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Titus Groan - Titus Groan & ... Plus (1989) CD (album) cover

TITUS GROAN & ... PLUS (1989)

Titus Groan

 

Crossover Prog

3.41 | 55 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
3 stars When my eyes for the first time took a glance at the odd cover of this album I just couldn't believe it. I just loved the cover and still do. In it's foul ugliness there are so much beuaty and in part the music within equals that of the exterior. The only album by Titus Groan has followed me around for the good part of 25 years now and it is still as dear to me now as when first discovered in that dusty old basement of record store in the fair university city of Lund, Sweden.

Taking it's name from Mervyn Peake's novel they do not disappoint since they include an epic based on the novel, The hall of bright carvings. I would say that this is the center piece of the entire album. Clocking in at around 12 minutes it is the most progressive of the tracks and easily the best. Consisting of several pieces of quite intense horn-laden prog with a strong blues and jazz bottom it really lets my cop floweth over. The harmony vocals are all very typical for the era. Very, very nice indeed. The guitar is of special interest to me. It has a doomsday feel to it, as if hell is about to break loose. This track is easily 5 stars in my book. The title, the content, the lyrics... But it doesn't start there. The opener, It wasn't for you, is really a magnificent way to start off the album. Frantic jazz-rock with good horns and terrific riffing. I love this track, the way it shifts from the frantic opening to the slowed down vocal part and heavy playing.

The album works for me, from star to finish. Liverpool is a great song with great playing and time changes. The ballad on the album, I can't change, is a lovely piece of early progressive rock with beautiful flute and evocative lyrics. "It's all up with us" is a nice track but not on par with those coming before it. "Fuschia" offers yet again frantic jazz-prog with flute and fuzzed out guitar.

I won't say that it sounds "dated", because obviously it does. It's dated due to being recorded in 1970 and thus is a product of it's time. "Dated" sounds, to me, negative. The music of Titus Groan is very much of the early 70's and that is one thing I love about it. The warmth on display grabs me everytime. It's a great album that I really do like to listen to. If you're into classic and/or early prog this might be for you. I wouldn't call this "classic", because it isn't a classic album but it's a good one.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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