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The Tirith - A Leap Into The Dark CD (album) cover

A LEAP INTO THE DARK

The Tirith

 

Heavy Prog

3.14 | 3 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "The Tirith" is a heavy prog band from the UK founded by Tim Cox. The band's first album was released in 2015 and contains songs that were written by the band 40 years ago. In May of 2019, the band released their 2nd album called "A Leap Into the Dark" which consists of their more recent material written over the past few years. The line-up remains the same as the previous album, namely Tim Cox on guitars and keyboards; Dick Cory on vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and pedals; and Carl Nightingale on drums. The album has 10 tracks and a total duration of over 70 minutes.

The first track consists of two songs melded together. The title track "A Leap Into the Dark" is pared together with "The Autumn of Our Days" for a 10 minute track. The track starts off with a fast guitar riff which alternates with a moderate riff for a somewhat heavy sound with synths supporting it all. The vocals are okay, but nothing special with a nasal-ly feel. The guitar solo is excellent as the continued alternation of fast riffs and moderate riffs persist. The second half of the track is a bit more symphonic with added synth support and a new theme in the vocals that is a bit less intense. Another nice guitar solo also follows on the instrumental break.

"Kalaya" is another almost 10 minute track that begins with atmospheric synths and acoustic guitar. The lyrics are about a princess in the Himalayas. Just before the 3 minute mark, a guitar riff is introduced and the full band kicks in with a hard melodic riff that again alternates from heavy to soft. The music is pretty straightforward as far as rhythm and meter goes, but it does change in tone many times, never settling in one place to long instrumentally, but the vocal melody does follow a variation of traditional song patterns. "The Sphinx" starts with a long, flowing introduction which later turns to a more progressive sound and builds to a faster tempo with some regal sounding synths. The tempo continues in its quick tempo as the vocals join in with lyrics suggesting there is more to the Sphinx than what meets the eye. You can expect more excellent guitar work on this one too during the break.

"No More" is a moderate tempo and has an accessible feel to it as it is less heavy, but the lyrics are more relevant even though it has a nostalgic feel to it and a very pleasant melody. The subject seems to be about the death of a friend. " . . . and the Wind Will Come" is the first of 3 tracks under 4 minutes. The lyrics are based on a poem written by Tim Cox set to music. Acoustic guitar introduce the track with the vocals, but soon gets more upbeat in a progressive way. Being based on a poem, the melody is more non-traditional and the tone of the song changes frequently. "Song of the Forgotten One" deals with alienation. It remains mellow and pensive throughout. "The Scare" is a tribute to Ray Bradbury and is based on the story "Something Wicked This Way Comes". It features a descending guitar hook on the verses and a nice guitar solo on the break, but the vocal melody is a bit too repetitive and uninteresting considering the excellent story it is all based on.

The longer tracks return with the 8 minute track "The Exile", again a song dealing with alienation. The song starts out with the same leveled out mood as the last few tracks. One thing that has become noticeable in the last few songs is a lack of emotion in the vocals and the music, plus the melodies are not quite as interesting as they were in the beginning half of the album. The guitar solos in the instrumental breaks are still quite good, but the pattern is getting a bit old now. "The Nostalgia Sequence" manages to make it up to just past the 10 minute mark. Breaking from the moderate tempo that has been the main feel of the past few tracks, this one starts off soft with a solo piano and a nice melody. Acoustic guitars and drums soon join, but things remain soft as the vocals come in. The subject is about how his town has changed since his childhood and nothing is the same. I was hoping this one would have a better melody to it, but again there is a basic lack of emotion in the vocals, and even though the song was led by piano, you get the same token guitar solo in the break. With the end of the lyrics coming at the 5 minute mark, one hopes for some nice development for the last half of the song. The piano intro theme returns, but doesn't change much from the beginning. Then, the track moves to a Pink Floyd style with sustained keyboard notes, the bass establishing a melody and then synths start to soar. This is a welcome change from the usual pattern of the songs, but it is quite apparent how the music is borrowing from a Pink Floyd style instrumental, even to the slow guitar passage that closes things off. It's good, but it's predictable. The album ends with a reprise of "The Autumn of Our Day", which is pretty much an alternative version of the track, with more acoustic guitar and a softer sound. There is a lovely acoustic solo at the end of it all.

This album started off strong, but becomes more predictable as it moves on. The tracks in the beginning seemed to show more emotion, but this wanes as the album continues on. The music gets predictable when it seems to follow a similar pattern that it locks into by the middle of the album. The vocalist is okay at first, but you wish he had more emotion. Some of the lyrics are quite meaningful, while other songs are a bit tacky, but this could have been avoided with more emotion and a more dynamic vocalist. The fact that his singing is quite nasally doesn't help either. The band is strong enough to do better than this with more variety and by adding more progressiveness to their music, which tends to lack in most of the album. Anyway, it ends up as having an overall average feel to it by the end, so it gets 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |

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