Conjure, the second album of the Texas-based instrumental band Herd Of Instinct is again a beauty. After the release of their eponymous debut album (2011, see review) the line-up of the band has changed from a trio to a quartet. Multi-instrumentalist Gayle Ellett, who plays Moog synthesizer, Mellotron, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes piano and dilruba, recently joined the other band members Mark Cook (Warr guitar, fretless bass, guitar, programming), Mike Davison (guitar, twelve-string acoustic guitar, guitar synthesizer) and Jason Spradlin (drums, programming). However, the sound of the band has remained the same and for devotees of bands like King Crimson and Tool, this album is again an obligatory purchase.
The songs on Conjure are rather complex mainly sounding as a mixture of ambient, metal, symphonic, progressive, blues, jazz and pop. The opening song Praxis is very energetic and features some amazing guitar hooks and riffs. Dead Leaf Echo is rather heavy with many tempo changes. Alice Krige pt.1 contains trumpet and flute playing which results in a rather jazzy and experimental sound. The good old vintage Mellotron has a leading role in Mother Night, while Vargtimmen starts with recorded voices that become intenser as the song continues. New Lands, one of my favourite tracks, features a great expressive guitar solo. The album ends with the weakest song on Conjure, the psychedelic − read: boring − lullaby The Secret Of Fire. Nevertheless, Herd Of Instinct did it again! They take you on an amazing roller coaster ride of musical bliss. Conjure is a great album, although not easy to listen to.
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
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