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(73:55; Lizard Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Cycles 14:16 2. Clouds to Owings Mills 7:27 3. Stone and Lydia 8:17 4. Quest of the Kingfisher 7:15 5. Muralidaran 5:40 6. Ascension 5:19 7. The Reality You Can't Stop Dreaming 13:20 8. The Whistler Shrill 8:03 9. Traigh Bheasdaire 4:18 LINEUP: Sergey Gvozdyukevich - vocals, keyboards, bass, guitars, flutes Vladimir Sobolevsky - keyboards, bass, guitars Mikhail Kinchin - drums with: Vitaly Appow - bassoon Aliona Sukliyan - oboe Alexandra Gankova - vibraphone, xylophone, timpani
Prolusion. Belarus band THE WORM OUROBOROS was formed back in 2006 in Minsk, and have since slowly developed their craft as a creative entity. In 2013 they released their debut album "Of Things That Never Were" on Italian label AltRock's sublabel Fading Records. Several years would pass before the band was able to finalize a new album though, and if I have understood matters correctly their label closed down shop a few years back as well. Towards the tail end of 2019 The Worm Ouroboros returned though, now signed to Lizard Records for their second album "Endless Way From You".
Analysis. The Worm Ouroboros are considered to be an eclectic progressive rock band, a tag usually attached to a band that blend aspects of several varieties of progressive rock and most often with at least one of the more challenging aspects of the genre being a part of the greater totality. Which appears to be an apt and appropriate choice in terms of context in my opinion. This is an eclectic production, and one a tad more challenging than the norm as well. Besides featuring compositions that ebb and flow in intensity and use multiple arrangements with a liberal glee throughout, this is indeed a band that know their way around the subgenre jungle of progressive rock very well indeed. Initially this CD opens as more of a retro-oriented venture, with slowing, elegant material that comes with associations towards Camel first and foremost but also, at least to a lesser degree, bands such as Genesis as well. Possibly, although this may well be accidental, Eloy too. Wandering piano motifs is a staple here as elsewhere on this production, with flowing, elegant flute motifs as well as keyboards and Mellotron of a similar nature providing that Camel vibe alongside rhythms that at times adds a subtle touch of jazz to the proceedings. The tangents adds an occasional touch of Genesis, and the combination of bass and keyboards on a couple of occasions made me think of Eloy. As this album unfolds we are treated to a more folk-oriented interlude kind of affair, with a feistier more Jethro Tull oriented flute delivery as a strong identity mark, before the bands starts segueing into very different landscapes indeed. The atmospheric Camel-tinged vistas are still recurring, but now with elements from classical music and chamber music added to the palette, in addition to darker, quirkier sections, some featuring vocals too, that see the band dipping their toes into territories much closer to what a band like Magma have been exploring for their entire career. More expressive, challenging, darker and dramatic music. Rarely if ever explored in full, but as an added and occasionally dominant aspect of the compositions on the second half of this CD. The Worm Ouroboros opts for a gentler, more atmospheric laden affair to conclude this album, a fitting and suitably relaxing manner in which to end a journey that strikes me as being rather demanding as a listener. Not due to use of extreme effects or dissonant arrangements, but due to the multiple layers of smaller details that is a just about constant aspect of this album. These details are doing a very good job of maintaining tension throughout this production, but they are also taxing for the mind when trying to keep track of everything going on. As with so many other albums released today, I find this sophomore effort by The Worm Ouroboros to be a strong production. Well made material, with a quality mix and production, and without any weak points as such. It's not an album that takes my breath away, but a CD that appears to be rock solid, with an even, high quality to everything throughout.
Conclusion. The Worm Ouroboros is a good example of what an eclectic progressive rock band is all about, and documents that a band can create challenging and demanding music without relying on avant, experimental or abrasive effects to emphasize the challenging aspects of the material. An album that, in essence, is a production that should be considered something of an essential purchase for those who love their Camel and their Magma in equal measures.
Progmessor: July 2020
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