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Mother Turtle - 2013 - "Mother Turtle"

(62:24, ‘Mother Turtle’)


1.  707 9:29
2.  The Turtle Conjuration 6:53
3.  The Elf 9:36
4.  Bridge 6:09
5.  God Games 12:18
6.  Rhinocerotic 6:50
7.  Attic 11:09


Kostas Konstandinidis – lead vocals; el. & ac. guitars
Giorgos Theodoropoulos – keyboards, sampling
Giorgos Mpaltas – drums; vocals
Kostis Hasopoulos – bass 

Prolusion. The Greek band MOTHER TURTLE was formed back in 2011, originally as a jam band, using the moniker Hogweed. They decided to change their name to Mother Turtle sometime in 2012, following the realization that they really wanted to create their own music, based on common musical interests. "Mother Turtle" is their debut album, self-released in 2013.

Analysis. It becomes obvious early on that Mother Turtle is a band that has a fairly wide interest in music, and that they seek to incorporate as many of them as possible into their compositions. The first few cuts on this CD do suffer a bit from that, as their structurally fairly advanced creations end up sounding a bit wayward and erratic, as they change back and forth between heavy, organ and guitar driven prog, gentler sequences more similar to Marillion's most frail moments and movements with stronger ties to vintage symphonic art/progressive rock. Compositions that are pleasant enough overall, with some fine individual sequences, but explored in a context that doesn't manage to maintain tension well enough, at least as far as I'm concerned. The more folk-oriented Bridge marks something of a turnaround though, and following that musical bridge this CD starts shifting into another gear entirely. The use of contrasting sequences gels in a much better manner, flow isn't disrupted in the same manner, the abrupt transitions come across as more logical to follow and don't break the momentum in the same manner. All the while basically exploring similar landscapes as on the first compositions, with vintage symphonic progressive rock akin to the likes of Camel, alternating with harder edged guitar or guitar and organ driven sequences that at the most intense take on qualities comparable to the likes of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, with some vibrant passages that in elements used may be said to be a tad closer to the likes of Rush thrown in for good measure. The general impression is of a band rather form of progressive rock from yesteryear, but also a band that may well incorporate some details here and there from a somewhat more contemporary context as well, gentler neo-progressive details of a classic Marillion style first and foremost. In addition there's room for some jazz-tinged details here and there as well, used to good effect. Personally I'd say that everything combines in just about the perfect manner on the instrumental piece Rhinocerotic, where the first half of the track is a brilliant run through engaging themes and arrangements.

Conclusion. Harder edged progressive rock of a vintage variety will probably be the facet of this band that defines them most profoundly, but as far as specific style is concerned, there's probably just as much material here with stronger ties to gentler varieties of classic progressive rock, with a band like Camel one that frequently came to mind. If you can imagine a band that picks bits and pieces from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Rush, and blends them into fairly sophisticated compositions with more of a Camel-tinged direction, you should have an indication about what this album is all about. If that sounds interesting, you might want to give this one a spin.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: July 8, 2015
The Rating Room

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Mother Turtle


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