It's been a few years, but Texas instrumental prog outfit Herd of Instinct are back with a revamped line-up and a new album, titled Manifestation. Joining multi-instrumentalist Mark Cook (Warr guitar, guitar, bass, Mellotron, assorted keyboards) are Djam Karet's Gayle Ellet (Mellotron, Moog, Hammond organ, guitar), Mike McGary (Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, organ, clavinet, synth, piano, bells), Rick Read (Chapman Stick, bass, Taurus pedals), and Ross Young (drums), with some help from Bob Fischer (flute, sax), Bill Bachman (drums), and Stephen Page (violin).
If you loved the bands first two releases, Manifestation is going to be pure aural candy, there's no other way to say it. The two part title track is prog bliss, as intricate polyrhythms rumble underneath dueling Warr guitar & Chapman Stick with just the right amount of tasty Mellotron floating around. "Gridlock" and "Baby Yaga" add some fusion elements to the mix, while "Saddha" veers into dark, King Crimson styled prog territory, complete with menacing riffs and plenty of interlocking passages. Some great fretless bass lines from Cook lead off the enchanting "Dybbuk", another complex number with more than a hint of King Crimson as well as perhaps a touch of Gentle Giant, the vintage sounding keyboards adding a symphonic element in spots. There's no shortage of groove on "Time and Again", which also features some great Hammond and violin parts, but the band doesn't forget their jazz influences, which creep up on the haunting "Shatterpoint".
I could go on and on about each track here, but each one is its own musical journey and needs to be experienced & enjoyed by the listener. Manifestation is a top notch instrumental album that delivers not only sizzling progressive rock, but also touches on bits of jazz-fusion and dark electronic as well. Fan-damn-tastic all around!!!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Manifestation Part Two
3) Baba Yaga
4) Manifestation Part One
8) Time and Again
10) Waterfalls and Black Rainbows