Twelfth Night - Fact And Fiction  CD (album) cover


Twelfth Night



3.93 | 116 ratings

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2 stars Am I missing something? (I seem to be asking that alot lately...) What's all the fuss about? I admit that this is a reasonably listenable album. But that's about as far as I can go... As I've noted in numerous reviews, the success of any neo-prog band (for me) is the degree to which they are able to "filter" their influences and come up with something reasonably new and/or interesting (if not exciting or compelling). Although Twelfth Night is obviously making efforts to do that, they do not always succeed. And even when they do, I find little "inspiring" about what comes out.

Influences include those noted by others - most particularly lots of Floyd, including in "This City" and, especially, the end of "Creepshow," which is a shameless "Wall" rip- off, complete with Gilmour-esque solo. However, there is one influence - a particularly strong one - that no one has mentioned thus far: VDGG, and especially Peter Hamill. Indeed, Mann sounds like Hamill throughout much of the album, though with not quite so much heart-on-the-sleeve "angst". (There is also a strange Morrison-esque/Doors section toward the end of "Creepshow.")

As for "punk" influences, I hear none at all. Nor is it even remotely reminiscent of NWOBHM (there is vritually no metal at all, much less the "heavy" variety). Rather, what I hear is valiant attempts to channel (mostly) symphonic prog for use as a political tool. And while I can't disagree with the politics (which are indeed heavy here), the band simply fails to make a solid, satisfying connection between the two.

Had this album come out 10 years earlier, I would be as effusive as my colleagues and others in singing its praises. However, although it does predate (and presage) Marillion and other later neo-prog bands (and for that it should certainly get credit), its late arrival on the prog scene - and its unfortunate lack of true creativity, both with respect to filtering influences, and in general - leave me no choice but to give it two stars (with possibly an extra half star).

maani | 2/5 |


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