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Message - From Books And Dreams (1973)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by joe, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Jul 9, 2010

    From Books And Dreams - Message

    1973 - Bacillus(Germany) LP: gatefold
    1993 - Bacillus(Germany) CD
    2003 - CMP(Germany) CD: bonus tracks, remastered
    2010 - Second Battle(Germany) LP: reissue, gatefold, colored vinyl, remastered, limited edition

    - Tom McGuigan / vocals, keyboards, Mellotron, saxophones, flute
    - Alan Murdoch / guitars
    - Horst Stachelhaus / bass
    - Gunther Klingel / drums

    1. Sleep!
    2. Dreams And Nightmares (Dreams)
    3. Turn Over
    4. Sigh
    5. Dreams And Nightmares (Nightmares)
    a) Introducing The Myth
    b) The Unpleasent Spell

    Great cover. I tend to associate it with another Krautrock album, 'Delusion' from McChurch Soundroom. Similar cover, lyrical content, sound and style.

    'The Dawn Anew Coming', the debut from Message in 1972 takes a progressive melodic meld of psych, jazz fusion and folk and shades it with an overcast heavy sky. Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash can somewhat be heard on the album. Well done prog.

    As with thier first album, the band entered the studio with the great German producer, Deiter Dirks in 1973 and released 'Of Books And Dreams' in 1973. Ominous and repressive, a conscious effort to uncover the unconscious thought that effects personality through morbid fears and compulsions that accompany dreams. A play on the psyche, lyricallyand musically.

    The album opens up with "Sleep" and introduces the listener with spoken words over a tumultous and tempestuous psych/space ambience. A terrifying trip, though trivial.

    Sliding into deeper unconsciousness, "Dreams And Nightmares (Dreams)" culminates the bass with a psychically induced guitar sequence from Alan Murdoch and expands and finally explodes into a ravishing riff. One of the better openings I have heard from a hard rock/heavy prog song from the first half of the '70's. Then the vocals of Tom McGuigan scream in, somewhat dischordal but deeply discerning. Fortunately it's Murdoch's guitar that dominates most of this track with McGuigan's vocal chorus sustaining and limited in only parts of the song. At the ten minute mark, Murdoch slaps down a Iommi-esque solo that could of been teleported from Sabbath's self-titled debut. After the manic solo the bass slowly pulses and winds down this terrific and trembling track. The apex of the abum.

    Track three, "Turn Over", hears for the first time McGuigan's sax, soloing over an eerie ambient guitar and then a rhythmic riff kicks in as the sax snakes in and out a shivering free-form jazz/psych synapses. Overload.

    "Sigh" is the most melodic track on the album and McGuigan's vocals are annoying and overbearing, almost abrasive, certainly abrading but once again, fortunately at around the three and half minute mark Murdoch takes over with his guitar, showcasing shifting styles and sets the rhythm for the insane sax soloing and guitar interplay for the next three minutes and the last two minutes ends as it begun with the addition of a sinister scream sequence. "Ahhh"

    "Dreams And Nightmares (Nightmares)" is 13 minutes of Krautrock psychosis. "Introducing The Myth" opens up with McGuigan's Mellotron as a sombre backdrop to his restrained vocals which are actually not so abrading as to his abandoning screaming. Again it's the chilly interplay of Murdoch's guitar and McGuigan's sax that takes over this nightmare, "The Unpleasent Spell" and eventually the sandman (McGuigan) speaks in a suffering, aggravating, daunting and twisted tone as the closing of "Nightmare" trembles and traumatically tails off as one wakes from this evil spirit's periling and paralyzing grip.

    If you're searching for a scary, spine tingling sound experience, this is it. This album is mostly tagged as Krautrock but it encompassess so many different styles from proto-metal to electronic experimentation to psychedelic improvised frre-form jazz fusion, so don't be decieved by the label as the Germans (though Message is half British) can be prolific at being heavy and dark.

    Really this is Alan Murdoch's trip though Tom McGuigan's multi-instrumental talents are substantial, it is his vocals that might be disturbing to some. The production of Deiter Dirks is somewhat similar to that of Nektar's first three albums in which he also produced as he did with many of the "heavier" Krautrockers in the early '70's.

    Message would then make a significant shift on thier next album to a jazz-fusion/eclectic prog and then sadly meander into that menacing "mainstream", melodic AOR hard rock style that scares the livin' daylights out of me.


    The whole album on one vid. Utterly fantastic.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
  2. Vader

    Vader Sonic Surfer On The Sulfuric Sea Of Sound

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    Jul 3, 2014
    Mother Gaia
    Amazing album... Joe....where ever you are my brother.

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