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Herd of Instinct: Conjure

Texas band Herd Of Instinct released their debut album in 2011 as a trio. Their most recent album Conjure sees the addition of Gayle Ellett (Moog, Hammond organ, Rhodes and dilruba). The rest of the band includes Jason Spradlin (drums and percussion), Mike Davison (guitar, 12 string acoustic, and guitar synth) and Mark Cook (Warr guitar, ADG fretless bass, guitar, and programming).

Conjure is an excellent album that should delight progressive rock fans. The band will take you on a fabulous journey with their explorations of prog, jazz, ambient, metal and World music. Suffice to say the ride will not be easy but it wasn't meant to be. After all, we are not talking about the latest flavour of the month. No, this is serious progressive rock, intelligently played with tons of variation in themes and styles. Their main influence is undoubtedly King Crimson but Herd of Instinct are definitely their own band, forging a brand of eclectic progressive rock that they can be very proud of.

A main highlight of the band is how they are able to incorporate softer ambient sections with heavier motifs. A prime example is "Alice Krige pt. 1", one of the albums best songs. The intro is very spacey and moody, with plenty of atmosphere, the notes dripping with an ethereal quality that is pure candy to these ears. These sections are meshed perfectly with the crunchier riffs. As an added bonus the fretless bass of guest musician Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) is delightful, adding a rich textural component. In "Dead Leaf Echo" the softer, ambient-like beginning is offset with heavier riffs and beats with the changes from soft to heavy made effortlessly. "Brutality of Fact" features a pretty nice melody amidst the angular rhythms and complex drum patterns. Another highlight is the superb "Solitude One", featuring spacey synths, ultra-cool electronic programming and an Eastern melody that will have you hitting the repeat button.

Other high points include the addictive "Ravenwood" with its poignant melody and the melancholic "Mother Night" featuring superb all around musicianship, including a layering of Mellotron that should take you back a few years. The spacey section half way through is a real ear opener.

I could go on but I think you get the picture. I just love this album and anyone searching for new and exciting music needs to hear this sooner rather than later. An essential addition to your prog collection!


Track Listing:
1. Praxis (5:14)
2. Dead Leaf Echo (3:18)
3. Brutality of Fact (3:17)
4. Alice Krige pt. 1 (5:54)
5. Solitude One (4:25)
6. Ravenwood (3:27)
7. Mother Night (4:23)
8. Vargtimmen (4:59)
9. Malise (3:15)
10. New Lands (4:12)
11. A Sense of an Ending (5:30)
12. The Secret of Fire (5:16)

Added: June 20th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2051
Language: english

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