Sendelica follow up last year’s The Pavilion Of Magic And The Trials Of The Seven Surviving Elohim with the almost as lengthy titled The Satori in Elegance of the Majestic Stonegazer. Magical Ninin is the heavy hitting opening track. It’s a hard rocking psychedelic instrumental with searing guitar and a hypnotizing melodic riff. Some spaced out synths are present but somewhat secondarily as this tune is all about heavy guitar driven psych ROCK. I’ll bet it kills when played live. Aetheraland follows and does a 360 degree shift, being a gorgeously meditative floating psychedelic number. It’s got a seductive flute melody which combined with the keyboards gives the music an early 70s Prog feel.
Satori in Elegance is a 4-part suite, starting off with an introductory piece that drifts along with pleasant guitar, bits of sax and birds chirping. Near the end the guitar starts to get a little more aggressive, and then with Pt II busts out into a chunky slab of psychedelic hard rock with a metallic edge… and now we’re rockin’ again, with blazing acidic guitar, and though I wouldn’t have recognized it I see from the credits that Iain Hawk Khan (Schroedinger’s Cat) contributes his monster electric fusion sitar. As Pt III arrives the mood settles, with drifting atmospheric keys, ambient-jazzy guitar, plus a cool and interesting trip guitar sound playing mind-bending leads. It all jams along for a while and about halfway through as the guitar is playing easy-paced solos the band gets a jazzy groove going and the keyboard and bass take over lead melodic duties. I like the ambient-jazzy groove with electronic edge feel of this part and… oooh, now we’ve got some cool old time organ jamming along with the off-kilter electronic rhythmic pulse. There’s a lot happening on this 15 minute excursion, with multiple thematic shifts and some interesting combinations of instruments and musical styles. Pt 4 returns to the drifting meditative psychedelic theme. The birds are chirping again and though it sounds like the music is building up to some intense climax its really all part of a peaceful finale.
Preseli Daze is next and is a nearly 12 minute jam with heavy acidic psych guitar front and center, augmented by saxophone. The rhythmic pulse starts off slow paced but picks up speed after a few minutes as Pete Bingham alternates between ripping up his guitar, playing passionate ambient leads and metallic psych leads. Glenda Pescado’s bass jams along with him and I think Lee Relfe’s sax very nicely fits in with these guys. Finally, Sendelica go almost completely Metal on the fist-pumping closing number, The Majectic Stonegazer.
If you like Sendelica at their heaviest then this album is for you, though there’s still plenty of variety that keeps things interesting for this listener throughout. The album is available on CD, but as they’ve been doing with the past several releases there is also a limited edition (100) CD+DVD package that includes the Sendelica movie When The Rising Apes Meet The Fallen Angels, plus bonus promo videos (I’ve not seen the movie or videos so can’t comment).
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz