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Thinking Plague - In Extremis CD (album) cover


Thinking Plague



4.34 | 169 ratings

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4 stars WOW! This is the record that made me suffered! Why? Honestly, this is not an easy stuff for me to digest. It took me, for sure, more than 10 spins! So, you might be wondering with a number of "prog" reviews I have made at this site with various kinds of prog from the simple ones like Muse, Radiohead to the complex ones like Somnambulist, Island, etc. and I still "struggle" with Thinking Plague? Give me a break! How prog am I, actually? Am I prog enough? How prog am I? Well. you can say anything about me but the fact is: this record is very very tough for me to digest! One thing for sure, I was not going to make any review at all for music that I cannot digest - because it's not fair at all for the musicians: how can I make a comments on something that made me confused without wanting to know more?

Let's have a look about this Thinking Plague "In Extremis" album .

I did purchase the CD right after I received an email from one of this site's readers, Shirly (hope you don't mind I make your name disclosed here - but if you do, let me know, I will take it off) sometime ago (November 15, 2005). By the time, I was not aware about this band and because of her good introduction on how the band is like, the following month I got the CD. At first until third spin, I could not understand it and I put it off from my player and stored at my CD shelf. Sometime I spun it again, bu again, it did not click me at all. But I kept trying and it grew on me later .

The music of this album (or probably it applies to other albums of Thinking Plague) is very complex and hard to digest for my ears. It resembles a mixture of Gentle Giant, Yes and ELP, blended together and brought by the band to the new level. As Shirly mentioned it, the music is more than RIO (rock in opposition). Don't expect something "catchy" at all from this album. Most of them are complex stuff with music segments that most people would be hard to enjoy. The more spin I made, the more I could grab the subtleties and it steadily all broken pieces connect together in my ears and my mind until I got "click"

From the opening track "Dead Silence" (4:00), the music has blasted off with weird rhythm section and melody. Is there a melody? It barely no melody, I think. It's just a flow of music with complex textures and subtleties that need to be observed further. The only connection that I could get with this song is its similarity (in style) with the music of of Finneus Gauge or Echolyn in complex compositions. I suddenly recall that during the day in the 70s when I first enjoyed YES "Tales From Topographic Ocean" album, I experienced similar feeling. But I don't know why until these days when I have the mastery to enjoy wide range of prog music, I still find myself getting confused with this album. Similar with my experience with Tales, finally I could accept the music and raise my thumbs on the genius work by Thinking Plague!

My real test case happened when I reached "Les Etudes d'Organism" (14:00) which is basically a complex epic that made me tired at first time, with the music. More spin and more spin, finally I could get the music into my ears and I could enjoy it. This is a brilliant compositions with various styles, various moods and multiple tempo changes and time signatures. It's an excellent composition.

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection even though I would not recommend the newbie to jump into this Thinking Plague band wagon. It's too dangerous to enjoy this album without exploring much with other kinds of prog. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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