Unfitting For The Lay People: Entheogens – The Gnostic Mass

During the 90s and the first part of the millennium there was a great UK based mail order psychedelic music store called the Freak Emporium. Their catalogs were as fun to read as   the music was to listen to. It would be impossible for all of the albums listed to be as mind-blowing as described, but one of the platters that lived up to the hype was a mysterious album called The Gnostic Mass by a group calling themselves The Entheogens.

The cover art features an alluring female hand beckoning the listener to come behind a set of closed purple curtains decorated with stars. Combined with the album's title it takes on the feel of an invitation to an ancient cult. But an invitation to what end? The flipside shows the band members in negative unexposed film images donning ceremonial robes, furthering the effect.

Entheogens, besides being psychoactive chemicals extracted from plants, were a temporary collective of Swedish musicians who delved in an adventurous yet melodic brand of Eastern-flavored psychedelia; mostly acoustically, using guitar, sitar, flute, organ, glockenspiel, bouzouki, and various percussion instruments. Guitarist and indie-label head Stefan Kery was ostensibly the de facto leader, releasing the album in a limited edition of 500 copies (re-released digitally a few years ago) on his Xotic Mind label. The imprint eventually morphed into Subliminal Sounds, still going strong today, and has the distinction of being the label that eclectic psych/folk rockers Dungen started on.

The Entheogens :: Io Pan

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