When you have an album to review, most of the time the regular album that will find its way to the store is the same one as the one landing on my desk. Sometimes you get a “pure” promo CD; a wallet with just the CD and no further information, like a booklet. In case of the latest release of Ozric Tentacles' Technicians Of The Sacred, the record company has chosen not to send the regular album, nor a wallet, but just a plain CDR holding the complete two albums worth of music with the exception of the songs Far Memory and Zingbong. Just a choice made by the record label and therefore both of these songs are not included in the review.
Space rock band Ozric Tentacles finds its roots in the early eighties and over the years band leader, guitarist and synth player Ed Wynne took the phrase “ you have to see your band colleagues as you family” very literarily with his wife Brandi Wynne as bass player and their son Silas Wynne as the band's synth player. The position of drummer has been changed regularly and for this album we find Balázs Szende behind the drum-kit.
Technicians Of The Sacred is the first release since the 2011 album Paper Monkeys and the change, I don't want to use the word “progression” here is that the band seems to focus more on the electronic side of space. The first composition that really is based around guitar melodies is the first song of the second CD; Epiphlioy. A song that embeds middle eastern style melodies into the hypnotizing atmosphere that ruled album One. Therefore Epiphlioy wakes me from the trance I was in and easily works its way up to the title “best song of the album(s)” . Don't get me wrong, other compositions are absolutely worth listening to, but along the way I really can't tell which song has this melody or which has that fine glide bass part. Nevertheless Ozric Tentacles are still the best sounding space rock band of this time and it makes me happy every time Ed Wynne chooses to let his guitar do the talking over the complex pallet of music that had been placed underneath. They have the skills to write a catchy melody, like in Zenlike Creature and build a complete and interesting song around it.
Hard-core Ozric fiends will be absolutely thrilled with the new music, while occasionally listeners will find it harder to hear something new. Technicians Of The Sacred is a solid album that needs to be played live to fully get into the music. Add some real Dutch vegetables and you have the night of your life. For me personally; I already have an Ozric album.
***+ Pedro Bekkers
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