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SENDELICA – MAN, MYTH AND MAGIC (2023) (Fruits de Mer Records)

It all started a few years ago (2020 or 2021 if memory serves) with “And Man Created God”, the first in an intended quartet of concept albums. I said at the time that “there are enough guitar wig-outs (Pete Bingham) to please any psych rock fan” punctuating what was, in essence a thoughtful, mature and atmospheric piece of work. Also, there are “more electronic (beats) and synth-based influences” handled by Colin Consterdine; Glenda Pescados’ punctilious bass providing a solid bedrock for the music, with welcome sax interjections by Lee Relfe.” Comparisons for this Welsh trio to my mind were PINK FLOYD (‘Tainted Goat’ and echo laden guitar à la Dave Gilmour on ‘Epilogue Sunset’), HAWKWIND/ THE WHO (‘Illuminated Skies’ with its eventual space rock groove). There was only one vocal track, the haunting ‘Seren Golawr’ (Elfin Bow on electronically treated vocals and spoken passages).

I looked forward to the next opus “One Man’s Man” whose subject matter was where our species is headed – extinction or new horizons? However, I didn’t think that the four side-long instrumental pieces worked as well, with too many ‘false starts’ where the music drifts on before eventually reaching a focal point which, to be frank, could be rather anti-climactic. There were some great moments for sure, but I kept looking for a more esoteric rather than an uncomplicated, repetitive and formulaic approach, but never found it; I just couldn’t get past the lack of melodic structure.

So, we come to “Man, Myth and Magic”: had Sendelica, who obviously have great potential, broadened their musical horizons? I can appreciate Sendelica’s expressed influences: CAN and NEU selectively, but not over side-long pieces which they didn’t tend to do anyway. Also, it is difficult to express such challenging concepts without words or spoken dialogue and more instrumental and tempo variations, which might have broken up the album and increased its impact.

Still, with the promised wonderful FdM packaging fans will find much to enjoy here. As atmospheric mood music “Man, Myth and Magic” is really special.

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