Onségen Ensemble — Duel
(Pink Tank, 2018, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-09-26
These enigmatic Finns return to the fold after two years with their second full length album, Duel. Onségen Ensemble have matured their sound, moving away from stoner rock to a more intricate and sophisticated set of psych-prog instrumentals. To you give you some appreciation of what they have achieved on Duel, it might be easier to run through a track-by-track synopsis than discuss Duel as a whole. The album opens with “Think Neither Good Nor Evil,” eight minutes of heavy psych-prog and analog synths with several tempo and mood shifts. Near the end of the track they adds brass, flute, and female humming to build the climax. In fact, brass instruments are a key element on most of the tracks and provide interesting and engaging sonic textures to the guitar, bass, drums, and synth base. The title track segues seamlessly and over the course of this fantastic track there is the constant dueling of guitars with the brass. Next is “Dogma MMXVIII,” a high energy psych jam that is followed by “Three Calls of the Emperor's Teacher.” Here is another high energy instrumental with intricate jamming, driving heavy metal chords, and what I think might be a Mellotron down in the mix. The album closes with “Zodiacal Lights of Onségen,” a dreamy and moody track with a cosmic vibe the builds to a strong cinematic spaghetti western atmosphere. Midway through, the music disassociates, only to coalesce into a majestic climax with outstanding brass and flute. And it fades to reveal a quiet bagpipe outro. I am impressed by this new album and happy to see how the band has matured over the last two years.
Related artist(s): Onségen Ensemble
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more