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The Tangent - Pyramids And Stars CD (album) cover


The Tangent

Eclectic Prog

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The Tangent,that great melding of the minds between Parallel or 90 Degrees and The Flower Kings,have released this fine live album that nicely balances out songs from their two studio releases The Music that Died Alone and The World that We Drive Through.This performance was recorded at Aschaffenburg Colas-Saal on March 11,2004,and if you were not fortunate to see them live,this is your only chance to hear them with The Flower Kings Roine Stolt and Zoltan Csorsz,who have since been replaced by Karmakanic's Krister Jonzon and ex-Flower Kings drummer Jaime Salazar.The songs are executed very well live and sound just as good as the studio versions,with plenty of impromptu riffs and spontaneous solos.The highlight of this album for me was The Tangent's encore cover version of ELP's "Lucky Man",probably one of the best renditions of this song I have ever heard.If you like The Tangent and want to hear what a great live band they are,buy this album.4 stars.
Report this review (#40756)
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As written at this site, The TANGENT is by concept a musical project that involves seven of the most dedicated progressive musicians today. The band consists of Roine STOLT, Jonas REINGOLD & Zoltan CZSORZ (all from The FLOWER KINGS), Sam BAINE & Andy TILLISON (from PARALLEL Or 90 DEGREES), Guy MANNING (MANNING), and ex VDGG sax/flute player David JACKSON. A line-up that historically spans the whole progressive music era.. This live album was recorded live at Colos Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany 03/11/04. This time David Jackson and Guy Manning did not present but it did not mean the line-up had become weak. This live set proves that the band is one or great prog band Planet Earth has ever had. AT least, I love The Tangent very much!

Prior to this live set the band had released two albums namely "The Music That Died Alone" and "The World That We Drive Through" of which these two albums I have written long review that you might want to read at this site. It's not important to read my review, actually, because what's more important is: GET THAT CDs of two albums! Even it's better you listen to the studio albums first an then move to this live set so you understand the difference.

What a great thing about this live set because in concert, The Tangent's music turned out to be a whole new and much superior level with great live vibes and very entertaining. I always smile whenever I heard this album which I have been listening to it more than 10 spins (hey! I have ripped the music into my PDA which I carries wherever I go. So, I keep listening to this album even though I'm traveling out of town like now). It's probably Andy Tillison who really make this concert entertaining. He serves as the band's communicator with his bad German (clearly stated at the CD sleeve. It's not my words because I can't understand German so I cannot comment!). This is how the liner notes says: Andy Tillison: organ, synthesizer, piano, vocals, and equally bad German. Hua ha ha ha. what a great laughs I got when I read this the first time. Indeed, he is a very funny and personable guy. He makes everything lively.

"The World That We Drive Through" kicks off wonderfully with clear vocal and piano, everything is performed very closely with the one you hear at studio version. But, there is major difference beween the two versions: this one is much more dynamic and "live" as it contains fresh music with spontaneous solos, jazz improvisation, and other good riffs.

My favorite "The Canterbury Sequence" sounds somewhat different in terms of instruments used, which probably something to do with equipment's brand. But, composition-wise it's pretty close with what I hear at the studio version. Rather than build up with the other parts of the epic, they cut to the chase and go straight for the jugular with this sequence. You might wan to read my review of first album on details of this powerful epic.

Roine Stolt's guitar work sounds heavier than studio version on "The Winning Game". The influence of The Flower Kings music is so obvious in this track. "The Music That Died Alone" is also excellent one and it's performed much better than the studio version especially the piano, in particular, is performed like a new thing in here.

"In Darkest Dreams" which started all of The Tangent album is now performed at the end of the concert. By this time the band's music has become matured and this track is very interesting to enjoy to conclude the concert. What to me sounds like an anti-climax is the inclusion of ELP's "Lucky Man" which I think was a bad decision for the band to perform this tribute. Not that they perform poorly but this song by ELP has become so boring on my ears (In fact, I never put this legendary song as my favorite because it has repeated chords that made me "bored"). Oh yes, it's a legendary track and so what? It's an anti-climax and I never get it played at my CD Player only once at first spin. Lucky Man is a very boring song that ELP should have not ever made it . Excluding "Lucky Man" featured in this CD, I consider that this CD is a masterpiece of progressive rock live album. Highly recommended (please skip the "Lucky Man"!). Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#75993)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hitting the right keys to my heart.

I have not failed to notice that a lot of people says or very strongly hints that the music of The Tangent has hit their heart and mind. Is therefore The Tangent a commercial prog rock band ? Well, they hit the right notes and their music is very stylish. So the answer is probably yes. But there is nothing wrong with pleasing the prog rock community.

This is the missing piece in my The Tangent collection. I got all their albums after their last album hit me like a tonne of bricks and gave me another reason to live. I got their other albums and I loved them too. I was pondering for several months if I was bothering to get this album. But luckily, there was an Ebay seller who wanted to get rid of it for a fraction of the price The Tangent's webshop are charging and I bought it. The reason for my reluctance to get it is that I already have the other live album. Two live albums is one too many. But I eventually gave in.

What do we get here ? The last gig from the original The Tangent lineup. So what ? I am not that interested in who plays the tone two minutes into a song or who are doing what. I am only in it for the music, to paraphrase Frank Zappa.

The songs on this album is mainly the same songs from the first The Tangent albums. This is a superb album. The live versions is slightly jazzed up and more lively. The band is really enjoying themselves and so is the lucky ones who witnessed this gig. Unfortunate, the band has included a stupid version of ELP's Lucky Man. I am not the biggest fan of ELPs version, but The Tangent's version is far worse than the original. That's the only negative gripe I have with this live album. If you can get hold of this live album, go for it. Is this an essential album ? No. But it is close, very close to a four star. It is a very nice album.....

3.75 stars. .......... Oh never mind !! It is 4 stars then.

Report this review (#188593)
Posted Monday, November 10, 2008 | Review Permalink

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