In 1922 the English writer Eric Rücker Eddison published a novel called The Worm Ouroboros. The book describes the protracted war between the domineering King Gorice of Witchland and the Lords of Demonland in an imaginary world that appears mainly medieval and partly reminiscent of Norse sagas. Like many other fantasy novels this book also inspired two groups for a band name, so you have to pay attention when you see the band name The Worm Ouroboros and the albums they made. I think that prog rock devotees are not interested in the band that hails from San Francisco, Oakland, USA. Instead, they should listen to the Belarussian band with the same name that released their debut Of Things That Never Were in 2013.
Of Things That Never Were certainly is a fine album that should reach a wider audience in the prog rock scene. The Worm Ouroboros consist of Sergey Gvozdyukevich (keyboards, acoustic guitar, bass, flutes, voice), Vladimir Sobolevsky (electric and acoustic guitars), Alexey Zapolsky (bass), Eugene Zarkhin (drums) and guest Vitaly Appow (reeds) and they succeeded in delivering eleven strong compositions on their debut. The mainly instrumental compositions have been evidently inspired by an album like Music Inspired By The Snow Goose (1975) by Camel . However, albums like Mirage (1974) and Rain Dances (1977) come to mind either when the music is more up-tempo. Furthermore I noticed influences of bands from the so-called Canterbury scene. Beside those influences I also heard some touches of pastoral and folk music.
It's not only the music on Of Things That Never Were that appealed to me, but also the artwork and the booklet. The cover holds a great sci-fi painting and inside the booklet you'll find a number of beautiful pictures of nature. All tracks are accompanied by some quotes from writers and other well-known people like scientist Albert Einstein, fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin, scenario writer George R.R. Martin (Game Of Thrones), Erik R. Edison and fantasy and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.
Although The Worm Ouroboros are certainly no copycats, all fans of Camel should check out Of Things That Never Were . Fortunately they managed to have a musical identity of their own, which gives this band the right to exist in the progressive rock scene. This band may be proud of such a fine debut.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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