Jeseter – Siddhartha (2016)

Jeseter_Siddhartha4 out of 5 Stars!

Hailing from the Czech Republic, the highly talented Jeseter is a “new discovery” for me, but from what I’ve learned, the group (that started life as a “Yes tribute” band, of all things) has released a trio of albums since 2008, with 2016’s Siddhartha being the most recent.

On this collection, the often-complex music, featuring numerous tempo changes, varied song segments, and imaginative instrumentation with the periodic inclusion of everything from violin to brass to harmonica, contains a wide mixture of Prog-Rock influences. Of course, considering the band’s origins, I was expecting music in a similar vein as Yes. Instead, what I hear are nods to classic groups such as Gentle Giant, Colosseum, and PFM, as well as tips of the hat to more modern acts such as IQ, Spock’s Beard, and The Flower Kings, with oddly very little in the way of “Yes comparisons.” Additionally, some fierce jazzy sections, especially when brass is included, aren’t too far afield from music found on albums by Blood, Sweat & Tears.

As I said earlier, imaginative instrumentation abounds here, making for an enjoyable Prog-Rock experience.

Also, one final note to fans of the genre who may investigate Jeseter—unlike the group’s first two albums, the song titles associated with Siddhartha are listed in English, whereas the lyrics are actually sung in the band’s native language like on the previous albums, so anyone tempted to purchase this release and expecting English lyrics shouldn’t be surprised. Regardless, whatever language is used, the band remains a gifted and creative lot, full of great promise.

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