Sunday 17 November 2013

Samsara Blues Experiment - Waiting For The Flood - Review

 Waiting For The Flood cover art

Samsara Blues Experiment
Waiting For The Flood

Electric Magic / World In Sound
November 2013

The band:

Christian Peters - vocals, guitar, sitar, keyboards, harp
Hans Eiselt - guitar
Richard Behrens - bass guitar
Thomas Vedder - drums


1. Shringara 13:32
2. Waiting For The Flood 10:37
3. Don't Belong 11:57
4. Brahmin's Lament 12:24

These exquisite Germans did something a few months back that very few bands have before. They really caught my attention with their live album Live At Rockpalats. Thin Lizzy, UFO and Deep Purple are amongst the few who have been able to weave their magic with a live album to enthrall me.

Don't get me wrong, I love to go to shows and be immersed and loose myself in the live experiment but I am reluctant towards to the phenomenon that a live release is. It's mainly because I wasn't at that particular show - jealousy is a bad thing, I know but that's how I am regarding this. Also, if you grew up like me listening endlessly to Live And Dangerous, Strangers In The Night and Made In Japan, anyone releasing a live album has a lot to live up to. Therefore Berlin's Samsara Blues Experiment must be quite special since they elegantly by-passed all my apprahensions towards this format. Yes indeed they are and then some!

Hot on the heels of their fantastic wax Live At Rockpalats, Samsara Blues Experiment are back with their third full-length, Waiting For The Flood, and in a way I should stop right here. Why you ask? Well, simply because this album is so shit-hot a review is superflous but I'll give it ago.

4 songs is what they offer with none of them going below the 10-minute mark. And that's how I want this band to be. Long jammed-out tunes that envelopes me, transforming my world into something very beautiful and and soothing. The oriental aspect is still present but is somewhat trimmed down and 70's rock mixed with blues have been moved up front. And that's a wise move because it allows Samsara Blues Experiment to grow, expand and take their music down new exciting territories.

Shringara is a perculiar beast. Kind of slow with a lot of sitar in the choruses and Christian's Barry Hay-like voice brings out the band's psychedelic leanings. But there is also a touch of Alex Lifeson's solo project Victor adding a bit of claustrophobia into the mix. And when I think it's going to stay like this they throw down the gauntlet and just blast heavy-ass blues...or take off on solo excursions of the jam kind. For a 13 minute long opener there is not a dull over-worked moment, every little piece fill an important function....and I'm already blown to kingdom come! Amazing, truly amazing!

The title track Waiting For The Flood follows and it is soaked with organs at first. Very groovy it builds up to explosive crescendos only to slow down again weaving back and forth between emotions and tempos while throwing in some blistering solos in between. If Shringara blew me apart Waiting For The Flood sends me to brand new world where Samsara Blues Experiment puts my remains back piece by piece with a new look on life.

Don't Belong picks up where the title track left off before launching into heavier, riff and solo-infested passages. Again the band moves outside the box switching styles and tempos and this is where their greatness is. Apart from being excellent musicians they aren't afraid to experiment by bringing in so many different elements....and most importantly they make it so cohesive. Despite this expansive palette everything connects in the end making this album truly amazing. Brahmin's Lament brings back a bit of the oriental flavour creating a soothing touch as the sitar plays along very nicely with the guitars. Almost punishing in parts as well, Samsara Blues Experiment definitely knows how to end this amazing astral journey. It feels like I've been pulled apart, reassembled all while gaining knowledge of worlds I never knew existed. Fantastic indeed!

If you have never listened to Samsara Blues Experiment before Waiting For The Flood is an excellent start for you. Because they have refined their music making it truly one of a kind. This album has everything from their past perfectly melded with new ventures which in turn sets them apart from just about everyone else. So do yourself a huge favour and buy a copy of Waiting For The Flood because your life won't be the same will be much better!

Håkan Nyman

I agree with every word Håkan said about this review. This album is superb from start to finish. Possibly their best record yet.

Thanks to Chris for sending us a promo copy. Waiting For The Flood is now available to buy.

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