Torrent Tibetan Book Of The Dead
The question of art has been of central concern for JF and Phil since Weird Studies began in 2018. What is art? What can it do that other things can't do? How is it connected to religion, psyche, and our current historical moment? Is the endless torrent of advertisements, entertainment, memes, and porn in which seem hopelessly immersed a manifestation of art or of something else entirely? In this exploration of the main ideas in JF's book Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice, your hosts focus on these burning questions in hopes that the answers might shed light on our collective predicament and the paths that lead out of it.
Torrent Tibetan Book Of The Dead
Since this group is listed under Neo-Prog, I feel that I must begin this review by issuing a warning (which is more of a blessing for some of us!): K2's Book Of The Dead sounds nothing like Marillion, IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, Arena, or similar groups. If any similarities with these groups could be detected in K2's music this would have more to do with similar first hand influences than on any influence on K2 coming from these British bands. Further, within the ranks of K2 we find none other than the great Allan Holdsworth who is clearly a classic, first generation Prog artist. As most people on this site will know, Holdsworth has been in the music business since the early 70's and has played in many prominent classic progressive rock groups including Tempest and UK. In addition he has released solo albums on a regular basis since the 70's (mainly in the Jazz-Rock field) and as far as I know he never had anything at all to do with the Neo-Progressive movement that started in the early 80's with some of the bands I mentioned above. While K2 is listed as a US band, they are in fact a multi-national band due to the presence of Holdsworth who is British.The sound of Book Of The Dead is much more in line with classic Symphonic Prog, but even that would not do K2 full justice. This is neither Neo-Prog nor 'retro-Prog'; this is neither truly vintage nor truly modern. Rather, it has a timeless sound! While all of the people involved here are obviously very talented, Holdsworth steals the show with his totally unique and distinctive guitar sound. No one else could ever sound like him and his presence here gives the music of K2 a 'cloak of antiquity'; a credibility and classic feeling often lacking in post-70's progressive rock. Though less theatrical and a bit more laid back, the vocals are strongly Peter Gabriel-like. The bass guitar sound is equally strongly Chris Squire-like and the keyboards remind of bands like Genesis, Camel and Manfred Mann's Earth Band at their respective best. There is also some exquisite violin on the album often sounding a bit like Kansas. In the overall atmosphere and feeling of the music it sometimes reminds me of the excellent, recently released Proto-Kaw albums. Despite similarities with such classic groups, K2 has managed to find their own sound and I do not find this music derivative in any obvious or distracting way.Due to Holdsworth's presence it is perhaps natural to also want to compare K2 with the band UK in which Holdsworth played in the late 70's and that also featured a line up of guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and violin. However, the music of K2 is much less intense compared to that of UK. Some passages are more in the somewhat 'sleepy' mood and slower tempo of Camel's Moonmadness and Genesis calmer moments. K2's music is always harmonic and never aggressive or dissonant. While I immediately liked the sound of this band, it took several listens before I got into the music. My very first impression was that the songs were not strong enough melodically to be really memorable. However, like with many great progressive rock albums it took several listens before it started to sink in and began to grow on me. I have now listened to this album over and over, over a period of more than a weak, and it keeps growing on me. The melodies that reveal themselves over several listens are gorgeous and turned out to have lasting appeal. This is more than can be said of Holdsworth's solo efforts. While he is a very unique and interesting guitar player, he is not a very good songwriter/composer. His solo albums are often quite tedious to listen too, often lacking in melody and composition. It is clearly when he worked with other people like in Tempest, UK and here in K2 that he created his best works. However, fans of Holdsworth's highly experimental side might perhaps find the music of K2 undemanding. For me, on the other hand, Book Of The Dead is together with UK's debut the very best albums (of the ones I've heard) Holdsworth ever participated in making! This is an excellent chance to get a taste of Holdsworth's unique guitar playing for those (like me) who are not too keen on experimental Jazz-Rock/Fusion and improvisation.Book Of The Dead consists of only five songs, or chapters as they are called here, the longest being a 23 minute plus piece and the shortest is an instrumental with the very well played bass guitar as the leading instrument. The latter is inevitably the weakest number of the album. The bass guitar is extremely well played on the whole album and this instrumental isn't really that essential, but I do not find it distracting. The high quality of the music is spread equally over the album and there are no real standout tracks nor are there any weak ones. However, I tend to prefer the three mid-length tracks Mirror Of The Spirits, The Edge Of Light and Cloak Of Antiquity. The album is based on the Egyptian book of the dead and the lyrics are certainly not your average love songs. The concept helps to hold the music together.It is also a strong advantage of the album that it runs for only 46 minutes, not committing the all too common mistake in the age of the compact disc to pack the disc too full of material. A shorter length often makes for a more cohesive album and avoids overwhelming the listener with too much material at once. A further advantage is the very high production values, Book Of The Dead is something of a sonic masterpiece. And I think this is a great addition to any Prog collection. Highly recommended! social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Monday, July 13, 2009 Review this album Report (Review #226517)
When I first read about the existence of this musical project, in Progarchives, I became very curious about it. But, what most amazed me was that the whole work was written, arranged and produced by Ken Jaquess, a musician who I had never heard about before. As I became curious about this project, I tried to buy this album as soon as possible.K2 is the first project of the bassist Ken Jaquess of the L.A. based band Atlantis, formed during the 90's. They recorded two CD's, 'Atlantis' in 1997 and 'Pray For Rain' in 2003. For those who don't know anything about this band and are interested to know something more about them, you can consult the biography of the group in this site.Wanting to recreate the 70's classic symphonic rock sound and to help fulfil his musical vision, Ken Jaquess (bass, keyboards and 10 string acoustic guitar), searched for the musicians who could master the vintage sound of the instruments, of that musical period. His choice was Shaun Guerin (vocals), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Ryo Okumoto (piano and moog), Yvette Devereaux (violin), John Miner (guitar) and Doug Sanborn (drums).About the musicians who participated on this project, I really had only heard of Devereaux and Guerin, and sincerely, I only really knew Holdsworth and Okumoto. Holdsworth is a guitar virtuoso artist, who performed many different styles of music. He is best known for his work in the jazz fusion style. He became well known because of his cooperation in bands like Soft Machine and Gong. He also performed most of the guitar work on the Bill Bruford's debut solo album 'Feels Good To Me', before both have joined to the new progressive super-group, UK. Okumoto is the keyboardist of Spock's Beard. Deveraux was the first African American woman conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and was also the first African American woman to obtain a conductor's degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She explores the progressive rock and founded the Progressive Symphony in Los Angeles. Guerin was best known as the lead vocalist, but he also played drums, in the American Genesis' tribute band, called Cinema Show. As its name indicates, the group played Genesis' music of the Gabriel's era. Guerin's vocals are very similar to Peter Gabriel's vocals. As a premonition, Guerin sadly passed away, shortly after the completion of 'Book Of The Dead'.From his youth, Ken has a huge fascination with the ancient world and with all their civilizations. It was instilled by his mother. Ken always had love and fascination with ancient Egypt, particularly with 'The Book Of The Dead' which is the name given to the ancient Egyptian funerary text that comprises a collection of hymns, spells and instructions, to allow the dead pass through all the obstacles, in the afterlife. With ideas and stories taken directly from the original book, Ken has weaved an intricate and an ornate tale of rules, about death and the ultimate journey to the afterlife.'Book Of The Dead' is the debut studio album of K2 and was released in 2005. It's a conceptual musical work of five songs presented as chapters, with a total time of 46 minutes. It was started in 2001 and took four years to finish. The opening track 'Chapter 1: Infinite Voyage' is the lengthiest track on the album. It's a grandiose and epic theme in the neo-prog vein. As the name indicates, it's a fantastic voyage in time and sounds, which carries us to the times of the ancient Egyptians. The second track 'Chapter 2: Mirror To The Spirits' is a track with a dramatic opening and continues the grandeur of the previous track, with plenty of great remarkable instrumental work, provided by all musicians. The third track 'Chapter 3: The Edge Of Light' is a great track in the same vein of the previous two. It's a very tasteful song with great violin work and with plenty keyboard sounds. The fourth track 'Chapter 4: Aten (Window Of Appearances)' is an instrumental track very beautiful. It's a song that explores the ambient music through the keyboards and the bass guitar, what makes it seems a bit mysterious. The fifth track 'Chapter 5: Cloak Of Antiquity' concludes the album with a very good composition, with great violin work, floating keyboards, good drums, and is well accompanied by emotional vocals. This atmosphere is a nice epilogue for the end of this very good conceptual project.Conclusion: This is a very interesting project served by a handful of fine musicians. The final result is an excellent debut album. In almost 47 minutes, you are taken along a journey that features all the elements of the era in which progressive rock music was invented. It means that you are listening to many musical traces of great progressive 70's groups, especially Genesis, UK and Yes. The musical traces of Genesis are particularly evident, mainly due the similitude between the voices of Guerin and Gabriel. However, you can also enjoy of modern jazz rock influences. With the release of 'Book Of The Dead', K2 have been touted as the new super group that descended to our progressive musical world. Undoubtedly, I really salute this splendid album and I recommend it, very strongly, to everybody.Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*) social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Monday, November 16, 2015 Review this album Report (Review #1487334) 350c69d7ab