SEVEN THAT SPELLS is a brain-child of Niko Potocnjak, talented sound-producer, designer, and guitarist (inspired by Makoto Kawabata) from Zagreb, Croatia. Formed in 2003 as a classical power-rock trio, the band paid homage to instrumental acid-psyche rock in its simplest yet most energetic form – freak out guitar, fat dub bass and impromptu drumming spanned from the 60’s but rehashed for a heavier sound. In 2004, Niko (as Brain) joined another prominent Zagreb instrumental avant-core outfit TIGROVA MAST, while his own band gradually turned into “a commune of psychedelic likeminds exploring the multifaceted cosmos of freak out music and naked women in high hopes of achieving Buddha’s blessing” and finally ceased to exist in the form of permanent lineup. For further story visit the "The Psychedelic Commune page".
TIGROVA MAST is one of the most welcomed instrumental avant-garde rock band on the Central European scene. The group’s unique basic instrumentation of bass by Gut (of INVISIBLE GHOST LUIGI), drums by Heart (of PEACH PIT), and microcorg by Brain (of SEVEN THAT SPELLS) is no less than an urban revolt against the proto-classical and pseudo-intellectual rock-music as well as the established role of the rhythm section and keyboards. Fed up with experimental-rock and minimal-noise, the trio was seeking to incorporate rural-folk elements into traditional rock schemes. Once, they abandoned the initial use of accordion and let their intricate rhythmic patterns, colored that time with cheerful sounds of microcorg, turn into short and a bit angry carol-hooks. Performed with the furious rage and energy, their instrumentals resemble chaotic yet precise and composite sketches around folk, pop, disco, punk, prog figures; like the band is working out what stylistic type of costume they want to dress their music.
The trio’s debut eponymous album is a unique media-release which, in fact, includes two different programs: the audio part is the only studio recording by TIGROVA MAST made in spring 2005, and mastered next year by the drum-wizard Tatsuya Yoshida (mastermind behind THE RUINS); and the video extra-part – .divx movie of the band’s entire “Live@Kset” performance which can be watched on a personal computer. This is manic, frenetic, catchy, and well disciplined avant-prog-rock instrumental music which can be disorienting to any listener who is accustomed to less inventive, driving, and demanding works. Don’t miss a chance to test this superb release... and your individual taste in practice! (AUDIO: 18 tracks - 33 min. / VIDEO: 37 min.)
"Tigrova Mast don’t want to be pseudo-classical or pseudo-intellectual, the way many prog and psyche bands come across. They sound like a post-punk band going haywire after having munched a teaspoon of finest amphetamines. Oriental folk elements turn up from time to time, explaining why critics call their genre sufi punk. If Islam had taken over the world in the Middle Ages, this is what rock’n’roll would sound today. It’s hard to compare this to other bands, although Mr Bungle quite felt the same during their Disco Volante phase. (Grade: 8/10)" – by Pascal Thiel of DisAgreement underground music e-zine (Luxembourg) (July 2007).
"The trio use a lineup of bass, drums, and microkork to create short, furious fast-paced instrumental pieces that crackle with raw electricity. The bassist thrashes out wiry basslines, sometimes kicking in the distortion to create crushing chords, and wraps it all around the awesomely complex drumming that locks into repetitive, trance inducing grooves. The microkorg is pretty much the lead instrument here though, unleashing frenetic calliope-core synth leads and futuristic klezmer shredding over the rhythm sections dense, muscular progpunk attack. This is pretty blistering shit throughout most of the album's 18 songs, which end of evoking something similiar to a thrashpunk incarnation of Ruins gone gypsy spacerock. Tigrova Mast also inject bits and pieces of various styles of music into their songs, everything from pop-punk, Eastern European folk melodies, and disco are combined with their hardcore thrash/prog rock fury. As crazed and technical as this debut gets though, Tigrova Mast know how to anchor their tunes with some great hooks, and this is alot catchier than you might expect. Highly recommended!" – by Crucial Blast (USA) (July 2007).
"Tigrova Mast is an energetic instrumental noise punk combo whose only offering so far is not only the most fun display of excessive instrumental math rock, but is also some of the most dexterous, yet linear work I’ve heard in a while. Tigrova Mast plays it fast, further making things seem more complicated than they really are, but for what it is everything here falls just where it should. If you need to have an idea of what this record sounds like think of circus music as interpreted by a rock and roll Paganini. Better yet, picture organic mathematic drums and bass with the addition of a Rick Wakeman-like microkorg player and we are getting dangerously close. A lot of the material has this playful isolated quality to it that’s entirely the group’s, but some of the most leftfield stuff sounds like Croatian folk music. Other times, this trio shifts territories and offers its own take on Indian music... Like the soundtrack to a dance scene on a Bollywood movie, Tigrova Mast only adds the acid to the communal Kool Aid, the result is bizarre and undanceable... (Rate: 4 out of 5)" – Deaf Sparrow (USA) (October 2007).
The album was also reviewed at: DPRP (UK), Psyche van het Folk (Belgium), Monochrom-Cracked (Austria), The Silent Ballet (USA), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), Gagliarchives (USA): ranked #94 at Top 100 of 2007 - Top Charting Progressive Albums of 2007, ProgArchives (USA), ProgressiveEars (USA).
Rock and Love! It Came From The Planet Of Love – the second official release by SEVEN THAT SPELLS featuring a renewed line-up of Mario Peretic (drums), Turtko Dujmovic (bass), Igor Potocnjak (synthesizer), and a mastermind behind this psychedelic commune Niko Potocnjak (guitar). Turning the volume on, open your mind and think of the following: "What you hear is not necessary music – it’s a Voice appealing to all brain-damaged pains. That experience could cure your aged nostalgia and depression, or could smash your consciousness deep down. Many unexpected things will happen in the course. There is no point in describing these, as my mind refuses to define property lines of what I’ve listened to and what I’ve heard." (777) (2 tracks - 52 min.)
"Just when I've put in this baby the trip started... straight in the brain with fuzzed out guitars, mindblowing solos, great drumming and weird noises. Let's say this CD is a big jam with a lot of nice moments that'll help you to reach a deeper high. Well done and psychedelic fans all over the planet should check out these guys... only god knows on what stuff they're. (Rating: 1+ = OVER THE TOP)" – by RB of Daredevil Magazine (Germany) (June 2006).
"This is absolutely immense. The two tracks take up the entire 52 minutes of the album, by which time you will be dribbling slightly and talking about luminous green crucifixes in the mirror. Everything you could possibly want and more from the instrumental, progressive, psychedelic, experimental rock combo... (Score: 4,5 out of 5)" – by Zeitgeist of Space Rock UK (UK) (October 2006).
"Here’s something different and radical courtesy of Croatian band Seven That Spells. Their second album contains two instrumental songs featuring almost sixty minutes of pure, sonic psychedelic space rock. This is over the top music from the word go and if the idea of listening to a CD with an emphasis on freak out style psychedelic guitar work isn’t your idea of a good time then avoid this disc. However that being said I enjoyed the daring qualities this band brought to the table and while it’s not overly complicated or intricate musically, it still rocks. (Score: 4/5)" – by Ryan Sparks of Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (January 2007).
The SEVEN THAT SPELLS’ first full-length album, My Mommy Wants To Kiss Your Mamma is a high-intensity, brain-damaged, extreme-instrumental psychedelic freakout. With a marching chime wrapping up a wonderfully unpredictable performance, the music trips out in a strong fashion shifting between obscured space-drones and heavy stone-assaults to elegant guitar filigrees and acid-washed jammings. The tracks segue into each other almost seamlessly, as if they were movements in a single piece, and carry one on a journey so far-fetched and free-spreading, the passenger shall be hard-pressed to catch what happened by the album’s conclusion. The line-up features Stjepan Jurekovic on drums, Tomislav Kalousek on bass, Hrvoje Niksic on synthesizer, and guitarist and leader Niko Potocnjak. The band is at its peak right now, taking their music to new spaces and dimensions, and should be paid careful attention to. (7 tracks - 55 min.)
"7 that Spells is back with another full on psychedelic rock attack. The band have stepped things up here and eaten a few tabs of Acid Mothers Temple but the core feeling is the same in this instrumental acid rock. The addition of synthesizer on a few tracks makes things a bit more spaced but Niko's guitar playing is still super psyched! (5 out of 5)" – by Scott Heller of LowCut Magazine (Denmark) (October 2005).
"Heavy fucked up psych rawk from Croatian freak squad Seven That Spells that's headed up by by acid-guitar sorceror Niko Potocnjak. This is their debut full-length CD of high-intensity, brain damaged, instrumental psychedelic heaviness that plugs into a terrific stream of Black Sabbath-by-way-of-Acid Mothers Temple improvisation that is splattered in cosmic electronics, apeshit acid guitar shred, and bulldozing bass riffs. The band launches into a killer series of psychedelic freakouts and early 70's kosmiche Krautrock style jams, all highlighted by total fucking gonzo guitar playing that blooms in vast scorched radiant unfurlings of solar fireworks. Recommended." – by Crucial Blast (USA) (June 2006).
The album was also reviewed at: Ytro.ru (Russia), Sea Of Tranquility (USA), DPRP (UK), Strutter Magazine (Holland), Barikada (Bosnia & Herzegovina), ProgNaut (USA), DisAgreement (Luxembourg), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), Perkele (Italy).