Exposé Online banner

Onségen Ensemble — Duel
(Pink Tank, 2018, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-09-26

Duel Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Onségen Ensemble

More info
http://onsgenensemble.bandcamp.com/album/duel

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, a True Star – For those of you — the uninitiated — Todd Rundgren holds a unique place in the annals of progressive rock. In the early seventies, the man had left the power pop innovators The Nazz and strove to...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues