Swifan Eolh & The Mudra Choir - The Key

SKU Apollon ARP 019
"Some artists just live to push the envelope like they’re working at the post office - and where would we be without them? For when it comes to invention, it is the eclectic and the eccentric that tend to cook some of the most delectable of stews in the pools of creativity; ones which the more adventurous of us shall happily devour.
We certainly cannot speak of juicing the fruits of the creative trees without dropping a reference to Progressive Rock – for Prog. tends to be the Yggdrasil of musical innovation, along with its druids of mythical chords and travellers of odd times. Newcomers SWIFAN EOLH & THE MUDRA CHOIR clearly fit the aforementioned description, and on their multifarious debut “The Key” the Norwegian Proggers look to unlock all the mysteries that the world of music has left to offer.
Welcome to a land of fantasy and myth that is “The Key”. I suppose that if Frodo and the gang were to assemble a band down in the Shire and knock out a couple RUSH songs, it would sound something like this. The record meets the needle with a splash of grooves in “Wounded Dreams”, a 70’s flavoured Prog. Rock jam that jumps right out of a psychedelic Fusion heaven and warps times signatures with creamy keyboard accents a la Ray Manzarek. As the track unfolds you instantly acknowledge the strong, whimsical scents of JETHRO TULL and IAN ANDERSONS solo work - particularly in the curious lyrical and vocals approaches of Rune Seip Bjørnflaten and Synøve Jacobsen, whose spirited choral interplay animates this record with a definitive narrative aesthetic. Following a brief, classical guitar interlude of “Heart of Sadness” we take a take another strong sip of progressive brew with “Spiders in the Old Café” where the twangy guitars race ahead of thick slabs of bass to deliver a soulful, and probably the record’s most poignant offering that echoes of PINK FLOYD’s “A Sauceful of Secrets”.
Things get slightly more funky as we move onto “Earth Shakes, Rattles n Snakes”, where the band give their guitars a bit more kick and draw on influences in the likes of Richie Blackmore’s RAINBOW and KING CRIMSON to deliver a spacey, rocking offering that even packs a few mirrored glares from a Disco ball. Then, after the ambient interlude “Cantus” bridges yet another dimensional gap, SWIFAN EOLH & THE MUDRA CHOIR slow things down on “Tides Are Turning”, a smooth, at times Jazzy ballad that is probably the album’s least experimental and most accessible offering; opting to simply channel Rock classics like “Child In Time”, whilst at the same coating it in their own swirl of colours.
As the mysterious interlude “Blessed Be” introduces us to the final (and title) track, we are already aware of what to expect. And we receive it threefold, as the band lay down yet another bottomless groove of bass and off-beat drums to close out this acid wonderland of a record on high. “The Key” swings, swoops, and bops to end with confidence and progressive panache of a band that – if you didn’t know any better – may have been a staple in the 70’s Psychedelic Rock scene. What also makes this album so enjoyable – besides the effervescent content and committed performances – is its fine-tuned production, which perfectly encapsulates the warm, pillow thick sound of a 1970’s recording that rumbles in all the right ways.
Overall – this one is a trip… “The Key” is indeed a peculiar and fascinating offering that is as welcoming as it is bewildering. Campy, but at the same time genius, this record is a perfect fit for fans of fun and quirky, but nonetheless enchanting sounds to the tune of IRON BUTTERFLY and THE MOODY BLUES. So tune in to SWIFAN EOLH & THE MUDRA CHOIR, and let them take you on a ride you won’t soon forget."-Metal Temple
  • LabelApollon
  • UPC7090039721796
Your Price $15.00

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