Exposé Online banner

Seven That Spells — The Men from Dystopia
(Beta-lactam Ring mt207, 2007, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2009-07-01

The Men from Dystopia Cover art

Who is the King of the Endless Riff? This Croatian band makes a credible case for their royal status on this release. The five tracks here, named simply with Roman numerals, flow without much delineation from one to the next: first comes seven minutes of essentially tempo-less meandering which builds into the second track, 20 minutes of a two-bar riff topped with all manner of spaced-out trippiness (including a bit of electric sitar) building to part three, where the guitar abandons the riff and shoots off into a wah- wah-drenched solo while the bass frees the riff from the exact repetition. This part is 16-plus minutes of guitar pyromaniac indulgence with a variety of effects spelled by strange vocals and the continuation of the almighty riff. Further developments drop the drums and reduce the riff to a single pounding note overlain by indecipherable sounds apparently including a hurdy-gurdy, reintroduce the drums, devolve to a drone, reprise the riff, and so on. The whole thing is soaked in enough reverb to make Carlsbad Caverns seem positively cramped, and while I know this is a stylistic choice (practically mandatory for this kind of music) I can’t help thinking that the pummeling riffs would actually have more impact on the listener if they were more distinct. Or maybe less blurring would expose the listener more directly to the fact that these guys are jamming on one chord for more than an hour. Fans of Acid Mothers Temple and similar psychedelic noise-masters take note.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Seven That Spells, Makoto Kawabata

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffin Men - Baker's Dozen & Live @ The Cavern – The Muffin Men are a UK based act that is heavily versed in the fine art of being a Frank Zappa tribute band that features old Mothers vocalist Jimmy Carl Black. Baker's Dozen serves as a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues