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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Sanhedrin - Ever After

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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Sanhedrin - Ever After

    Altrock has put out some great albums on their label over the years. This was one of the first from their "Fading" co-label and remains one of my favorites from the catalog, in part because of the obvious Camel influence. Any fans?



    Review from ProgArchives:
    Quite a charming piece of prog, this. Although instrumental prog bands come a dime a hundred these days it seems, there really are few that I would bother checking out, much less return to for repeated listening. Perhaps its just the formula's fairly cold dynamic of exercising performance abilities and erudite composition over emotion, but I have never managed to enjoy many of these acts. Thankfully, I was able to give Sanhedrin the time they needed to grow on me, and for me to realize that they have more going on to them than the usual play-hard instrumental groups I am used to finding. This is a group from Israel that started off as a tribute act to the classic UK band Camel, but have since evolved to writing their own material. While the roots in Camel are plainly evident on this, their debut record 'Ever After', the sound that this band creates is intelligent, inventive, and full of ideas that grow with time. While my preconceived fatigue with the style held me against the album at first, new listens to the album over the course of this afternoon have led me to see what a gem Sanhedrin have made here.

    Sanhedrin are a new band, but the sound they make is rooted deeply in alot of classic symphonic prog acts. Adding a dash of jazz fusion to the sound, Sanhedrin is vintage, but fresh, and I would rarely say that about a band who looks to the past so much for their inspiration. Besides the obvious main influence in Camel, I am also hearing alot of Jethro Tull here, specifically in the prevalent flute work of Shem-Tov Levi. Solos are generally alternated between the flutist and guitarist, and the rhythm is beefed up with rich organs and fusion-based drumwork. Upon my first listen to this album, the first thing that is readily evident are the band's skills as individual musicians, and overall tightness as a group. Although the actual hooks and quality of the composition are a little less immediately evident, there are many times here when the band pulls off some very slick passages, each starting and stopping in an organic unison.

    The state of the band being an instrumental act is something that may turn off some, although they are not necessarily held back by the lack of a vocalist. On this note though, Sanhedrin's music could easily integrate a vocalist into it. Unlike so many instrumental prog bands, there is not always someone noodling around with leads, the strongest aspects of Sanhedrin are when they are adhering to their songwriting. There are a fair amount of solos throughout 'Ever After' though, most notably led by the flute. The first half of this album is dominated by flute solos, and gives it a strong feeling of Jethro Tull. The latter half of the album gets more moderate from this, and although while Levi is a great flutist, the seemingly incessant flute work in parts can ultimately feel more like a ramble. This is only a small gripe I had with the record, and some listening to this record may not even see it as an issue at all.

    'Ever After' is certainly an excellent album by all accounts, and I might even say that it has opened me up a little more to the instrumental brand of prog rock. After all, prog has never been about adhering to notions of popular music, and Sanhedrin seem very content here to do their own thing, all the while paying homage to the greats that got them into prog in the first place. An exceptional debut album.- Conor Fynes


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  2. #2
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    I love this album- more than most Camel and Pink Floyd albums actually. There's some great flute playing and very evocative melodies here.

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    This one is a keeper. Just had it in the car during my 4 hour trip to progtoberfest in Chicago. Great flute and melodies.

  4. #4
    Adore this one. One of the best straight-ahead prog albums of the past decade. Cool that they got the legendary Shem-Tov Levi (No Names, Sheshet) to sit in on flute. I originally described this as “happy Änglagård” but on reflection, it reminds me more of the Atlas album, Blå vardag. Same instrumental palette, same breezy feel, same jazzy touches in what is essentially symphonic rock. Superb and deserving of more attention. A shame it hasn’t been followed up.
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  5. #5
    Glad to see some appreciation and love for this

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    A really nice melodic and melancholic album.

    But for me it doesn't go beyond the qualification "nice". It needs to be spiced up a bit imho.

  7. #7
    It's a nice slice. Some fine melodies and playing, and great to hear Shem Tov Levi in a modern progressive context (having been an important member of crucial Israeli bands such as Ktzat Acheret and Sheshet).

    There are other "new" Israeli acts I may be more fond of, but mostly due to stylistic preferences. In their idiom of choice, Sanhedrin are very good.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  8. #8
    Excellent album for the genre it sits. Unfortunately we didn't see a second one.
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    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Have it and love it.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    ...for me it doesn't go beyond the qualification "nice". It needs to be spiced up a bit imho.
    This is how I felt about it as well. I wound up letting it go, it just never particularly grabbed me. Spun some of the samples last night and rapidly lost interest. Even my wife said it was a bit lackluster. Glad there are those who enjoy it, but for me this album is just a bit too one-dimensional and I agree with the "needs spicing up" assessment.

    Bill

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    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I'm also in the damning with faint praise "nice" camp. I like it when it comes up on random but I can't remember consciously reaching for it other than the first 6 months after it came out. It's just a fairly inoffensive nice album.
    Ian

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    Never heard it.
    Prog's Not Dead

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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Love the Camel vibe but needs a few rougher edges

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    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Haven't played it in a long while but always an enjoyable listen!
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    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    Have it and love it.
    what he said
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post

    There are other "new" Israeli acts I may be more fond of, but mostly due to stylistic preferences. In their idiom of choice, Sanhedrin are very good.
    I was recently approached by a local progressive band - this Sanhedrin album is a sort of a reference to how they want the sound - will see how it goes...

  17. #17
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    A really nice melodic and melancholic album.

    But for me it doesn't go beyond the qualification "nice". It needs to be spiced up a bit imho.
    +!
    The same here!
    Last edited by TCC; 11-08-2017 at 09:13 AM.
    Pura Vida!.

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  18. #18
    Member rottersclub's Avatar
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    I've always liked this one. As mentioned above, a breezy Camel-like ambience. For sure it should be filed under 'easy listening', but then, sometimes it's nice not to have to work too hard when I listen.
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  19. #19
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottersclub View Post
    I've always liked this one. As mentioned above, a breezy Camel-like ambience. For sure it should be filed under 'easy listening', but then, sometimes it's nice not to have to work too hard when I listen.
    Yes, agree 100%
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  20. #20
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    I totally enjoy this album. Really wish they'd crank out another.

    Interesting that some think it should have some rougher edges. Isn't there already enough of that? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes I need this. And to be fair, I think they have more in the way of 'rough edges' than Camel. Just my 2 cents.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    Interesting that some think it should have some rougher edges. Isn't there already enough of that? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes I need this.
    It's totally reasonable to enjoy this for what it is. For me, it's rare that I listen to music that doesn't have a bit more "zip." So this album just never really had a place for me, which is why I got rid of it. I have plenty of stuff to listen to, too much really. So when something bores me, that is the kiss of death and I get rid of it. But that isn't to say the album is boring, it's just boring to me. If others enjoy it, great!

    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    And to be fair, I think they have more in the way of 'rough edges' than Camel. Just my 2 cents.
    Well, I don't hear it. I only like early Camel, and I hear a "go for it" approach in a lot of their early music that is totally lacking to my ears in Sanhedrin. Again, nothing wrong with Sanhedrin, it just doen't appeal to my tastes in Prog Rock, or music generally.

    Bill

  22. #22
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    Love this album! I agree with the Camel comparisons - - time to give it another spin - - - - -

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    Interesting that some think it should have some rougher edges. Isn't there already enough of that? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes I need this.
    Good point there, Bill. Also, there's the factor of context; this stuff isn't really adjusted for too many rough edges in the first place. It's pretty carefully controlled and constructed melodic environments, consciously referring but not necessarily limiting itself to sounds of yore. Additionally, if by "rougher edges" is implied the Wilson-type pseudo-metallic heavy bottom, that wouldn't fit at all in this respect.

    Nah, I'd say that for what it sets out to do, it's a successful attempt overall.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  24. #24
    Member Zalmoxe's Avatar
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    I have it and keep it in high regard. Good reminder that is maybe time to revisit the album. Love the flute on it.

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