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The Worm Ouroboros: Of Things That Never Were

Vivid, twisty progressive debut from Belarus brigade.

Thought Belarus’ music scene stopped at Eurovision? Think again! Named after ER Eddison’s 1922 epic fantasy novel (not to be confused with the similarly-named San Francisco post-rock trio), The Worm Ouroboros offer a blend of high art, freakery and fun.

L’Impasse Sainte Beregonne establishes a carnivalesque, flute-tooting, bassoon-bending framework that is mischievous in an almost contemporary classical way, before spanning out into a cracking prog guitar lead.

Softer synth-led tones in Shelieth gradually spawn tuneful, jazzy Steely Dan guitar, with winding journeys through pretty playfulness and darker shades in longer numbers — realised to enigmatic effect in the colourful, confidently rocking Return To The Cold Sea Of Nothing. Listening to The Pear-Shaped Man you have to remind yourself this is a bunch of guys from Minsk in 2013; not some long-haired, cheesecloth-draped Canterbury crew circa 1970.

Deep proggy distortion, organ frenzy, Jethro Tull-meets-Caravan hisses of ‘the pear-shaped maaaaan!’ The myriad ideas bounced around suggest they’re still experimenting with their musical identity. It’s clearly a ‘work in progress’ worth watching.