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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Siena Root - Different Realities

  1. #1
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Siena Root - Different Realities

    Originally released in 2009, Different Realities is now 10 years old. This is the album that introduced me to the group, and I still think it's their best.



    Review from ProgArchives:
    Yet another one of these Scandinavian retro-prog bands: I'm not using the term in a derogatory manner, but it's really the best way to describe their music, an excellent mainly instrumental psych-prog rock that is obviously very inspired of the 70's, all the way down to the recording process, entirely and proudly presented as 100% analogue, its general length (2 x 25') and its vinyl issue proudly announced on the mini-Lp's inner sleeve. Difficult to say whether the group is a trio or a sextet, because from the line-up listing, there are three musicians who don't appear very busy: the female vocalist, the flauter and the ac-&-el hurdy-gurdy player. The lion share of the music is handled by the guitarist-keyboardist KB West, but he's well-helped by bassist Riffer and percussionist Fursberg.

    Music-wise, there are only two "sidelong" suites, each clocking a normal vinyl side (roughly 25') and composed of four and six movements respectively. When I spoke of retro-prog above, it's clear that SR's main influence are more in the early 70's heavy rock ala Zeppelin, Purple, Heep and Sabbath than in the ELP or Crimson realm, but their mix and songwriting makes their soundscapes definitely proggier than their influences. The A- sidelong track is called We and is the only one featuring (often effect-laden) vocals and lyrics (most of it in the first movement) and a tiny bit at its close, and there are some Mid- Eastern and Indian overtones spread throughout the "epic", namely some Arabian ambiances in the Desert movement. The music is moody, sometimes a bit hazy, slightly more "prog" than "psych" and never boring.

    The "flipside" track starts out more Sabbath-y (as in slightly doomy) and if you listen well, you'll hear imbedded in the loud guitar grunts, some hurdy-gurdy, before the sitar, darbuka, tzouras and qaraqab and step in to evoke the Agartha/Raagmala realm. This "epic", while still complex is definitely more psych and jam-like than its companion piece. Fairly likely to please to 70's loving progheads that are not too-demanding accepting intellectually the "retro-prog" philosophy , SR's first album is an interesting (and even impressive, but not really essential) slice of today's prog scene, but I won't cross the line to call it "modern" prog either. - Sean Trane


    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  2. #2
    Always meant to listen to these guys but never did. I should rectify that.

  3. #3
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I haven't heard this one before - time to check it out.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    The same here ... out of my radar ... like it!
    Thanks!
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
    Duke Ellington.

  5. #5
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Gotta go & correct the few typos and omissions on that review

    Will definitely give it a relisten next w-e.


    Edit:

    mmmmhhh!!!... I never gave them more than a Gnosis 9 (three albums heard) and a PA 3.5, and I kind of understand why...

    And it was the last one I bought annd after, I kind of lost track of these guys.
    Last edited by Trane; 10-28-2019 at 06:34 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  6. #6
    Yes, on one hand one could say that it's their "best" as it's their most overtly progressive. On the other hand, I don't think it's comparable to their latest offerings which are in a completely different style, closer to a straightforward version of Uriah Heep/Deep Purple with a blesy vibe.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  7. #7
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    This was my first exposure to these guys when it was first released. I scooped up a few more but haven't really kept up with them. Now, whenver I get the itch, I listen to their live album "Root Jam". That is where this band shines the most, when allowed room to improvise a little.
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    Yes, on one hand one could say that it's their "best" as it's their most overtly progressive. On the other hand, I don't think it's comparable to their latest offerings which are in a completely different style, closer to a straightforward version of Uriah Heep/Deep Purple with a blesy vibe.
    Yes, I was a bit surprised to hear some excerpts of Different Realities because I had only heard Pioneers. Although their retro hard rock sounds good, this more psychedelic first album may be more to my taste, so thanks to the mods for bringing it to my attention.

  9. #9
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    Good band that I need to spend more time with...
    Prog's Not Dead

  10. #10
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    I dig it, although this is the only album I have by the band. To my ears it is pretty retro-sounding like a good late 60's / early 70's heavy blues/psych album with some nice significant ethnic/folk meanderings. Some great sounds including sitar, tzouras, darbuka, rauschpfeife (a double-reed sounding a bit like a crumhorn), and keep yer' ears open for the acoustic & electric hurdy gurdy! Well played and produced. Sounds like I might want to check out the live stuff.

  11. #11
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    A nice heavy-psych album in the vein of the early seventies. It's a good thing that this CD is mostly instrumental and hence they don't bother us with their poor English. I like that raga style of The Road to Agartha which is my fave.

  12. #12
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    Different Realities caught my ear when it came out. For me it hit a previously-unknown sweet spot between stoner rock and raga rock. As much as I enjoyed it for a few years after release I didn't follow up by purchasing more recent Siena Root CDs. Need to do some additional research on newer material.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Yves View Post
    Now, whenver I get the itch, I listen to their live album "Root Jam". That is where this band shines the most, when allowed room to improvise a little.
    I've seen them on that tour. Excellent gig! And they lit the drums set on fire at the end...
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

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