Mantra Sunrise - Mantra Sunrise

Year of Release: 2000
Label: The Tributary Music Label
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:47:00

Once upon a time, the Earth was populated by a mostly carefree, dreamy, and tripped out youth that most people referred to back then as hippies. These beings wore the most disparately colorful clothing that humankind had ever been able to conjure up, took their minds through ethereal planes of wild illusion by means of hallucinatory drugs, and had one hell of a time listening to a kind of music that was just as far out as they were. In the meantime, among the drug-induced haze that thousands of kids were grooving along to, the seeds of progressive rock were being sown in the wake of psychedelia and extended jams, and others, such as legendary trio Cream, were starting to explore realms that reached beyond the normal domains of blues-influenced rock and roll and entered Eastern sounds, folk-based tradition, and other new avenues.

More than thirty years later, the customs of this long gone race are still to be found in our society, huge peace symbols plaguing the media every once in a while, bell bottoms starting to come back for a moment before disappearing again, and the odd youth going back to partake in everything that once was identified as part of the Summer of Love generation. Most of it, however, is nothing but commercialized nostalgia without any virtue of integrity or authenticity. That's where Mantra Sunrise comes in.

Yet another John Miner project, Mantra Sunrise is as close as one is going to enter a time machine anytime soon, presenting a collection of songs led by dreamy guitar arpeggios, hazy blues breaks, and folk leanings that go back to a time when Eric Clapton was God. Imagine a dusty room dominated by eclectic incense, Oriental tapestries, an audience tripping out on acid, and a trio of musicians slowly swaying their heads to the floating waves of sound that Miner's guitars send gliding through the air, and the settings couldn't be more perfect. This is music that truly goes way back, and yet avoids sounding like a cheap nostalgia trip of no inherent value, in turn giving Mantra Sunrise an undeniable credibility that each track of this debut is imbued with.

Well, not everything is shiny bright in this affair though, so wait a second before you jump out of your seat screaming the gospel according to Timothy Leary. The main qualm that listeners will have when listening to Mantra Sunrise is one that seems to be the principal hindrance of many a recent progressive rock record; namely its production. The songs do indeed have a sense of sparseness that gives them an earthy essence at times and a mysterious air at others, but they also sound as if though they had been recorded in a rehearsal room with bad acoustic, something that some people don't find great fault in and others regard as a capital sin. Then there are Joel Bissing's often-opaque vocals, which have a certain bluntness that unfortunately can never be truly ignored. A real shame, as they are undoubtedly the weakest link in Mantra Sunrise's dreamy world.

Even then, however, the band does become quite absorbing at times, especially on the twenty-minute suite "Land Of Springer," and the manner in which it manages to evoke even the bleak acoustic passages on Black Sabbath's first album. Sure, this is not a gala of virtuosi displaying their best technical skills, musicians breaking the barriers of music, or individuals ready to take on the world, but that was probably never on the minds of Mantra Sunrise's members when they recorded this, and the music is so authentic that it really doesn't matter.

Similar artists: Barclay James Harvest, early Procol Harum, Cream, folky Led Zeppelin

Why (4:34) / Time of Year (6:07) / Brudenell (2:02) / Dying Day (6:38) / Sleeping Whales (5:12) / Northern Light (4:42) / Your Heart Acoustic (1:34) / Your Heart (2:47) / Casino (4:56) / Land Of Sprinagar: I. Master's Theme - II. The Apprentice - III. Spheres Of Influence - IV. Ethereal Nature Of God - V. Telepathy - VI. Return Of Master (19:41) / Mantra Sunset (2:34)

Joel Bissing - vocals, bass
John Miner - guitars
Wayne Garabedian - drums, keyboards

Mantra Sunrise (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1027
Language: english


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