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Audion # 28, Spring 1994 by Alan Freeman (England)
Well, it took so long for this to come out, and I was already very familiar with the demo mix I already had, that I clean forgot to review this. Oops! Yep, so long in the vaults, you'll probably recall that back in Audion # 16 (page 21) I reviewed their amazing concerts in Sheffield and London, and the week after that they were off to Foel Studios in Wales to record this.
Three years on, and eventually the world could experience the phenomenal quartet of Hasse Horrigmoe, Ronald Nygård, Svein Hugo Bergvik and Kjell Oluf Johansen. In the meantime, we'd experinced a more relaxed live set on the lengthy ENTANGLED SCORPIO ENTRANCE, but despite the excellence of that, EULOGY is all the more excellent and innovative. This is the band we'd seen live, purely intuitive and engaging, with a type of music that's all too rare these days, a fusion of all sorts of ethnic musics: European (Scandinavian, Mediterranean, Balkan), Eastern and Oriental, in a kind of rock music that covers the psychedelic and cosmic sounds to heavy jazz fusion. Nowhere less is this potpurri of styles experienced than in the near-on 23 minute suite Walk of the Frozen Ones, with its counterpointing sections of powerful sax fronted Ragnarõk - like power against subdued almost Egyptian-like semi-acoustic flute fronted excursions, the end section of which builds almost bolero-like with restrained guitars and almost agonising restraint.
Then there's the hefty (11 minutes of) The Cryptic Empire And The Principle Sanctuary with its almost Krautrock-like feel, hints of Embryo, thisrty Moon and Xhol here, and again its a work of contrasts: power and restraint, with sax in the heavy sections and flowery flute lines in the more restrained parts, and also lots of guitar to keep the guitar fan happy. It's pieces like this that I mourn the departure of Svein, his sax and flute added an extra special feature to the TANGLE EDGE sound, no since Ragnarõk's FATA MORGANA had I heard such a well crafted balance of emotional intensity in rock music.
So finally, a very different aspect of the TANGLE EDGE sound in Harem Shuffle, this could almost be a session of Amon Düül and Embryo musicians from the very early-70's, with its acoustic guitars, Arabian flute and hand percussion, the epitome of the mystical cover art, a memorable transport back to the acoustic set they did in Sheffield. Ah, it's lights out and incense time!
EULOGY is an album that fits it's title well, there's
so many influences at play, yet there's also so much unique invention, that the
homage's blend with the originality and create something all the more special. A
classic! How about a new studio album lads?
Taking longer to appear than FREAKBEAT 8, at last the fabled EULOGY becomes a reality. We reviewd this classy piece of prog/ psych in our TANGLE EDGE feature in FREAKBEAT 7 so we'll merely repeat here, that if you live for complex pieces of guitar dominate instrumental head music woth a cosmic Kraut Rock feel, then you'll not survive long without a copy of this. (You'll also want to hear the exclusive acoustic TANGLE EDGE track on the Delerium Fun With Mushrooms compilation.) The whole side one is composed of Walk Of The Frozen Ones which is at times heavy and demanding and at others more relaxed and drifting. Side two contains intricate middle eastern melodies particularly bewitching during the hazy Harem Shuffle which includes some fine flute work by Svein Hugo Bergvik (who left the band shortly after recording the album).
Other Comments from the press:
"The beauty of the music and the instrumental skills of TANGLE EDGE are too good to miss. Very highly recomended." (Crohinga Well, Belgium)
"Great sleeve and great music, but htne what else would you expect from the Tanlges."(Ptolemaic Telescope, UK)
"A fresh and inventive album."(Melodie & Dissonance, Italy)
"They are intelligent, unwilling to cater to the mainstream."(Camera Obscura, USA)
"Shining creativity"(Supernatural Fairytales, Italy)