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Tonic - This Way CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 6 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars First off I need to thank Ivan and Symphonic team for adding this band so quickly. I've suggested many bands over the years but these guys were so positive and addressed it so promptly that it made my head spin. TONIC were a German band who released this sole album back in 1980. It really is a recording out of it's time though as it sounds like it could have been released in the early to mid seventies. This is Symphonic with jazz over-tones mainly due to the sax, clarinet and trumpet. We do get some flute, mellotron and plenty of metallophone which sounds similar to vibes or xylophone. The vocals are excellent reminding me mostly of Ian Anderson but also Greg Lake at times and they are in English.

"Once I Had A Dream" opens with metallophone before this very prominent bass comes in(has to be a Rickenbacker). Drums and guitar kick in then sax. Back to the metallophone as the organ floats in the background. The bass is back digging deep then sax as themes are repeated. Silence after 2 1/2 minutes then the clarinet comes in although it sounds like flute to me. Vocals arrive for the first time before 3 1/2 minutes. Man this is so uplifting for me. The sax comes and goes and I do like the floating organ in the background once again. A calm before 7 1/2 minutes as metallophone only returns then some atmosphere to the end. Great opening track.

"Ask Me No More" is the longest song at 13 1/2 minutes. It's very laid back early on with mellow sounds including a horn, drums, metallophone, keys, guitar and more. It kicks in fairly hard at 2 1/2 minutes to a very uptempo soundscape, but then settles back quickly as these contrasts continue. The guitar plays that recurring melody followed by a horn that does the same. Vocals for the first time on this song 4 1/2 minutes in and he sounds like Greg Lake here. It kicks in again at 5 1/2 minutes with upfront bass and guitar then it settles with sax leading the way before the guitar returns lighting it up. It settles again then the vocals return before 7 1/2 minutes. Another calm reminds me this time of GENESIS with the intricate guitar and pastoral sound. Metallophone joins in as well. Bass and sax before 10 1/2 minutes followed by drums and guitar. When that earlier theme is repeated it's so moving. Vocals are back before 12 minutes and check out the bass and floating organ late.

"Black Boy" seems inappropriate to my ears not only because of the title but the singer suddenly sounds like Louis Armstrong. Thankfully that changes quickly(lasts about 1 1/2 minutes). About mid way through we get what sure sounds like a flute solo then mellotron before 3 1/2 minutes. Nice. Synths follow then back to the main melody late. "Sometimes" is darker sounding to start but then strummed guitar and synths lead and the tempo picks up. Vocals after a minute sounding like Ian Anderson as it settles. The opening theme is back followed by a calm with soft vocals. it kicks in quickly though. Excellent track.

"This Way" opens with floating organ and picked guitar as the vocals join in. I really enjoy his voice. Drums and bass kick in. The sax leads whenever the vocals stop. Some metallophone too. The vocals are more passionate, man this is uplifting. Prominent bass arrives when he stops singing. He's back as themes are repeate. Mellotron before 3 1/2 minutes and it's so moving 4 minutes in with the vocals and mellotron. "Against The Fear Of Death" opens with gentle guitar and mellotron as reserved vocals join in before a minute. Bass and drums follow then sax. Bass and atmosphere 2 minutes in then the vocals and drums return followed by a full sound. A guitar solo before 3 minutes then horns. Piano and vocals follow then it builds. It's so moving again before 5 minutes then a big finish with mellotron.

A solid 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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