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Thieves' Kitchen - One For Sorrow, Two For Joy CD (album) cover

ONE FOR SORROW, TWO FOR JOY

Thieves' Kitchen

 

Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 88 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars I was on www.progarchives.com the other night posting up some old reviews, and one of these was for TK's 'Shibboleth'. It was only then that I noticed that they had a new album out, so I went over to their website and after swapping some emails with guitarist Phil Mercy I ended up with a copy of 'One For Sorrow'. I originally got involved with TK when they formed in the late Nineties as I knew drummer Mark Robotham who had previously been with Grey Lady Down, but he is no longer with the band. 'Shibboleth' was their third album, and to my ears easily their best, although I did question at the time as to whether the band should consider becoming an instrumental group as I felt that their complexity didn't always leave enough room for vocalist Amy Darby. Apparently there has been an album between this and the last one I heard, and there have also been some line-up changes in that while Thomas Johnson (keyboards, ex-Anglagard) is there with Amy and Phil, the rest of the band are currently guests with Paul Mallyon (drums), Brad Waissman (bass) and Anna Holmgren (flute, also from Anglagard).

But, this doesn't come across as a project in any way as this is a band that know exactly what they are about. The music is incredibly complex, and at times has a hard rocking neo- prog guitar edge while at others it is much more symphonic. However, the big difference for me is that there appears to be a far greater understanding of the nuances of atmosphere and delicacy, combined with loads of control. This means that Phil and Thomas are quite happy to take the lead on instrumental passages yet also know when to rein it in and provide just the right amount of space for Amy. She has an incredible voice, particularly in regard to her breath and note control so that long drawn out sections is not an issue for her. At these times her voice is very much to the forefront, lifted over the maelstrom that is going on behind her. Thomas uses a great deal of different keyboard sounds and textures and that definitely adds to the picture that they paint.

As always, Rob Aubrey has done a sterling job with the production, so it doesn't matter if it is a quiet passage or bombastic, everything can be clearly heard and give the right emphasis. If I had to pick just one band for comparison then the obvious would be Renaissance, but with Amy singing more contralto than Annie's soprano. I am extremely reticent to provide more than one album with a 5 * rating in a sitting, and I have just done that with the new Comedy of Errors CD, but in all conscience I can't give it any less. I love it. www.thieveskitchen.com

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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