Quintessence (Eng)
In Blissful Company


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg USER (42 Reviews)
May 1st, 2014 | 36 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: East meets West on this progressive acid trip. What’s not to like?

I’m not ashamed to admit that the two reasons I initially checked this album in one of my random YouTube music searches, were its cover art and release year. Nonetheless, I was immediately hooked by its weird and exotic atmosphere that blends late ‘60s psych with jazzy passages and strong Indian influences.

Quintessence were formed in London in 1969 and as individuals were greatly influenced by the Indian tradition as well as Hinduism and Buddhism as a lot of hippies in the late ‘60s. They managed to become well known in London due to their live shows and as a result they were signed by Island Records along with acts like Jethro Tull and Nick Drake.

In Blissful Company is their debut and was released in 1969; a time where psych was transforming to prog and that is evident in the album’s sound. There are various instruments utilized on this album (apart from the usual guitar, drums and bass) such as sitar, Jew’s harp and Tanpura that are commonly used in Indian music and create a very spiritual atmosphere. Moreover, the vocals are more reminiscent of chants or psalms rather than traditional singing which makes the overall experience even more mystical. As a whole, In Blissful Company has a dronish atmosphere and those of you who are familiar with Om’s Advaitic Songs may feel a similar vibe as both albums sound exotic or even religious at times even though musically there aren’t many similarities between Om and Quintessence. In addition, those of you who love folk in their psych or prog will certainly find some sweet flute melodies, courtesy of band leader Raja Ram. However, don’t expect Jethro Tull-ish flute tunes as the band here follows a different, rather Eastern, approach to playing the instrument. What is more, even though there are standout moments or songs, the album is better enjoyed if one approaches it a single piece of music rather than searching for individual tracks. It can be said that the whole record could have been an extended jam as the structure here is very loose for a Western music album; imagine something similar to The Grateful Dead’s jams.

Lastly, Quintessence’s approach to making music and playing it live made them quite a popular act back in the late ‘60s to the point where they sold out the Royal Albert Hall twice but since then they disappeared after releasing a few albums. In Blissful Company is a highly interesting and intriguing work that was released at a time of musical transformations. The jazzy passages and Indian melodies combined with late ‘60s psych reminiscent of Sweet Smoke make this album quite a unique experience that is bound to be enjoyed by fans of the aforementioned genres.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Those of you who participated in the Elite Prog Contest should not miss out on this one guys.

Full album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIEkVh4B3xg

Any comment is appreciated.

Digging: Whitesnake - Slide It In

Mad.
May 1st 2014


4201 Comments


Sounds very interesting, especially by the release year. Good write-up, pos'd

One thing I'd remove is that "To sum up" as it's not really necessary and the sentence doesn't actually sum the album up, but that is all!

deslad
May 1st 2014


392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm, I am intrigued. I think it's a bit different than the genres you usually approach, however I will check this out. Great review by the way, pos.

Digging: Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime

emester
May 1st 2014


4378 Comments


I see Om in the recommended list. Probably going to check this out if its any similar

Digging: Skelator - King of Fear

manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Mad
Thanks for the kind words man and the suggestion. This is very interesting as you can listen to how the genres moved from psych to prog and the Indian influences are definitely a plus.

@deslad
Thanks bud. Actually, this album is a bit unique so I'd say you're correct about the different kind of review remark. Hope you'll like it.

@emester
Musically, as far as genres are concerned, this is very different than Om. However, I've put them on the recommended list because I get similar vibes from this one and Advaitic Songs.

emester
May 1st 2014


4378 Comments


Still, I've always enjoyed psychedelic rock so I'll probably still enjoy this

manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Judging by a quick look at your ratings I think you will man. Nice rating for Death Walks Behind You by the way!

emester
May 1st 2014


4378 Comments


Thanks man! Atomic Rooster needs a lot more love here!

CaptainDooRight
May 1st 2014


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos'd, rules large dick

Mad.
May 1st 2014


4201 Comments


Someone needs to review Death Walks Behind You, as long as the rating is 4.5+

manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@emester
Agreed, such a great band!

@captain
Thanks man, rules indeed. Can't beat those Indian vibes.

@Mad
It's on my list to review man so if it stays without a review for some time, I'll probably do it.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hadnt heard, have now, its great, nice rev

manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. I was actually ready to shoutbox you about this one! Glad you enjoyed it.

MrSirLordGentleman
May 1st 2014


4881 Comments


Sounds very interesting dude, indian influences are always a nice touch. Nice review manosg, typical for you, pos'd

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh, love those south asian influences on stuff like this, been seeking a few out recently, try oriental sunshine/dedicated to the bird we love you might like that too

MrSirLordGentleman
May 1st 2014


4881 Comments


These albums were made pretty much to be listened while tripping balls lol. Someone promote manosg

CaptainDooRight
May 1st 2014


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't beat those Indian vibes

Indian vibez ov trvth.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more indian vibez, so beautiful

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dPL5kdVCi0

manosg
May 1st 2014


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@MSLG
Thanks man, really appreciate it. So many gems on that era.

@menawati
Cheers, will definitely check those guys out.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


16131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

id rate this even higher if the hare krishna song wasnt there i think



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