Guerison

SKU: SZ37
Label:
Soleil Zeuhl
Category:
Zeuhl
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Setna is a superb French ensemble whose style of progressive rock firmly falls within the zeuhl framework.  Their 2007 debut was a bit controversial.  There was quite a bit of anticipation for the release as fans of the genre were anticipating a full on Magma assault.  What they got was something that smoldered and didn't explode but it did so consistently.  So for some fans their expectations fell short.  For more wide eared listeners they recognized a band that was influenced by Magma but didn't slavishly imitate them.

Guerison is the follow up and finds them stretching out a little bit more.  Magma is still the prime influence but there are equal influences from the Canterbury sphere.  The band employs a dual keyboardist configuration.  Florent Gac's overdriven organ will definitely remind you of David Sinclair.  There are some Mellotron bits scattered about and among the many guest musicians you will find Magma alumnus Benoit Widemann on Mini-Moog.

Outstanding stuff.  Highly recommended.

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  • "As the eerily enticing extended intro to 'Diarabi', the opening track from Goat's 2012 debut World Music, twists and turns into the slightly less eerie but equally enticing main body of the track, it has already become glaringly apparent that this is a very impressive live band at work. Over the twelve tracks on Live Ballroom Ritual you are assaulted by a live show that is complex, bizarre and more often than not, brilliant. Goat are like few other bands around at the moment, or at least few other bands that have gained any sort of wide-ish spread recognition. They are at the forefront of experimental music and for good reason.Following the excellent 'Diarabi', 'Golden Dawn' is like something from another age. They fuse together tribal drums, reminiscent of early Santana, vocals reminiscent of African tribal music, funk guitars and a healthy dose of 70s psychedelic rock. It really is the sum of its parts, each component amalgamated together effortlessly.The band's playing is loose but on point throughout. Although coming across as totally free-form, there's a definite sense of purpose in every note they play. Despite more or less every song here being stretched far beyond its recorded length, very rarely does this feel tiresome. Whereas those who were around in the 70s may think that self-indulgence has been done and many others just shudder at the thought of it, it's rarely even an option these days. In musical climate where everything tends to veer towards a formula and where too many live acts just recreate their songs as they are on record, distracting us with glossy production values, the sense of adventure and old-school musicianship displayed by Goat is a more than welcome change in direction. This is original, invigorating music, played in an often overlooked manner. It's indulgent, but it's not self-gratifying. The listener is the one being indulged.Trying to categorise Goat's music would be a hopeless exercise. Where one second they're unleashing the crazed psych-disco of 'Disco Fever', the next they're laying down the slow, infectious groove of 'Let It Bleed'. The groove is led by guitar work which is largely reminiscent of Tinariwen's Saharan-blues. Though influences are notable throughout, they are moulded and worked to fit within the band's own singular vision of fusion music. By the end of 'Let It Bleed', jazz trumpets have taken the lead and the song is off heading down a different road. Even if you've heard their studio work, their live set is still ridden with surprise turns.It's a rare occurrence that a live album truly seizes your attention and presents itself as a piece of work to be judged on an equal footing as a studio record. Live Ballroom Ritual however, is one of those occurrences. Obviously, to see them live, with their masks, energy and grand sense of theatre would be even more impressive, but as long as you can remove that from your mind, you're not likely to hear many better live albums. Generally, live albums serve as a reminder of a tour you attended or as an addition to your collection of a favourite band's recordings. Obviously there are exceptions and great live albums do exist, but it remains hugely impressive for a live album to be this enjoyable. Especially when you don't know the band's work inside out. That is the true testament to a band's live credentials.'Run To Your Mama' best embodies how good a live album this is. The huge guitar chord that beckons the song in really grabs you by the particulars and whisks you along with its primal energy. Where too many live albums try, and fail, to recreate the atmosphere of being at the gig with overly loud crowd noise and every bit of chat from the band, Live Ballroom Ritual makes the music the sole focus. As a result of this, you feel more like you're actually there than any crowd atmosphere will ever manage.For the sake of finding some kind of downside to the album, 'Goatlord' is a bit dull and 'Disco Fever' should perhaps be a bit shorter. Other than that though, they've pretty much nailed it. Of course, by the very nature of the music, Goat will be far from everybody's cup of tea but it's a cup that everyone should try at least once.The pinnacle of the album is 'Det Som Aldrig Förändras - Kristallen Den Fina'. It's an eleven minute amalgamation of everything that Goat do; and it just so happens that they do almost all of it really rather well. Its introduction and monumental riff could almost be on a Kyuss record and from here it meanders fearlessly into every corner of psychedelic rock. Put simply, it's fucking brilliant. That's also the best way to describe Goat and the best way to describe this album. Listen to it now." - The 405
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  • Special edition CD/DVD set arrives in a digipak. The bonus DVD contains Steven Wilson's mixes: DTS 5.1, Dolby AC3 5.1 and 24/48 Stereo LPCM tracks (no idea why it's not 24/96). You also get a lot of documentary footage as well.This should probably suck but it actually doesn't. Because of a rift between Ian Anderson and Martin Barre this is being put into the market as "Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson". As you by now surmise this is a musical sequel to the original album. Again its a concept album updating us on the life of the main character Gerald Bostock. In live performance, Anderson's voice is shot. Within the context of the studio recording he plays it smart and never takes his voice where it doesn't want to go. Lots of Hammond organ and flute gives it the authentic 70s Tull flavor. Admittedly my expectations were pretty low but I have to say that this is far better than it has any right to be.
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  • Limited edition import 2CD set with 7 bonus tracks!"When you made the impact that Bigelf did in 2010 with their fourth album ‘Cheat The Gallows’ and the subsequent tour, it’s inevitable that people expected the highly rated band from Los Angeles to hit hard in 2011. But instead we got an astonishing silence. However, all that is about to change with the arrival of ‘Into The Maelstrom’, a new album of melodic prog-doom that eccentric frontman Damon Fox believes will take Bigelf to new heights. “I have been reflecting on the band and pondering what it would take to get us to the next level, I believe we have accomplished this task on the new record.The last three years for Fox have been confusing and difficult, to say the least, as he found the band he’d worked so hard to establish suddenly dissipated. “I’d call our break a spontaneous hiatus. 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This was around the time when Mike had his dramatic press-laden departure from Dream Theater. I knew Mike loved Bigelf, and he told me not to give up on it and to keep the band going. His encouragement really helped me to carry on through dark times.”"Getting the songs fully realized was something of a laborious experience", Fox explains. “In the past while I had written most of the material, I always had a incredibly gifted band to bounce ideas off of and we would often jam out to fully realize the song . But this time, I had to write, arrange and envision everything on my own. Once I got the selection of songs together, I sent the demos to Portnoy (who had agreed to play on the album). Mike is the busiest man in Prog, so the next time he was in LA, we laid down the drums at Linda Perry's studio, Kung-Fu Gardens where we did ‘Gallows’. I also wrote a song with her for the new album. The rest of the sessions and instrumentation were recorded at my home studio ITM.“I feel this album is going to prove to a lot of MP haters that Portnoy can really lay down a groove and has a serious vibe as a drummer. It’s not just about his chops and his pyrotechnic style, for which he’s known for, especially with Dream Theater. The feel and emotion in his playing on this record is really unique and it’s unlike anything else he’s done before in my opinion” Lovable lefty bassist Duffy Snowhill, who’s been with the band since 2000, is bringing his thundering Viking bass tones to the recording of ‘Into The Maelstrom’. Luis Maldonado is also climbing aboard the Elf vessel for his first trek. “Luis is a close friend who I’ve known for many years. He has his own band, Into The Presence, and works with a lot of established artists as well. Luis is a phenomenal guitarist, he delivered some really blistering leads on the new album. I'm supplied all of the rhythm guitar tracks and managed to squeeze in a few leads as well too. People usually associate me with keyboards – and there are copious amount on the album, to be certain – but originally Bigelf was founded around my guitar riffs, and it was really rewarding to be able to play guitar again from a nucleus standpoint.”‘Into The Maelstrom’ was produced by Fox (who also handles all the vocals), and believes this album proves that Bigelf are now exploring alien musical landscapes. “There’s a fresh aura and energy on there that’s completely different to our previous releases, but it also sounds like Bigelf. I view this album as being very psychedelic cinematic. It has a ‘Mad Max’ post-apocalyptic feel – a futuristic world that’s rather dirty and desolate filled with chaos and despair. The bludgeoning Sabbath guitars and “Karn-Evil” keys are still there, but the modern setting is what makes the record have a creative edge.While ‘Into The Maelstrom’ isn’t a concept album as such, Fox does reveal that there is a theme that links much of his lyricism. “It’s about traveling through time into one’s past and into the future, to experience and examine your pain and fears, in order to move forward in life. A lot of my baggage from the my travels provides the cathartic inspiration. Deep, personal feelings like the tragic death of my best friend and former Bigelf guitarist A.H.M. Butler-Jones. And my fears of mankind eventually destroying itself a la, ‘Planet Of The Apes’. I suppose the opening song, ‘Incredible Time Machine’, sums it all up.”Fox is clearly inspired and reinvigorated by the new focus Bigelf have made here. For him it’s not just about how the album sounds, but also the process involved in getting there. “Making the record has been a certain kind of journey. A few years ago I had to completely let go of Bigelf, which was painful but it came back with force and vision. As such, the music began to shape from a different perspective and I have been able to see an alternative way of accomplishing my goals. To me, ‘Into The Maelstrom’ is a genesis, a bridge between the band and a larger audience. Strap yourselves in ladies and gentlemen, you're in for a wild ride.”"
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  • Another finely crafted gem from this underrated German melodic metal band.
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  • New end of days Christian themed project put together by Neal Morse's drummer Collin Leijenaar. He's put together an interesting lineup. Spock's Beard/Enchant's Ted Leonard handles the vocals (he's amazing as always), Mike LePond of Symphony X is on bass, as well as German guitarist Daniel Fries. There is no keyboardist so Leijenaar enlisted a bunch - Alex Argento, Jordan Rudess, Neal Morse, and Derek Sherinian. Transatalantic producer Rich Mouser mixed the whole thing. As you would expect the whole shebang is all about the apocalypse and its wrapped up in this epic sounding amalgam of progressive rock and metal. Lots of shredding solos on guitar and keys. These guys need to take it on the road before they run out of time!!
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  • 2LP white vinyl edition.Stunning second solo effort from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Lunatic Soul explores the quieter, introspective side of the progressive spectrum. Duda plays most of the instruments himself, but he is also helped out by Indukti's Wawrzyniec Dramowic on percussion, and flautist Maciej Szelenbaum. The music has a definite Asian influence with a wonderful melodic flow. Think in terms of Riverside's quieter moments or Opeth's Damnation. It does rock out but not HARD since (once again) there are no electric guitars. This fact doesn't make the album any less intense. Album of the year candidate? Highest recommendation.
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