The second track is typical progressive bizarreness-- note the really weird underlying elec. guitar riff passing into gentle-giant like acoustics with the added classical elements (soprano and alto female singing), and note how abruptly it switches between 2 entirely different songs-- wow! There's throwaway tracks at the end of side 1 (a straight jazz number oddly enough called wings of perception part 2) and at the beginning of side 2 a dumb irish jig that almost makes you want to give up on the record. Why?? why did they do this?? I ask myself. A late-70s roger waters-like song called 'Sister magic" sounds like the band's effort at crafting a radio hit, before we return to the progressive in a big big way, with 'Tales of iviron' and 'Ode' at the close of side 2...
It's absolutely astonishing what some classical training and education provides in terms of harmonic subtlety, originality, and competence for these tracks; essentially they are chamber orchestral works which somehow found their way from a packed concert hall (where they should have been played) on to a 1981 rock record for a few hundred lucky buyers... Musically, the number of creative ideas in the Tales of Iviron is legion, powers of ten beyond any contemporary radio-played weekly set list. Why did this music burn out and die??? And I love how the whole record closes out with a kind of exclamation or question mark, suddenly after an ascending chord pattern, as if an unfinished short story in which you're left hanging as to the death of the hero...
I understand some may feel this is an uneven album but to me, the first half of side 1 and second half of 2 really are stellar -- without the "junk DNA" filler, this would be a superb product of progressiveness.
Now this album was reviewed 2 years ago by our friend ashratom on his sister blog the cd reissue wishlist (sister in the same way Chattanooga Tenessee is the sister city to Marsupilamipotamia, Iraq) where he gave it for the first time a priority 1 five times over, agreeing with me on its masterpiece status, here:
And I quote:
" Unusual fusion album with many disparate but incredible ideas. Iviron constructed their album more in an early 1970s exploratory style, though the sound was more relevant to the late 70s / early 80s time frame. There's a real sense of adventure here (a lot of East-West references), and even a touch of the psychedelic. It even has jazz-rock or fusion elements, two synonymous terms as my readers well know. A very interesting find by my excellent contact TS [Tristan Stefan - editor]. At the level of Missus Beastly, I'd say--and readers of this blog will know we take Missus Beastly pretty seriously! Y'all 'll like it [= you all - ed.]"
Tom did tell me recently he has thrown in the towel and given up his blog, due to the competition from us-- he'll never catch up to all the rarities we've posted, in several lifetimes, acknowledging in a personal communication "your collection is so much bigger than mine, Tristan, I admit defeat. As well, you've lived too many lifetimes for me, I'm only on my first here!" For regular readers of the cd reissue wishlist (cdrwl) this comes as a devastating blow, we loved being able to feel superior as Tom was frantically trying to catch up on all the rare progressive records. He continues, "with your four houses and 5 executive positions, and 6 blogs, Tristan, I have no way of competing unless I marry some models (like you) and move to Salt Lake City, Utah". Well sorry Tom-- been there, done that. Before I moved to Wurstenburg, Bavaria, to become CBO (chief burgomeister officer) after getting rich with my fast food burger joints in the midwest (which I sold to AOL Time-Warner at the peak of the dotcom craze for half a billion dollars) I actually was a polygamist mormon personal trainer cum lifecoach who taught Tony Robbins how to be born-- at that time of course he was merely a lost soul without a body who had befriended Oprah's spirit at the local starbucks in purgatory. This is how I made my fortune -- I told Oprah the secret to success was to always change weights, never stay fat or thin for too long, and look at the millions she made off my advice! So RIP cdrwl.
Btw for those curious about the name, from wikipedia:
"The name Iviron originated from the ancient Georgian Kingdom of Iberia (Iveria) where the master architect of the monastery Ioannes was from...
The Holy Monastery of Iviron (Greek: Ιερα Μονή Ιβήρων, Georgian: ივერთა მონასტერი) is an Eastern Orthodox monastery at the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece. The monastery was built under the supervision of Ioannes the Iberian and Tornikios between 980-983 AD and housed Iberian clergy and priests."
written and arranged by H. Scherner and I. Schleicher-Atanasov
Lyrics by Ronals Bergmayr (Sister Magic) and I Schleicher-Atanasov (Bernie the Faust)
Bass– Thomas Gang
Cello– Dan Fahlbusch
Drums– Peter Hackspiel
Engineer– Bernhard Klein, Walter Brüssow
Flute, Whistle– Ronald Bergmayr
Guitar [6-string Guitar, 12-string Guitar], Mandolin, Mellotron, Vocals, Written-by, Arranged By– Ingo Schleicher-Atanasov
Guitar, Tambura, Vocals, Written-By, Arranged By– Helmut Scherner
Piano– Robert Säbel
Saxophone– Karl Takats
Tabla, Congas, Percussion– Fritz Schoisswohl
Vocals [Alto]– Gerlinde Mayr
Vocals [Soprano]– Eva Meindl
Bernie the Faust
Wings of Perception Part I
Wasn't I right when I said we'll all be spoiled with recent and coming material on our blog? Well, you don't know about the coming material yet, but I guarantee we'll feature several albums that don't even exist and never did exist! How's that for a treat?