revelation and Mystery almost exclusively follow verse-chorus-verse patterns, and while part of the joy of listening to a song like “Singata Mystic Queen” from the prior collection was meandering along with it, Samsara Blues Experiment don’t completely lose sight of the journey in favor of the straightforward. Right from its start, Revelation and Mystery sees the four-piece layering guitar effects and infusing their parts with swirls and a spaced-out feel. It’s not that they’ve completely changed their methodology so much as they’ve shifted the balance within their sound. These structural elements were certainly present on Long-Distance Trip, but a cut like the semi-acoustic “Thirsty Moon” shows that Samasara Blues Experiment are able to work within these parameters to grow their songwriting. One gets the sense in listening to opener “Flipside Apocalypse” (which follows a 17-second nameless intro track) that this process is just beginning and that the band are still finding out what they want their sound to be, but that only makes Revelation and Mystery a more immediate, direct experience; the linearity of the album unfolding gradually as the songs move from the straightforward into the more sublimely jammed.Fast-paced rumbling from the bass of Richard Behrens in the surprisingly punkish beginning of “Flipside Apocalypse” is an immediate clue to the changes the last year have brought about in Samsara Blues Experiment. The mood is more active, less calming and chilled out than last time around, and the guitars of Hans Eiselt and Christian Peters – who also handles vocals – seem to be more concerned with riffing out than stacking layers upon layers, though there’s some of that too, even as later in the song a riff straight out of the biker rock milieu shows up and carries the song through to its end. I don’t know if it’s the result in some change in the band’s songwriting process or just how things happened to come out this time, but the change continues through “Hangin’ on the Wire,” which is genuinely hooky and thoroughly in the realm of heavy rock. A crisp production during the solo section brings to mind some of Queens of the Stone Age’s finer moments, and drummer Thomas Vedder locks in with Behrens’ own excellent fills with a few of his own. Peters, though, emerges at the head of the song. His vocals confident and effected in equal measure, he works quickly to establish the verse and chorus patterns, both worthy of sing-alongs, so that by the end, “Hangin’ on the Wire” feels like its earned its handclaps, and though “Into the Black” starts out more ethereal, with extended solo sections and a long instrumental introduction, the shuffle soon takes hold and it proves to be more boogie than nod.But perhaps “Into the Black” is where the band begins their subtle shift into more esoteric sonics, because as the soft strums and plucks and interplay of electric and acoustic guitars take hold on “Thirsty Moon,” the song feels neither out of place nor especially unexpected, which it very well might have if placed earlier on Revelation and Mystery. Peters’ vocal line feels a little rushed during the verse – it’s almost as though there were too many syllables to fit in the line – but the interaction of his and Eiselt’s guitars in the instrumental break and the balance between the guitar and Vedder’s drumming in the mix makes up for any such hiccups. Another chorus feels delivered more appropriately, and the progression cycles through again; solo section into chorus, solo section into chorus. And it’s not until Behrens’ highlight bass line begins “Outside Insight Blues” that it’s apparent just how much Samsara Blues Experiment put into the album’s flow. Added keys allow the guitars to go farther out into sporadic notes without sacrificing fullness of sound, but after about two and a half minutes, there’s a turn into riffier material that carries the groove through the next six. There are a few part changes, but things don’t really feel jammed out until the classic ‘70s boogie meets psychedelia of the last 90 seconds or so, blues harp and all. It’s a shift worthy of Siena Root, and the two-minute interlude “Zwei Schatten im Schatten” (in English, “Two Shadows in the Shadow”) follows suit with an appropriate marriage of Eastern and Western musical traditions with sitar and acoustic six-string. There’s something sweet and solemn in the intertwining melody, and it’s a passing thing on the way to the 12-minute closer, but worth paying attention to in a way that many interludes aren’t.Then, at last, comes the ending title cut. Worthy of its name, “Revelation and Mystery” caps the album with a sense of psychedelic majesty through which Samsara Blues Experiment show their ability to keep hold of a song no matter how deep into space they might also want to push it. The song winds. Its progression is at once driving and subdued, and of all the songs on Revelation and Mystery, it’s probably the best blend of all sides of what’s shown itself to be the band’s current sound. Of course, at 12 minutes, one could easily argue it has time to do and be all these things – with room left over for a bit of that sitar to show up as well among the guitar leads – but still, it’s another display of the maturity Samsara Blues Experiment have been able to take on in a relatively short amount of time (their demo gave first notice in 2008). Some bands need three years to learn and foster growth between their albums, and some bands need to play. If the jump between their first and second records is anything to go by, Samsara Blues Experiment would seem to be the latter. Wherever this stylistic form takes them, I don’t imagine it’ll be too long before we find out, but until then, the 47 minutes of Revelation and Mystery provide a varied and exciting listen worthy of repeat visits. Samsara Blues Experiment continue to progress, continue to impress." - The Obelisk
    $12.00