Lands End - Terra Serranum

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 024
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:13:00

It took me a while to get into Lands End. My expectation was neo-prog in the vein of their (Cyclops) label mates - Tristan Park, Epilogue, Grace, etc. And while there are elements of that same kind of prog, Lands End are far less traditional. The opening notes of this album made me think of Pink Floyd.

The compositions here are a facinating mix of neo-progressive, ambient, and downright weirdness - more of first two than the last, and the latter not on the order of, say, Primus, or anything. More like the atmospherics of an X-Files episode. The instrumentals and instrumental sections work better than the vocal parts - unfortunately vocalist Jeff McFarland doesn't have the best of voices, most times off key and flat. However, how he uses his voice is put to good effect - I only wish he were on key more often. The use of digital drumming is event - no true "dummer" is credited, though both Mark Lavallee and Fred Hunter are credited with "percussives." No more is their synthethic sound evident than on the title track, as the tattoo being played has a vaque tone quality of a preset (at least, it sounds like the drum preset on my Yamaha keyboard).

Regardless - if I were giving out points on a scale of one to ten, this would be a seven. On the basis of the music alone, I plan to seek out their earlier and subsequent releases.

[Oddly enough, years after I wrote it, we started giving out points... -SS]

Life As We Know It... (2:51) / The Revolution, Like Saturn, Devours Its Children (8:04) / For Reasons Unknown (5:49) / The Philosophy of Containers (0:27) / Terra Serranum (12:57) / A Castle, Mother, Nanny and A Warm Soft Bed (7:26) / Neptunes Last Tear (19:31) / Daura (2:11) / ...The End of Life As We Know It (11:57)

Mark Lavallee - percussion, organ, dulcimer, guitar
Francisco Neto - guitars
Jeff McFarland - vocals, guitars
Fred Hunter - bass, pedals, organ, synthesizers, mellotron

Pacific Coast Highway (1993)
Terra Serranum (1995)
An Older Land (1996)
Natural Selection (1996)
Drainage (1998)
The Lower Depths... (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1395
Language: english


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