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Purson: The Circle and the Blue Door

I can't heap enough praise on this album. It's captured my senses and my imagination and rewarded my multiple listens. Today alone, I've listened to it twice and that's after the 6 or 7 turns through it over the last 10 days or so. The music is a blend of folk, occult, and progressive rock—a perfect throwback to another era, one too long overshadowed by big arena bands. Listeners that enjoy Ghost B. C. will certainly dig these guys; maybe they'll even like these guys better. Don't get me wrong, I like Ghost plenty, but Purson lacks the gimmicky front and are better at working out lyrics, choruses, and hooks. The comparison may not be entirely fair—after all, Ghost is more Blue Oyster Cult to Purson's passion for The Faces. Nevertheless, both bands are looking backward to 70s occult rock and infusing it with new life. For me, Purson's music is more heavily layered and more lyrically interesting. Instead of endless paeans to Satan, Purson offers up warm and mysterious reflections on ghosts, memory, childhood, and so on. The music is also heavily textured with not only plenty of guitars, but also the warm sound of various organs. The best thing, though, is Rosie Cunningham's smooth and inviting vocals. She's great—and so is the rest of the band.

This is a seductive album, one that moves slowly, carefully, and deliberately through its songs, hoping to charm its listeners. Even better, the album plays off of the recent resurgence of interest in 70s rock without returning to the Ozzy-era Black Sabbath material that currently inspires every other band out there. Instead, this album comes from somewhere else, not necessarily a doomier place, but one preoccupied with David Bowie, the Beatles, The Faces, and Slade. I recommend just sitting back, headphones on, and enjoying its many moods and textures. For listeners that prefer heavy music to reach out and take them by the throat, this album will surely be a disappointment. But why not take a chance on something groovy and cool and leave the Black metal alone for a few hours?

Listen to this album; it's as simple as that.

Track Listing:
1. Wake Up Sleepy Head
2. The Contract
3. Spiderwood Farm
4. Sailor's Wife's Lament
5. Leaning on a Bear
6. Tempest and the Tide
7. Mavericks and Mystics
8. Well Spoiled Machine
9. Sappire Ward
10. Rocking Horse
11. Tragic Catastrophe

Added: September 17th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2367
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Purson: The Circle and the Blue Door
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-09-17 10:16:04
My Score:

The Circle and the Blue Door is one of those albums that comes along every so often and just surprises the hell out of you, a debut so rewarding but reveals new riches upon each listen. Purson, led by the enchanting Rosalie Cunningham on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, play a sort of psychedelic hard rock with plenty of folk, prog, and doom elements. Though you can hear bits of Deep Purple, Blackmore's Night, Black Sabbath, and King Crimson in their music, overall the sound is pretty unique, long on haunting Hammond organ, Mellotron, and thick guitar riffs, with Cunningham's vocals floating over the top. At times heavy, as on
"Spiderwood Farm" or "Leaning on a Bear", as well as dreamy, like on "Tempest and the Tide" and "Wake Up Sleepy Head", but the band also get their prog on quite well, which you can hear on "Well Spoiled Machine" and the wild "Sapphire Ward". The lyrics are extremely intoxicating, and the production warm & inviting. In other words, yes, this one's a winner folks, thanks to those always dependable folks over at Rise Above/Metal Blade.

» Reader Comments:

Purson: The Circle and the Blue Door
Posted by Jordan Farquharson on 2013-05-31 21:08:15
My Score:

You mentioned The Faces. Since when are they "occult rock"?

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