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Ghost - Hypnotic Underworld CD (album) cover

HYPNOTIC UNDERWORLD

Ghost

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.95 | 20 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Hypnotic Underworld" truly is a special album that will please all you Psychedelic fans out there. I like that there's some variety on here yet it doesn't drift from that Psychedelic sub-genre. We get mellotron on five tracks along with plenty of flute, electronics and sax. Very cool too that they cover a Syd Barrett tune along with an obscure EARTH & FIRE song.

"Hypnotic Underworld" is an interesting choice to start the album as it's a four piece suite worth around 24 minutes of music. Interesting because the majority of it is sparse and ambient bringing to mind Miles Davis but instead of trumpet it's the sax that is crying out on and off throughout Part 1. And while I thought of Miles right away this is much more Psychedelic and Haunting than Miles. Rumbling drums, sax and experimental sounds come and go during this 13 1/2 minute opening part. Part 2 is similar but we get a rhythm and also an Eastern vibe. Piano joins in later and it turns more intense as well. Part 3 opens with electronics and I like when it kicks in with a heavier sound and those MOODY BLUES-like backing vocals. Vocals follow as the backing vocals continue. Nice. Part 4 is less than a minute of an intense drum-led piece.

"Hazy Paradise" is a B-side of an EARTH & FIRE release and hazy is the word. It's like being stoned on a sunny day walking in a field. The vocals and sound are so uplifting. Love this song! Check out the guitar 2 minutes in and how good does this sound before 4 minutes with the mellotron, vocals, guitar and drums. Exhilarating! "Kiseichukan" features bass and intricate sounds including the sound of water as flute plays over top. The vocals are spoken. "Piper" has flute and little else in the ballad-like intro. There's a bit of Celtic vibe here with the tin flute. It kicks into gear a minute in with strummed guitar, organ, drum and more. It settles right down as the flute returns and vocals arrive, piano too. It kicks in again as contrasts continue. Love the aggressive guitar after 3 minutes as well as the mellotron a minute after that.

"Ganagmanag" is such a trippy tune that I can't help but think of the kings of trippy in AGITATION FREE. Love the sound here. The flute plays over top as they seem to just jam away. So good! Piano joins in before 2 1/2 minutes. The flute stops after 5 minutes changing the flavour here. Then the tempo picks up before 8 minutes. There's a UNIVERS ZERO vibe with that powerful and dark piano play. "Feed" is another excellent track that reminds me of FLOYD("Meddle") with the strummed guitar and psychedelic mood. Reserved vocals join in then it turns more powerful. I like this one a lot, especially when that opening theme is repeated each time. Mellotron late.

"Holy High" has tin flute and a Celtic flavour with plenty of energy. Vocals join in before a minute and it's either the flute or vocals leading the way but not both. Check out the mellotron late to end it as the flute and vocals have both stopped. "Dominoes/ Celebration For The Gray Days" is a Barrett cover from his second studio album. This is such a hazy tune and the vocals are relaxed like the song. A change though 3 1/2 minutes in as the soundscape starts to swirl as vocal melodies can be heard. Kind of cool actually. Deep pulsating sounds join in before 5 minutes followed by heavy drums as it continues to build. Great tune!

This was my favourite album to listen to last week, it just fills that psychedelic area of my brain otherwise known as the black hole. Fvourite songs include the opening suite along with "Hazy Paradise" and "Feed". Japan has had many great Psychedelic bands since the late sixties but GHOST might be the best of them all.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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