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Thinking Plague - In Extremis CD (album) cover

IN EXTREMIS

Thinking Plague

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.33 | 114 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
5 stars 1. "Dead Silence" (4:03) The first two and a half minutes of this song sound as if they've done a modernized cover of KATE BUSH's "Sat in Your Lap;" the final ninety seconds sound more like KING CRIMSON Discipline-era. (8/10)

2. "Behold the Man" (4:26) is rife with strings of scales runs performed by instrument after instrument while Deborah Perry sings melodically (and sometimes not so melodically) over and within. Awesomely conceived! Again the TONY LEVIN/King Crimson influences are obvious--as are those of PHILLIP GLASS. I really love listening to this song--and it does not grate against me as some of TP's more dissonant songs can. (10/10)

3. "This Weird Wind" (8:03) comes across as some kind of anthemic YES-monster for the first ninety seconds. Then a strange JOHN CALE-like lull and pounce section begins (awesome drums sound!) The keyboard work beginning at 2:20 is awesome--as is the acoustic guitar work that follows. A JON ANDERSON-like male voice presents in that same third minute. The ensuing two-minutes of music continues to build and morph like a condensed, abrasive STEVE HOWE/JON ANDERSON composition--even down to the heavily treated voices and psychedelic section in the sixth minute. 5:45 brings us back to the more straightforward YES style and sounds. Great final minute! Really an outstanding exercise on Yesorcism! YES would/should be proud! (10/10)

4. "Les études d'organism" begins as if one had awakened suddenly on a ocean-going vessel during a heavy storm. Then the ensuing wobbly walk around below-decks, trying to keep balanced, while trying to pursue some answers: Is this just a dream or really a dream within a dream? At 2:25 the zoo animals have burst into the ship's hallways! 2:54 you find a lounge in which people are out of it. Back into the hallways, running around the perimeter of the ship--Carnival Lines, of course! 4:30 brings us to some higher functioning, for a moment, before the circus engulfs you again. 5:17 begins the organized entertainment: a bike-rider standing on his seat, doing waterless-water jokes from his hat while riding in a circle. The clowns are doing their best to attract you attention, as are the show girls. Horses riding around the circle with fast-stepping acrobats doing their jumps and flips to and from animal. At 7:50 arrives the elephant, lumbering, plodding, a bit unsteady on the sea-rolling ship, a very good natured, patient elephant, performing by rote all the while looking out into the audience for its saviour. Tensions mount as the elephant stands on its hind legs: immense above the crowd. At 10:25 is seems as if all of a sudden time begins to stand still; you become aware of someone running in from the stormy outside screaming "I'm here! Sophie, I'm here!" The disciplined flow of the circus collapses, the elephant turns and bolts out the door with the young man--sheering the doors from their hinges as it does--revealing the calm, sunny skies outside--your view from your portal window as you awaken from a long night's sleep. (9/10)

5. "Maelstrom" (3:35) begins quite malevolently, dark and heavy, until at 0:45 the vocal harmonizes with some positive chords--obviously there is hope. Return to a quieter, more controlled form of trepidation. The final minute is complete with the all-out struggles and inevitable resignation of the end. Interesting song. (9/10)

6. "The Aesthete" (4:39) or "the me song," sounds like a JANE SIBERRY masterpiece, such a tongue-in-cheek lyric. The steady, strong drums move us forward while the guitars, bass, accordian, and horns try to move us every which way but forward. But when the drums disappear, what then? We are left to float, left to our own devices, left alone. Me, alone. Not really such a scary prospect, if only our heart keeps beating. (9/10)

7. "Kingdom Come" (13:45) YES and KING CRIMSON are what come to mind when listening to this extended piece. A kind of "Gates of the Delirius Red Nightmare," if you will. (9/10)

An collection of uniquely conceived and unusually rendered songs--not one's typical pop or smooth jazz melodies. Avant garde. Out of this world! But stunningly engaging and starkly beautiful! An album I go back to over and over because of the new and unusual--and often excitingly disturbing and unnerving--emotions and imagery evoked herein. This is not abrasive or as are much of the experimental/post, technical or doom metal music I encounter. This is unsettling in a way that is, I believe, to provoke a growth response. If you really want to see music/rock/progressive rock 'progress' then this album is essential for you.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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