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

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jon Anderson - The More You Know – I knew there was something fishy about this CD when I looked at the song lengths - all are nearly identical. Pre-planned? Hmmmm, could be. After six solo releases since 1994, a vacation in Bermuda...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues