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Tantalus Lumen Et Caligo II album cover
4.65 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pumping the Bass (5:25)
2. Just a Test (6:52)
3. Barret's Zawn/Here and Now (5:20)
4. The Illest Man in the World (5:37)
5. Howlporth (4:01)
6. Custard (6:47)
7. Diesel (1:12)
8. Five Senses (4:28)
9. Route Six Junction Twenty Two (3:55)
10. Mad Dogs and Murderes (21:36)

Total time 65:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Max Hunt / keyboards, vocals, programming
- Jason Tilbrook / bass, mandolin
- Bob Leek / vocals, guitars
- Nick Beere / guitars, vocals, percussion
- Tony Wells / drums

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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Buy TANTALUS Lumen Et Caligo II Music

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Multiple Formats
Applause Books 2005
$45.94 (used)
Lumen Et CaligoLumen Et Caligo
Short StoriesShort Stories
$4.98 (used)

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TANTALUS Lumen Et Caligo II ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TANTALUS Lumen Et Caligo II reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "You stand accused of gross criminal negligence in the case of Tantalus' Lumen et Caligo as both vol.1 and vol.2 being fantastic examples of accessible prog, thus condemning them to the penitentiary of ignominy" bellowed the prog judge , wagging a pudgy finger at the PA fan base, his ruddy face 'red' with King Crimsonian anger! Sad but true, this album and its glorious predecessor are doomed to eternal silence, even though both are fine examples of bright, expertly played, highly melodious form of progressive rock. The first chapter was reviewed by a few and did garnish some mild interest whilst this follow-up never even got off the ground. This is a perfect example of an album that just flew below the radar like some stealth bomber, unseen and sadly, unheard. Kind of odd though as all the ingredients are there to enjoy, featuring a remarkable ivoryman in Max Hunt, a stellar guitarist in Nick Beere, rugged bass from Justin Tilbrook , a solid Tony Wells on the kit and , last but not least , Bob Leek the sensational vocalist that simply haunts throughout this brilliant record. His voice is somewhat close to the vocalist of 80s synth-pop band Naked Eyes, Peter Byrne.

The promisingly titled opener "Pumping the Bass" is a breathy introduction, showcasing the superb voice and the inherent quality of the players but from the second track on , the listener is taken for a highly unique joyride, with a plethora of mood swings and various infusions of detailed brilliance to keep things exciting. In fact, that is the appropriate buzzword to define this disc, EXCITING! Far from brooding or overtly melancholic, the mood is effusive, bright, eschewing a positive vibe and deliciously delivered. "Just a Test" is a fine enough example of their special craft, with enough melodic twist and turns to keep one on edge, contrasting soft passages with sunnier sections, always well-propelled rhythmically and interestingly instrumentalized. The lush vocals simply stun by its clear sharpness and emotional conveyance. Outstanding stuff! Better example yet is the strangely titled "Barret Zawn's Here and Now" which starts out as an organ-heavy rocker, all growling bulldog guitar riff and churning keys which suddenly goes into jazz-lounge mode on a dime, with tons of playful swerves finally diving into a medieval realm (recorders, aaah!), a little baroque noodling to boot and then back into the distorted tornado with screeching guitars howling in the wind. Well, well! Fantastic fun!

"The Illest man in the World" has a more idiosyncratic pace, with Leek's astonishing voice leading the buzz, a gentle tremble that shakes the soul into a profound lilt, complete with a wide axe solo that scours and searches eagerly, full of shimmering fuzz and spirited sorrow. Harpsichord sounds and shivering mandolin only heightens the beauty. It segues very nicely into the majestic "Howlporth" (whatever that means!), a keyboard paradise with magnificent piano and massive mellotron strings, that tug ferociously at the heart, a neo- romantic interlude of the very finest magnitude, seagull sampling extolling its virtues. "Custard" follows rather smartly, another dense prog workout with delirious instrumental work and a poignant vocal. The repeated main riff is simple yet effective, providing accessible sophistication to the prog genre, 'trust and you will receive' indeed! The chorus is hook-laden, everything just brisk and delightful, in the true luminous sense of the word. The brief "Diesel" squirts some Hammond lubrication for only a minute and a dozen seconds, a spurt of insanity to keep things exciting!

"Five Senses" has a masterful melody right up front and center, synths, strings and things all together in harmony, adding a bubbling bass and some dreamy effervescence. The instrumental work here is truly admirable, with guitar and keys raging in unison, a breathtaking pace that shivers with delight. Nothing rushed or padded for comfort, the arrangement creates unending interest. "Route 6 Junction 22" reprises the arguable acme on Lumen et Caligo I, "Route 36 Part 2", a fine excuse for the soloists to slice off some serious chops, with both Beere and Hunt slaying some mean beasts. The solos are death defying and intricate, one can only fantasize how this would look and sound in a live context.

Ending such an album on a massive epic is pure guts and Tantalus pull it of brilliantly, with the whopping colossus "Mad Dogs and Murderers" a 21 minute + extravaganza. Ornamental piano musings prepare the table, whispered gurgling voices create a peculiar atmosphere in which Leek's tremendous singing slices through. Sounding very much like movie music, it definitely conjures cinematographic images due to Max Hunt's judicious use of various ivories, amid the mottled samples and special effects. The pacing is unhurried yet penetrating, the ravishing piano leading the way melodically, fluttering, shimmering, fragile and grandiose, giving way to a carnival accordion where the horsies go up and down in unison in a merry dance that goes round and round. Beere's guitar shuffles in courteously, in parallel with Tilbrook's deep space bass, providing a lot of platform for Leek to sing his heart out. This sonic assault just grows in intensity then fades into acoustic delight, only to re-explode down the line with a sweltering electric solo that is quite compelling. What makes this track so peculiar is the swirling snippets of creative insanity wedged amid the more accessible sections, blending experimentation with immediacy. Did I mention the lovely voice? Must have!

This is one of my hidden, unknown and private jewels. Will I be the only fan?

5 floating semaphores

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