Herd of Instinct – Unravel (2020)

Herd of Instinct - Unravel (2020)
Artist: Herd of Instinct
Album: Unravel
Genre: Eclectic Prog
Label: Firepool Records
Year Of Release: 2020
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

1. Conjure. 5:17
2. Alice Krige Parts 1 & 2. 10:47
3. Torso. 4:13
4. National Anthem. 4:35
5. Unravel. 3:32
6. Furnance. 11:03
7. The Plot. 4:21


– Mark Cook / Warr guitar, guitar, fretless bass, beat construction, string arrangement, programming (1), electronics, percussion (2), piano (2), samples, Rhodes (3), synth (3)
– Bill Bachman / drums (7)
– Rick Read / Chapman Stick (7)
– Mike McGary / synth & electric piano (4)

– Gayle Ellett / Mellotron, Rhodes (2), Moog (3), Hammond organ (4)
– Jason Spradlin / drums, percussion, programming (2)
– Mike Davison / 12 string acoustic guitar (2)
– Bob Fisher / flute (2)
– Joel Adair / trumpet (2)
– Joe Blair / lap steel guitar (2)
– Eric Yacula / electronics & samples (4)
– Markus Reuter / U8 touch guitar (6)
– Dave Streett / bass (6)
– Stephen Page / violin (7)

Constituted around multi-instrumentalist Mark Cook HERD OF INSTINCT are releasing albums nearly every second year since 2012. Concerning the music output though on the other hand it’s quite an unpredictable project. I mean the ability to create eclectic compositions again and again, quasi as the framework for proper improvisational freedom. And then Cook’s warr guitar playing obviously turns out to be a comfortable trademark throughout. Now due to this new album it was time at the latest to place some comments. The incredible cover picture alone makes curious, or what? Other musicians with a vivid presence aboard in recent years are both drummer Bill Bachman and Jason Spradlin, Rick Read (bass) as well as Mike McGary and Djam Karet member Gayle Ellett on additional keyboards.

Alltogether this is serving a lush sound due to a multi-varianted bunch of instruments being in place. I mean trumpet and flute included, also unbelievable variations concerning the bass input, including fretless and chapman stick, ambient synthesizer patterns all over, and diverse ethno/world styled percussion. I’m overly impressed by the album embracing tracks Conjure and The Plot which offer some heartwrenching atmosphere either, and a groovy behaviour on top in the same way. Regarding ‘Unravel’ we are dealing with some unreleased material from the past combined with new songs. Nevertheless it’s a rounded effort. Complex yet melancholic stuff, sound-wise related to the likes of King Crimson, Djam Karet, Nodo Giordano, Trey Gunn, Markus Reuter. HERD OF INSTINCT is a definite recommendation if you already like music stuff from the aforementioned bands respectively artists.
Review by Rivertree

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