Census Of Hallucinations -
Coming Of The Unicorn

(CD 2013, 50:25, SPCD075)

The tracks:
  1- Something That Affects All People
  2- Only Time Will Tell
  3- As Within So Without
  4- Put The Head Out
  5- The Unicorn Is Coming
  6- Stars
  7- Miracle
  8- Electroid
  9- Crystal Spheres Of Light
10- UFO Over Penrith
11- Love You True
12- Existential Vertigo
13- As Within So Without (Slight Version)

Website      Aural-Innovations

Although this American band already recorded eleven (!) albums between 2000 and 2007, and released several compilations, I must admit that I'd never heard of Census Of Hallucinations before, so this is my first review of these space rockers, who apparently are no newcomers in the prog scene. After a five-year hiatus Tim Jones re-established the band in 2012 and recorded the album Dragonian Days, later that year followed by the double CD set of the albums A Bundle Of Perceptions and A Parliament Of Modules. Besides Jones the other band members are Terri-B (vocals), Paddi and Dave Pipkin (both drums and percussion) and Steve Ellis (keyboards). Together with Michael Steadman (keyboards, programming) and Kingsley Burns (bass) they recorded the new album Coming Of The Unicorn.  

This new record contains thirteen tracks, which all vary greatly. It starts with an unpleasant loud and industrial noise in Something That Effect All People - which is certainly true - that gradually segues into Only Time Will Tell holding a long, experimental and roaring guitar solo in the vein of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), supported by spacey keyboards. The next songs, As Within So Without and Put The Head Out, are cosmic trips in the vein of Hawkwind, the founders and masters of space rock. However, in Stars the influences of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis can easily be recognized, while Miracle completely differs from all the other songs having many fast spoken words, an annoying drum sound and a messy guitar in the background.

In my opinion the best songs on this album are Crystal Spheres Of Light and Ufo Over Penrith with its space rock guitar sound. It's a kind of mixture of the music of Joe Satriani and an early Porcupine Tree song. The short ballad Love You True is a maverick and rather unsuitable and comical here, that is, compared to the other songs. Existential Vertigo and a reprise of As Within So Without complete this extraordinary album. Fans of Gong, Ozric Tentacles and the aforementioned bands can buy this record without hesitation. For them this record won't be a bad bargain.

***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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