1 Psychedelic Poetry 11:54
2 Tantalizing Thoughts 13:55
3 Arousing Imaginary Vortex 7:33
4 Oriental Insomnia 18:03
5 Dawn of Dreams 15:43
Groove|GR-209 (CD 67:08) ****½
(Mix of Netherlands School and Prog Rock)
I had been very impressed by the solid Days of Delirium and Nocturnal NightMares, which was the first sonic chapter of MorPheuSz back in 2011. We looked forward to the second. We even thought that this project which unites the Dutchmen Ron Boots and the brothers Eric and Harold van der Heijden to the German guitarist/synthesist Frank Dorittke was on tablets. We saw well the band here and there performed on festivals, but nothing more. And finally, after almost 3 years of wait, the group makes a strong comeback with an album which transcends the first 2 opuses. Set ablaze by the influences of Pink Floyd, Van Der Graff Generator, Ozric Tentacles and even Alan Parsons, the music of “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams” redefines the standards of this fusion so wished between EM and progressive rock. In particular because of the imposing presence of Harold van der Heijden on percussions (boy is he good!) and Frank Dorittke, and it without wanting to take away anything to two others, who carries the music of MorPheuSz towards another level.
A delicate movement of sequences escapes from the thick cloud of psychotronic noises which feeds the intro of "Psychedelic Poetry". The guitar draws wandering airs which float in clouds of mists as well as on this movement of sequences of which the soft tom-toms sculpt an ambient rhythm which is very near the electronic ballads of Ron Boots' repertoire. But we cannot also avoid this sensation to mislaid our thoughts in Roger Waters' Amused to Death and The Ballad of Bill Hubbard. The guitar and the soft intrusive rhythm are so similar. The emotions soar, as the crescendo gets intensified. The percussions of Harold van der Heijden make "Psychedelic Poetry" running in a kind of cosmic blues while the movement of sequences unfolds parallel lines of ambient rhythms which wind the structure with the complicity of a six-strings and of its more incisive solos. And, a little before the 6th minute point, "Psychedelic Poetry" explodes into a huge heavy progressive rock where it looks like Carlos Santana had replaced Peter Hammill in VDGG. The rhythm is heavy and surprisingly lively where the harmonies of Eric Van Der Heijden and Ron Boots bicker with Frank Dorittke's solos. Noises and electronic ringings, as well as these movements of sequences became stroboscopic, confer a splendid sound wealth which will seduce the music fan throughout this 3rd opus of MorPheuSz. I often make a reference to Pink Floyd? The voices and the hesitating arpeggios which open "Tantalizing Thoughts" would remove all of my credibility if I don't write about it. We are in the Animals era (Sheep). Only the rustlings of Frank Dorittke affix the signature MorPheuSz. Muffled and steady pulsations support a ghost rhythm which pulses in an ambient setting decorated by the guitar of F.D. Project's founder. A splendid guitar which takes care of charming our ears with sweet solos which take the shape of the harmonious curves of the keyboards. The drum and the pulsations become louder, more insistent and synth solos whistle over this ambient bicker which drops some very beautiful harmonies. I hear Ashra here. But for a brief moment. Because "Tantalizing Thoughts" falls under the wraths of the drum and the bites of a six-strings' riffs which weigh down and transport the ambiences towards a solid rock which will stay under the charms of the fluids synth solos. Simply superb! While the synths and guitar swap harmonies and peaceful solos, the very effective Harold van der Heijden clubs the rhythm with violent strikes and "Tantalizing Thoughts" sinks into the heaviness and the psychedelic perfumes "Psychedelic Poetry" where Frank Dorittke unchains his anger. This is a great track of which the conclusion revisits the harmonies abandoned by its intro.
You love Ozric Tentacles? You are going to devour "Arousing Imaginary Vortex". It's a nervous track which is knotted around a strong meshing of sequences and percussions but also pierced by the solos of a guitar with Arabian harmonies. Breezes, as black as accentuated, and pastoral ringings are bickering its rather ambient opening. Sequences are roundly skipping in tones of starving gargoyles and the percussions of Harold van der Heijden hammer a rhythm which espouse a kind of furious gallop. It's a solid piece of music which finds its charms in the light and subtle inclination of its movement, initiating a very good duel between nervous riffs, both from Frank Dorittke's six-strings and from the synths of the Ron Boots/Eric Van Der Heijden tandem. It takes some magic fingers to match the capacities of the synths. As says it the guide press; Frank Dorittke plays a bigger role on “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams”. A brilliant guitarist! And his Arabian fragrances persist on the very beautiful "Oriental Insomnia" which is more or less ambient and very rich in its perfumes of EM. Except for the finale which is as much explosive as the wild structure of rhythm which devours our ears from the 6th minute of "Psychedelic Poetry". "Dawn of Dreams" is also marbled by a more electronic approach. After a rather ambiospherical intro, a meshing of sequences and pulsations, as resonant as glaucous, sculpt an ambient rhythm which deeply pounds without exploding. The structure is tinted of black is of used as base to keyboard riffs and synth mists which seem to smothered the rollings of percussions, but not these delicate guitar solos which reveal some harmonies difficult to ignore. After a brief ambiosonic phase, "Dawn of Dreams" falls in a heavy but stagnant rhythm, where the guitar unfolds solos as heavy as the strikes of the drum in a sonic decoration which yet merges marvelously the borders of EM and of progressive rock.
The wait was long, but was worth it. The music of MorPheuSz is what does best in this universe where we try to join the poles of a music without concession and free of any commercial constraints that those of EM and of progressive rock. Except that, as Pink Floyd or yet Alan Parsons, the music of “Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams” rejects the corridors of dissonance or simple improvisations to offer a music to which we will become accustomed to a bit more easily. And never previously, the guitar and the drum will have served never so well this fascinating marriage of sonic forms.
Sylvain Lupari (May 20th, 2015)