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The Tangent - The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 334 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I did not see this one coming but I should have. THE TANGENT's previous album was the first one I gave less than 4 stars to but in the mean time Andy Tillison had a heart attack and I've said for years that tragedy or heart-break is the best thing to get the creative juices flowing in an artistic person. Should have seen this one coming. This is hands down the best THE TANGENT album I have heard to this point, and it's not close. What a lineup as well with Andy of course, Theo Travis on flute and sax, Luke Machin on lead guitar, Jonas Reingold who might be my favourite bass player, and Marie-Eve De Gaultier on keyboards and backing vocals. She basically has taken Sam's place I'd say and it's surprising how much her backing vocals add to the sound here. Everything is just perfect.

The cover art was done by Marvel/DC Comics illustrator Mark Buckingham and it's outstanding like everything else here. This is a political album of epic proportions and for the first time in my life I'm putting a spoiler alert on one track called "A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road" with it's shocking ending. I liked how THE TANGENT's first two albums came to mind at times here.

"Two Rope Swings" deals with the fate of wild animals in the 21st century lyrically. Piano, bass and laid back vocals to start along with female backing vocals. Flute and a beat join in after a minute as it slowly starts to build. It kicks in hard at 2 1/2 minutes. Huge bass lines here and Andy sings with passion. It settles back after 5 1/2 minutes with piano and reserved vocals.

"Doctor Livingston(I Presume)" is an absolute killer instrumental. It hits the ground running with prominent bass before a guitar solo arrives before a minute. So much going on though including organ and synths. It settles back before 2 minutes but kicks back in a minute later as contrasts continue. Sax around 3 1/2 minutes. Jazzy piano and drums a minute later followed by some massive bass lines and ripping guitar 5 minutes in. So good! Sounds like mellotron after 7 minutes then a calm with flute, atmosphere and more. it kicks in again around 9 1/2 minutes. Nice synth work a minute later.

"Slow Rust" is 22 1/2 minutes long and it deals with a lot of current political topics. Organ to start as laid back vocals join in with backing female vocals. A fuller sound with synths follows a minute in, drums too. The dual vocals continue followed by bass and electronics. Lots of atmosphere as well. The bass kills here. The chorus arrives around 3 minutes and later before 5 1/2 minutes with keys, bass and drums. Beautiful stuff. Love that guitar solo after 6 1/2 minutes. Vocals are back after 8 1/2 minutes with organ in this powerful section. Check out the driving rhythm section 10 1/2 minutes in. There's a "Roll The Bones"-like Rap section 12 minutes in. How blissful is the calm with flute, picked guitar and female vocal melodies. Love how Andy comes in vocally. It kicks in before 16 1/2 minutes with huge bass. Love the organ after 18minutes. The chorus is back after 20 minutes.

"The Sad Story Of Lead And Astatine" with "Astatine" being a radioactive chemical element. Sad vocals and piano to start. It picks up1 1/2 minutes in with flute in this jazzy section as the vocals become more alive. Backing female vocals a minute later then it turns more powerful 3 1/2 minutes in with that amazing bass. Sax joins in before 4 minutes as the vocals step aside. Organ too and check out that bass around 7 minutes. Oh my! Lots of atmosphere then it kicks in hard. Check out all those intricate sounds before 8 minutes. The tempo picks up making this even more mind boggling. Drum solo after 9 minutes and I like it. It settles back with organ, piano and vocals. There's such a feel good vibe to the chorus 11 1/2 minutes in. Check out the guitar and bass 14 1/2 minutes in.

"A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road" is where I have a spoiler alert. If your going to pick this album up don't even read this because my hair actually stood up when it was revealed late who this country was Andy is talking about. This song was brought about because of the refugee problems in the World these days, and Trump of course, and Brexit as many countries seem to fuelled these days by nationalism, greed and power. So Andy uses an example from the past but we don't know that until the end as I figured the country he was going at great lengths to describe was just a made up one. Instrumentally this is complex but also all over the place as it were but the narration from Andy was surprising throughout as it comes and goes to great affect. This is a 17 1/2 minute epic itself to close the album.

Basically the country here in question reminisces about their glorious past and concludes that immigrants have a lot to do with their decline. So they vote in a party who will deal with that particular problem among others. Like I said earlier Andy goes to great lengths to describe the feelings and history of this nation and the reasonings for a change. They want to be great again. Sound familiar USA? So the scene is set up for us to where this party is elected and after 12 minutes the emotion of that event is stunning to say the least. Andy's vocals that follow couldn't be more moving and emotional. We are then taken to the newly elected political party's first official meeting as they discuss the issues they have to deal with. It's haunting here as the new leader tells his cabinet ministers that the immigration problem is his main priority and he turns to one of his senior officials and looking over his reading glasses he says "I think this one(the immigration problem) is seriously important and as such I would like you to handle it" as he looked over to Heinrich Himmler. Himmler responds "Jawohl mein Fuhrer leave it with me".

This is jazzy and oh so proggy in several different ways. The lyrics really match the incredible musicianship here and it all makes this one of the best from 2017. It will be featured high on my list.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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