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I've been listening to some psychedelia music lately and I found this band. Their stuff is good! Psychedelia, blues, folk and rock makes a great combination. They have great talent. I highly recommend you check them out!


Some songs:

(Fucking sweet song!, would have to be my favorite)

Review of their latest release Prayer of Death.


If Baltimore indie bluesman Guy Blakeslee previously got his blues direct from the source, then on Prayer of Death, his third full-length as Entrance, he orders through a middleman-- namely, 60s psychedelia. Here, he electrifies his blues riffs with strong doses of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, which strengthens instead of dilutes them. By emphasizing this aspect of his music, Blakeslee is essentially trading his white blues jones-- which at best was a hard sell, at worst insufferable-- for a new set of pretensions, and whether he's taking a short detour or cutting a new trail for himself remains to be seen.

However, as a psychedelic shaman bringing us news from other planes of existence (dig that album cover), he sounds much more persuasive, and his tweaked aspirations keep the mix of blues and rock on Prayer of Death from sounding slick, calculated, or Eric Clapton. In fact, the tangles of guitar noise on these eight songs give Blakeslee more opportunities to emphasize his vocals. He peppers "Pretty Baby" and the eight-minute epic "Lost in the Dark" with feral grunts that are part mortal cough, part rock'n'roll yell, and his unhinged howl rises above the electrified din even as it becomes part of it.

It helps that Blakeslee has assembled an adventurous group of collaborators to back him up. Creating a maelstrom from which he can wail feverishly, the band-- which includes A Perfect Circle's Paz Lenchantin, filmmaker Maximilla Lukacs, and Derek James-- isn't just loud, it's intense. Lenchantin's string arrangements add unbearable tension to "Silence on a Crowded Train" and "Pretty Baby", and his downlow bass licks provide a densely melodic bottom end over which the guitars can twist and swirl and drone frantically. In this setting, even the lone acoustic blues number, "Prayer of Death", sounds better, more directed and controlled, a break from the bands' doomy force.

Perhaps most importantly, Entrance's combination of blues riffs and psychedelic drone reinforces the fears of mortality and annihilation that course through the lyrics and thread the songs into a powerful statement about deathly dread. "Your head's in the grave", he wails on "Pretty Baby", "but you still don't know why." Reportedly inspired by "the daily death-vibrations of the Modern World", Prayer of Death kicks off with the amped-up "Grim Reaper Blues", which rides a muddy blues riff and an effective call-and-response between singer and band, followed by "Silence on a Crowded Train", its paranoia offset by its immense, edge-of-the-precipice sound. And "Requiem for Sandy Bull (R.I.P.)" is noteworthy less for its sitar drone tribute to the late musician than for the fact that it's a memorial. For Blakeslee, death is the ultimate psychedelic, erasing the mind completely instead of expanding it-- and by the closing track, Blakeslee has made some sort of peace with the idea, which makes the album sound like a journey instead of a tract. His final words are "When you think about death every morning, don't you ever be afraid!" If only it were that easy.

— Stephen M. Deusner, July 5, 2006

Another review, this one from Dusted Magazine.


To the hallowed triad of sex, drugs and rock and roll, we should maybe add a fourth: death. Like the other three, death has certainly been a source of innumerable song lyrics and the intoxicant of choice for mystics, bluesmen, rockers, folk singers and assorted other scruffy geniuses. It's certainly Guy Blakeslee's drug this time out. Prayer of Death, as its title implies, doesn't just face the great inevitable, it embraces it, celebrates it, psychedelicizes it, becomes giddy on its poison fumes. "I want to die without no fear / I want to die rejoicing," he sings on the title track, perhaps the most gospel and straightforward blues number here, and he's not kidding. He really is happy about the whole idea.

What makes all this morbidity even more disturbing is that it's wrapped in a particularly ecstatic form of electric blues, the sort of thing that you'd expect from T. Rex maybe, or the Paul Butterfield Band. Blakeslee has more or less ditched the acoustic porch blues for swirling, sitar- and violin-embellished gypsy dances. "Grim Reaper Blues," has an inexorable groove to it, its crazy, bent guitar notes pinging and caroming off an unmistakeably joyous beat. "Oooohhhh, grim reaper / He's a friend of mine," wails Blakeslee like he's just spotted his best buddy from high school. He likes the guy with the scythe and the hood; they go way back.

Prayer of Death is a denser, more rock-driven album than anything that Blakeslee has done in the past, thanks largely to collaborators Paz Lenchantin of A Perfect Circle and Derek James. You can hear the difference most clearly in "Valium Blues," which also appeared on his first album The Kingdom of Heaven Must be Taken By Storm. On that debut, Blakeslee propelled the song with frantically strummed acoustic guitar. Here it gets an extra push from manic, soul-procession drumming (that's James) and wild swoops of violin (Lenchantin). It's louder, more enveloping and intoxicating, a whirling dance with death rather than a lament.

Blakeslee has dedicated two songs here to personal heros, "Grim Reaper Blues" to Delta bluesman Charley Patton and "Requiem for Sandy Bull (R.I.P.)" to the electric guitar/oud innovator. The Bull tribute, an instrumental, is particularly affecting, a sinuous run of sitar notes circling ritual drums and tambourine. But what's even more interesting is how he combines the two sources of inspiration in other cuts, bits of Middle Eastern percussion and tunings emerging from blues progressions, Mississippi slides embedded in the psychedelic drones.

The disc's penultimate track is its wildest and most frightening. "Lost in the Dark" crashes and drones through more than eight minutes of turmoil, its lurching beat a foil for Blakeslee's musings on a love/hate relationship with the great hereafter. "Do you wish you was one of the lucky ones who could disappear / Like you were never here?" he hisses into the microphone. I almost caught myself saying "yes."

The CD booklet is funeral-obsessed as well, embellished with quotes from the Tibetan Book of the Dead and a long list of deceased luminaries in the credits. It closes with a quote from James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, as good a summary of Blakeslee's philosophical obsessions as can be made, so I'll quote it in full:

"Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have."

Obviously, no one can accuse Blakeslee of denying the fact of death…and if you want to start getting in touch with your own inner corpse, Prayer of Death is a very good place to start.

By Jennifer Kelly

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very good news, I will have to buy The Entrance Band LP in the first week it's out.



Ecstatic Peace!/Universal Records are pleased to announce the release of the self-titled debut album by The Entrance Band on September 1, 2009.

An incendiary, ten-song journey into the creative group-mind of three talented and inspired musicians; guitarist and vocalist Guy Blakeslee, drummer Derek W. James and bassist Paz Lenchantin. The three players have committed to the full realization of the power trio, the primal impact of guitar, bass and drums throbbing together in electrified unity.

The songs on The Entrance Band feel and sound like a group realizing their own vision, freed from past constraints. The end result is ten powerful songs, working as a whole to create an ethereal yet driving melodic concoction—heavy without being plodding, psychedelic without being whimsical. Blakeslee sings with unbridled emotion and plays left-handed on an upside-down guitar, scraping and bending the strings in search of new sonic adventures. James’ kinetic rhythms conjure dances both ancient and futuristic. Rounded out and locked together by Lenchantin’s primal and pulsating bass lines, the music transcends any retro stylings and brings their sound into the present day and beyond.

“We are all based in Los Angeles, California” says Baltimore native Blakeslee, “but our origins are in Chicago.” The critically acclaimed LP Prayer of Death (2006) was recorded in Chicago under the name Entrance (a vehicle for mostly solo output by Blakeslee), with collaborative input from Lenchantin and James. All three players contributed to the recording process, but it was not until after the completion of that album that the band played live together as a trio for the first time. “This is the beginning,” confirms Guy. “We’ve been together for three years, but this will be our first presentation to the world as a trio.” Now truly a band, they decided to name this, their first unified effort, The Entrance Band.

Co-founder of Ecstatic Peace! Records, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, says, “The Entrance Band’s new music is the most alluring and, yes, entrancing vibe I’ve yet to experience in this new age. A soundtrack for the new groove.”

The album was recorded in East L.A. at Infrasonic Studio, with producer Nadav Eisenman (RTX). The band was recorded essentially live in the studio to preserve the spontaneous interaction they had become known for in performance. While the band has built a reputation for their ability to improvise, on the album, “the songs are pretty structured,” says Paz. “We worked it all out by playing it all live, and then took the knife to it,” notes Blakeslee.

“We want our music to reach as many people as it can,” enthuses Blakeslee. “We know Ecstatic Peace! is a good place to do that, with the guiding hand of someone who has an ethos that’s similar to ours in terms of punk rock. Thurston’s been able to bring a lot of underground stuff to the mainstream without the music or the people getting diluted in any way. We don’t want to compromise, we just want what we do to be broadcast further.”

World, have a listen to The Entrance Band.




Still Be There

Sing For The One

You’re So Fine

Grim Reaper Blues (pt. 2)

That Is Why


You Must Turn


Silence On A Crowded Train* LP Bonus Track

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