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Various Artists

Spirit of Sireena Volume 8

Review by Gary Hill

The one thing binding all these songs together is the fact that they were released on Sireena Records. Beyond that, there is quite a wide range of sounds. There are pure jazz pieces, prog rock ones, metallic songs and pop numbers. It’s a reasonably entertaining set. It’s a great way to get a taste of a lot of acts you might not otherwise get to hear. It should be mentioned that I have reviewed the bulk of these songs as part of their original albums. For the sake of consistency the track reviews for those songs are copied from or adapted from the original reviews.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Paul Roland & Midnight Rage - Werewolves of London

Weird science fiction like music opens this. The song proper kicks in a bouncy psychedelic rock vibe. This powers to some harder rocking sounds as it continues. In a lot of ways this feels like Hawkwind at times. The saxophone soloing over the top really lends that element to it.

Pee Wee Bluesgang - Can You Hear My Thunder
A classy hard rocker, this is classic and cool. It’s a great tune really and I like it a lot.
Tribute - Breaking Barriers
Sort of a light-hearted pop oriented progressive rock sound is here. In some ways, it makes me think of a more proggy version of The Buggles. Although, that doesn’t account for the female vocals.
Cinema - Total Transition
This is a melodic instrumental with electronic prog at its heart. Later it seems to become a more energized jam that combines something like Kraftwerk with something like Tangerine Dream.
Yellow Sunshine Explosion - It's Not My Fault
This lands somewhere between garagey psychedelic rock and a real punky raw rock and roll sound. It’s quite set in the music of the 1960s and also quite cool.
Krokus - Rock 'N Roll Gypsy
A big change from what we’ve heard so far, this really sounds like AC/DC.. In fact, at times I’m reminded of a specific song, “Shoot to Thrill.” Either way, though, this is a killer tune.   
Nattefrost - Will I Get To Your Heart
There is almost a pop rock vibe to this. It’s another effective tune.
Bullfrog - Get Away
An extended cut, this one measures a little over ten and a half minutes in length. It builds out with a healthy helping of hard classic rock with a prog element. It is more on the mellower ballad side at first, growing organically from there. Some parts of this make me think of a merging of Vanilla Fudge with Deep Purple, but it moves way beyond that, too. This is really quite an awesome jam with a lot of varying movements and sounds built into it. Some of the keyboard sounds here are purely classic and there are couple great space rock jams in there. In fact, there is a section later that calls to mind Pink Floyd quite a bit.    
Paul Roland – Katmandu
Quirky and very British, this is fun.
Mythos - Robot Secret Agents
Based on Kraftwerk like music, there are real vocals on this (a lot of Mythos’ stuff has synthesized vocals). Those vocals remind me a lot of some Hawkwind stuff. The flute solo section really does feel quite a bit like a cross between Tull and Kraftwerk.
Zoff -Oberguru Aus'm Sauerland
Mellow fusion meets prog type sounds open this. Vocals come in over the top, bringing it more into an art rock territory. A keyboard dominated instrumental section seems to combine prog with jazz.
Futurlogischer Congress – Klondike
This is a strange, but compelling piece. The music seems to merge electronic music, reggae, jazz and more. The vocals alternate between cold, sung vocals and spoken ones that create a dialog back and forth with a really deep voice. The result is very odd, but also very effective.
Dungeon Rocks - I Have To Run

Keyboards open this, but as the crunch guitar enters there’s a classic metal sound in place. The vocals bring it very much into a Doro/Warlock type of sound. There is also a bit of a WASP vibe to this cut, to my ears, anyway. 

Franz K - Marmor, Stein und Eisen Bricht
This has a real glam rock kind of sound, but with German lyrics. It’s a lot like Sweet’s more poppy early era. It’s a bouncy and fun little number. It’s rock and roll.   
Manfred Schoof Quintet – Virtue
A cool jazz flourish opens this. Then they take it into a different section before dropping it way down to just a bass scale mode. This works out to more powered up jazz as it continues. The percussion really drives a lot of this beast.
 
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