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Parallel or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways to Die  CD (album) cover


Parallel or 90 Degrees

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Another head on melee of contemporary dance and heavy progressive rock from PO 90. MEWTD concentrates more on the guitar and the riffs are particularly abrasive and dark, on average the songs are shorter and more self contained than previous offerings linked only by short ambient instrumental passages, so this album can be enjoyed as a whole or the tracks stand alone. As with most PO 90 release the drums are 'thin' sounding but as this is the rule rather than the exception I presume its the desired effect. Stylistically much akin to what Porcupine Tree are doing, especially Man Of Thin Air which I has an incessant mid paced riff about half way through the song which changes little while the arrangement changes underneath to the point where you think you can't stand it anymore and it comes to an abrupt halt, a trick employed by Steve Wilson and co. on more than one occasion. Petroleum Addicts is a great 'old style' prog song in the sense it has many colourful parts albiet with a inimitable PO 90 spin, with its metal like riffage juxtaposed with house music (believe it or not), 'this has nothing to do with prog!' I hear you cry, well no not in the generic sense it doesn't but for those who say that, the Mellotron (or digital equivalent) and trusty guitar solo are at the end of this exhilirating track. MEWTD has all the ingredients to appeal to those looking for something new as well as vintage.
Report this review (#11014)
Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As with many albums I listen to, the first playing of this was in the car. I had loaded the player with a few discs and initially didn't realise that this was the sixth album by Parallel Or 90 Degrees. The reason is that for me they have made a step change with this release, it is the album that I never thought that they were truly capable of. In other words this is a majestic leap into the annals of prog. This may be due to new guitarist Dan Watts who has given the music a much darker, far heavier edge. While they still maintain their links with the style of VDGG there is much more also in the style of Porcupine Tree and even Radiohead.

This is especially true for the eclectic almost hard rock "The Heavy Metal Guillotine Approach", or of course there is "The One That Sounds Like Tangerine Dream" (okay, it is a filler link but I had to get that title into the review somewhere). The booklet is also very comprehensive and by the time I had arrived home I was a convert.

But, when I was looking at the album in a bit more detail I realised that this was an extended album, so I placed it into the computer and got quite a shock. As the album is not quite as long as usual efforts they have included a compilation album, plus a completely printable CD cover, a complete album from 1989 plus other music. There is information about how the album was recorded plus an 8 minute video! It takes longer to go through all of the music and information on the bonus than it does on the main album!

I would recommend this album to all progheads if it didn't contain all of the extras so if you were ever in any doubt about this band then now is definitely the time to discover them.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

Report this review (#978041)
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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