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Thieves' Kitchen - The Water Road CD (album) cover

THE WATER ROAD

Thieves' Kitchen

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 68 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars An interesting thing about the album when checking out the reviews on PA, is that among the Collaborators alone, this has been ranked at everything from 1* to all 5. This was their fourth album, released in 2008, but I have only just come across it. Having enjoyed their most recent album so much, I knew that this one had to be worth investigating and since receiving it have played it a great deal. I fully understand why there has been such a variance in the marks awarded to this album as musically it is incredibly diverse, with the music sometimes in perfect harmony with Amy, and at others she is almost at odds, while for many passages she is absent as both Phil (guitars) and Thomas (keys) are more than happy being right at the forefront of proceedings, driving the music onwards.

Ah, the music. Both Thomas and guest Anna Holmgren are from Anglagard, and there is plenty of angular Swedish sounding prog on this album, with solid keyboards and lifting flute. But, there are also times when these guys remind you that they are very much a rock band with driving guitars and pacy runs. This was Mark Robotham's final album with the band, and when I think back to the time when he played me a pre-release tape of GLD's debut album, his drumming has changed beyond all recognition as he is fully aware of the need for space and what he doesn't play is as important within the overall sound and context as what he does play.

Opening song "The Long Fiachetto" clocks in at more than 21 minutes and is a real statement of intent, but for me the highlight is the fourth song, "Om Tare". It commences with a multi-tracked chant, but after the initial six seconds the guys burst forth with a complex burst of jazz rock that took me back to my teenage years. Somehow, towards the end of the Seventies I ended up with a copy of Colosseum II's 1977 album 'War Dance' in my collection. It was an album that I often listened to, wondering in the interplay between rhythm section of Jon Hiseman and John Mole, with keyboard player Don Airey and guitarist Gary Moore blasting over the top. There was no need for a singer, as there was definitely no room for one, and if I had just heard the passage from TK with no knowledge of who it was I would have bet my life that it was from CII.

But, that is the only song like it on the album, and therein lies what for me is a strength but others may find confusing, in that this is an album where the band quite definitely refuse to sit within one musical style and instead want to expand their wings, developing and progressing as they go.

I awarded 'Shibboleth', the album immediately prior to this one, 4*'s and 'One For Sorrow', the one after it, 5 *'s and this is yet another fine example of an album worthy of top marks. It is definitely worth seeking out. www.thieveskitchen.com

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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