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Thieves' Kitchen - The Water Road CD (album) cover

THE WATER ROAD

Thieves' Kitchen

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 66 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars With a few members of Anglagard filling out their lineup, Thieves' Kitchen's latest album sees them moving away from the neo-symphonic blend of their previous albums to an intriguing new sound which seems to me to be a blend of symphonic prog, prog folk, and proto-prog.

To my ears, The Water Road is a piece distinct from most of the material out there which goes for a "retro-prog" sound - whereas many of those retro-prog artists mimic the surface motifs of a variety of different acts hailing from a fairly wide space in time, and Thieves' Kitchen don't do that here. Instead, they work on mastering and reproducing the compositional approach, tone and atmosphere associated with a very particular point in time - that strange period from 1969 to 1971 when the prog scene was coalescing, classics of the genre such as The Yes Album, Tarkus, Foxtrot and Aqualung hadn't come out yet and people hadn't yet firmly pinned down what "prog" really sounded like.

It's the sort of atmosphere I personally associate with such pieces as the first two albums by Rare Bird, or Renaissance, or Family, or the output of audience; there's a sense of the radical counter-cultural roots of prog coming back on this album, which is particularly refreshing given the rather safe and tame (or even quite conservative, in the case of musicians like Neal Morse) cultural outlooks of so many latter-day acts on the scene. Sadly, the line-up fluctuations which delayed this album so much have returned with a vengeance since its release, so it may still be a little while before we hear more from Thieves' Kitchen - but I sincerely hope we do, because they're onto a good thing here.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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