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Ageness Songs From The Liar's Lair album cover
3.79 | 98 ratings | 19 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entering (1:11)
2. Martial Arts (9:56)
3. The Lie And The Liar (7:12)
4. Why Don't You Go Away (6:37)
5. Sons Of Madness (5:32)
6. The Lament Of Ghosts (9:26)
7. Liar's Lair (6:21)

Total Time 46:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Tommy Eriksson / vocals, keyboards, guitars
- Kari Saaristo / drums, Percussion
- Jari Ukkonen / bass
- Speedy Saarinen / guitars, vocals

Releases information

CD Presence PRECD-016 (Finland)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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AGENESS Songs From The Liar's Lair ratings distribution

(98 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

AGENESS Songs From The Liar's Lair reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I can see where this might be compared to post-Gabriel but pre-pop Genesis, and even why some people might enjoy it. But for me, the album is marred by one of the most irritating singers in progressive rock I have ever heard. Now I like Roine Stolt, but I realize the main man behind The Flower Kings has a shaky voice. This fellow sounds like Stolt in the middle of a seizure when he is quiet, but sounds like Joe Walsh with his mouth full of gobstoppers when he hits higher notes. Musically, the album is okay, but barely- it's uninspired at best and almost as annoying as the singer at worst. It'd be best to avoid this one.

"Entering" This is a promising opening, beginning with gurgling electronic sounds, but is later full of strings and powerful electric guitar.

"Martial Arts" The introduction of the first track explodes into what is normally reserved for the end of the finale at a live concert- loads of cadenza-like bits and double bass thudding. While not a terrible composition per se, the first half of this track almost gives me a headache, mainly due to the drumming and that awful vocalist. I can't stand the terrible instrumentation used, and the lyrics are kind of silly ("I got caught again with my pants down holding a sword," followed by something I can't make out, and then the falsetto backup singers chanting, and the lead singer singing, "my precious ding-a-ling?" Really? Really?). The only noteworthy thing about this piece is the lead guitar, and even that can be grating at times.

"The Lie And The Liar" Lovely acoustic guitar accompanies the not-so-lovely voice of the singer. There some obvious references to the X-files ("Maulder and Scully," unless I am completely mishearing the lyrics). Once again, the guitar is the highlight, but that isn't saying very much. Inexplicable chanting occurs at the end, but very briefly.

"Why Don't You Go Away" An ironic question, given the repetitive sound and goofiness. Mostly, it's a noisy track with, again, terrible vocals and more unexpected monk-like singing at the end.

"Sons Of Madness" I picture this as theme music for an early 1980s evening television show, I'm sorry to say. The synthesizer and guitar solos are a positive element to this otherwise awful piece of work.

"The Lament Of Ghosts" Soft piano begins this track, followed by gentle guitar and that twisted singing voice (singing some equally disturbing lyrics). Musically, this has to be one of the most irritating tracks ever (I literally reached for my volume knob a time or two). It's downright repetitive at the end.

"Liar's Lair" With goofy lyrics and singing as though this were a third-rate musical, the final track goes on. It doesn't sound too terrible overall, but is fairly unremarkable, with nothing to set it apart from what many other bands in this genre are doing.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars "Ageness" never scored quite high in my hierarchy. Average neo music with little soul or flavour. Maybe that this was the reason for the very hiatus between their last two albums (some eleven years!).

To be honest (which I always want to be) this album is rather OK and on par with their last to date ("Imageness"). Of course, one shouldn't expect any masterpieces but a song as "Martial Arts" holds sufficient fine elements to fill the prog heart with good feeling. A highlight.

Pure neo is the next "Lie And The Liar". A good composition quite related to "IQ" IMHHO. Harmony, great electric guitar, powerful vocals and a rather bombastic approach are the elements which raised this song as one of the best of the whole (if not the best). Actually, this album is probably their best one so far.

But I'm quite astonished to see all these high ratings here. The music is not bad but quite cliché after all. Nothing is invented here ("Why Don't You Go Away" - a quite good phrase after all?) and I can't really be laudatory about the weak and syrupy "Sons Of Madness" which is just the type of "press next" song. Dull and predictable.

"The Lament Of Ghosts" is also quite well achieved (if you would exclude the vocal parts). Some fine mellotron sections, good guitar and globally above average song writing (from "Ageness" I mean).

The closing "Liar's Lair" is a crafted song which starts as a ballad but is travelling crescendo and offers a rather positive music. Needless to say that it is very much a "Genesis" oriented track (like most of their work). But weak vocals are again spreading over. Are there any need to emulate Peter if you're only a pale clone?

It is bizarre that in the early seventies, very few singers thought of faking his great vocal range?

In all, this album is far from being a masterpiece IMHHO. Three stars sounds more logical after a few listenings.

Review by progrules
4 stars I'm surprised to see this latest by Ageness coming by so often in the review section. Pleasantly surprised I might say because I'm a bit of a fan of this band for over a year now but most of the people who review Songs in a Liar's Lair haven't given their earlier albums any attention as far as I can see, at least not by posting a review. And I can tell them, they are worthwhile checking out as well, especially the predecessor Imageness.

Ageness plays neo prog of the most accessible sort I once again notice when hearing this latest release. The songs are very easy to digest and still it's true (neo) prog proven by lengthy songs that are yet way more complex than an average pop song. It's also a bit modern sounding with pretty rough guitar passages (as we know modern neo is heavier than the older style) and shorter more vocally oriented compositions.

This is in a nutshell what Songs in a Liar's Lair is about and by stating abovementioned I don't need to review it song by song anymore. The level of the songs is pretty consistent and quite high without becoming outstanding at any point. I like this album a lot but I don't think it's better than Imageness. The main difference is the top level of that album (Metamorphosis and Sequels) which was higher than the best songs on this album. Imageness was a full four stars to me whilst this is in the end more of a 3,75 case. Still 4 in the end although I would adjust the PA phrase about a four starrating to: Excellent (better: "very nice" in this case) addition to any neo prog collection

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's taken them 11 years, but finally the followers of this Finnish band are treated to a new album by this experienced outfit. And it's a pretty good album as well, and contains some of the most stunning tracks I've heard this year as well as some of the best tunes played by a Neo-Prog outfit ever. Perhaps not -the- best, but most certainly among them.

There are a few items on the tracklist of less worth though. Opening atmospheric piece Entering is really just the introduction to following track Martial Arts, and shouldn't have been given a function as a standalone feature. As an individual track it basically doesn't work very well. Sons of Madness represents the more cliched tributes to vintage Marillion's softer antics, while the final cut Liar's Lair (disregarding the hidden bonus track at the end) is a much better but less than perfect example of the same.

The rest of the tracks are stunning affairs though. Marginally keeping within the boundaries of vintage Neo-Prog and bordering on metal at times, these are strong compositions. Many segments are guitar-driven with synths and keyboard layers supplying minor details only, but also richly textured keyboards in strong interplay with wandering guitar patterns or riffs in various guises. The compositions tends to be sophisticated in construction, the moods and atmospheres strong and distinct - often with a slightly dark and brooding presence. And while the vocals might be typical of the genre, akin to Peter Gabriel, the vocalist utilize his somewhat limited range and expression to perfection throughout - adding more depth and emotion to these ventures than one might think possible without having a name like Gabriel or Fish.

And while the music as such might not be described as original or innovative, lots of subtle and many not so subtle details provides earcandy for fans of the genre and probably beyond as well. With a few unpredictable developments as an added bonus, the overall conclusion for me is that this is a stunning album, where a few select efforts of the more lacklustre variety are the only reasons for this album not hitting my top charts of 2009. Still, this is a highly recommended production nontheless - the strong tracks here are pretty brilliant after all as far as I'm concerned.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My first experiences of this Finnish group were from the local concert stages, maybe being some Colossus prog music association event, and once I recall them warming up Anekdoten at Stoa. I had listened their earlier records, but didn't like either their aesthetic approach nor humoristic touch - how evere honest that might be. But on this disc, the music's ability to touch my emothions to some extent was the biggest merit for me on whole record. The singer, whose vocal style I do not completelly adore, manages to find very convincing balance in his fine quality perform. The compositions are done in professional manner, even with so sincere piety that more marginal pop-style search motives slip in my mind, but I won't suggest I'm correct. A very fine, international neo-classic prog easy listening album, worth recommebdable for taking a test listen.
Review by Matti
4 stars As witnessed on the new international anthology Decameron Pt. III (that I reviewed yesterday), the neo prog band Ageness still exists. The group was the central Finnish prog revivalist in the 90's, but Imageness (1998) remained their latest album for over a decade. The frontman Tommy Eriksson told Colossus prog magazine in 2009 that practicing sessions were little by little replaced by booze-filled, loose meetings. They never stopped gigging for good but the activity was notably on a lower level in the beginning of this Millennium.

The initial recordings of the comeback album featured also Matti Kervinen (Pax Romana, Kataya, etc... plus a producer and a record company man) who had distributed Ageness albums in Finland. A guitarist and an organist had departed. Guitarist Speedy Saarinen had guested on Rituals (1995), now he completed the new quartet line-up and also took care of mixing the new album. Compared to earlier stuff, Songs from the Liar's Lair feels somehow more mature. Perhaps it demands more time to sink on the listener, and the highlights don't stick out as instantly as before , also because this is more even in quality. -- Hey, wait a minute, the final track ended long ago but the CD keeps spinning... A hidden track, what else. I can't say I'd enjoy this habit a lot (the worst case must be on Marillion's This Strange Engine) and I bet I won't care to wait for this one, an energetic rocker, on later listenings.

The relatively quiet and brief opening instrumental suddenly bursts into powerful, almost attacking 'Martial Arts'. It's the longest track at nearly ten minutes but not among my favourites. The title song -- by the way lyrics mention the X-File agents Mulder and Scully -- is pretty gorgeous with several [neo] prog hallmarks, wide dynamics, solo parts and, most of all, lots of emotion. These elements are present throughout the album. The production (by the band) is very good if slightly on the dark end of the spectre, and and there are no weak tracks. Recommended if your'e into bands such as PENDRAGON and IQ, even if the early Ageness have disappointed you with Genesis-imitations and the nasal vocals of Eriksson, which aren't as nasal any more.

Latest members reviews

3 stars "FROM START TO FINNISH : PART ONE" This Finnish four piece band was founded in the early Nineties, in 1992 Ageness released their debut CD Showing Paces, followed by Rituals in 1995 and Imageness in 1998. Then ... (read more)

Report this review (#1952821) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Saturday, July 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album, for me, occupies a grey area. I'm not completely sold on the concept, and yet there were parts that I thought were pretty impressive. On a scale of 1-5 it gets about a 2 1/2 to 3. Most impressive component here is the guitarist. Speedy Saarinen can flat out play, and shows it with no ... (read more)

Report this review (#275789) | Posted by pfdfcc | Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ageness is in 1991 founded Finnish group. Their first album "Showing Paces" was released in 1992, followed by "Rituals" in 1995. That resulted in taking part in festivals prog of reputation. Finnish television was also interested in them. The group started to be exported worldwide with their thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#259621) | Posted by Evelyna | Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Long, long ago, and it was late 90s, a friend of mine handed me three hit albums by Ageness. Both at the earliest "Slowing Paces" (1992), as well as the "Rituals" (1995) and "Imageness By Ageness" (1998) struck me with many genesislike references. I'm not saying that those discs (particularly "I ... (read more)

Report this review (#245009) | Posted by UmpioKasi | Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This Finnish group has been slagged for being a just another Genesis-clone (and there are many, so many of those), but I don't share that opinion at all. Mainly those statements are fed by envy for these clever musicians and their wit to use the good elements to create something new and original out ... (read more)

Report this review (#244256) | Posted by Heikki_L | Sunday, October 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After 1998's Imageness album Ageness went through some changes in their lineup, but you can still recognise their style. Even though today's sound is more modern and mature than before, but is still like a heavier version of Genesis. Tommy Eriksson's voice has never sounded better and is pleasan ... (read more)

Report this review (#239936) | Posted by Salbantique | Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When looking at the back catalogue of this band, there are two gaps of about ten years. The first album dates from 1983 and then nothing in nine years. In the nineties they made three albums and now, after more than 10 years, we have a new record. A lot of reviewers say about Ageness that they a ... (read more)

Report this review (#236602) | Posted by PetraStar | Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album has been dividing reviewers in the middle. Some of them has been surprised positively and some few find it quite horrible. For me this is the one of the best, if not the best album made in our home country. Yes I'm from Finland too, and I must say that I've had recently been enjoying ... (read more)

Report this review (#235951) | Posted by SahtiSam | Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Its been about over 10 years since this Finnish prog band put out an album. Luckily they have moved with the times and updated their sound. So the overall sound is much more modern with guitars taking on a harder edge. Enough keyboard noodling to let us know that the band still remembers the 7 ... (read more)

Report this review (#229931) | Posted by Artrockguy33 | Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I had great expectations of this new album. Could the band leader Tommy Eriksson and his colleagues come up with another fine release again after the fabulous albums Rituals (1995) and Imageness (1998) ? The answer is: yes, they could, although I wasn't so happy when I heard the album for the firs ... (read more)

Report this review (#229475) | Posted by Progeaster | Sunday, August 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Being a big fan of progressive metal like Dream Theater and Queensryche, I must admit that this years best album so far, surprisingly comes from a band which has been labeled as neo-progressive here at Prog Archives. This album has it all: Dark passages, triumphant moogsolos, soaring guitars, ri ... (read more)

Report this review (#224976) | Posted by Jonesman | Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The new Ageness album has been long in waiting and the question remains: was it worth it? The answer is: Yes!! This album finally makes their career and satisfies even the most demanding prog fan for sure. The opening track Entering is a kind of an introduction before the band starts with a p ... (read more)

Report this review (#219832) | Posted by Syrinxter | Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Songs From The Liar's Lair" is clearly the best album from Finland's Ageness. From the opening chords of Martial Arts, it's evident that these guys are serious and furious. This album puts Ageness certainly to a crossover prog cathegory as the music is all very symphonic with a darker edg ... (read more)

Report this review (#219615) | Posted by CiacomoSpano | Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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