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The Tangent

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The Tangent The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery album cover
3.97 | 346 ratings | 6 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Two Rope Swings (6:32)
2. Dr. Livingstone (I Presume) (11:58)
3. Slow Rust (22:31)
4. The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine (16:00)
5. A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road (17:31)

Total Time 74:32

Bonus track on 2017 SE:
6. Basildonxit (5:21)

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Tillison / vocals, keyboards, drums
- Luke Machin / guitar, vocals, producer
- Marie-Eve de Gaultier / keyboards, vocals
- Theo Travis / saxophones, flutes
- Jonas Reingold / bass, double bass

- Boff Whalley / vocals
- Matt Farrow / DJ

Releases information

Sub-titled "Or: Where Do We Draw the Line Now?"

Artwork: Mark Buckingham

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 480 (2017, Germany) Digipak SE with a bonus track

2LP + CD Inside Out Music - 0IO01717 (2017, Germany) Full album on both media

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE TANGENT The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery Music

THE TANGENT The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery ratings distribution

(346 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE TANGENT The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Back then the Canterbury homage 'The Music That Died Alone' hit me like lightning, I also thought 'COMM' to be another very recommended album, and now this one convinces right from the first listening session. When recovering from a heart attack in 2015 Andy Tillison's songwriting efforts understandably took a backseat for a while. But as somebody who's focussed on developing and playing sophisticated rock music as no other, he rebounded soon. And obviously felt challenged later on by the political development in Europe. Especially this Brexit affair, a quite exemplary result when some politicians, parties and even complete governments subtly and gradually are encouraging hate and nationalism.

How not to repeat yourself after so much prolific albums since 2002? Firstly, this is a very political album, A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road marks a strong statement due to his recitative. This may not meet everybody's taste. But at least music-wise it's definitely a top-notch result, and very jazz drenched stuff right here again. Furthermore he's effectually flirting with other styles on his albums, for example be it the excellent Pink Floyd oriented 'Aftereugene'. Alternatively, on this occasion, it's definitely Basildonxit, which opens very Lounge/2Step drenched. Well, and he surprisingly even goes the extra mile now when, for what reason ever, dealing with the percussion duties. I'm not sure, be it acoustic, electronic or via keys most likely. Presumably a little of each.

Apart from that Andy has some wellknown compagnions at his side, speaking of Theo Travis, Luke Machin and Jonas Reingold of course, my hero, when it comes to the bass guitar at least! As I'm not really fond of his work with the band Maschine, so much the more I adore Machin's contributions here, also being very present and virtuoso with a range from Gary Boyle to Santana and John Petrucci. If somebody is going to advertise a 2017 award for exceptional songwriting, here we have a strong aspirant waiting for. Another very personal statement, nothing to complain though, as this is always the fact, more or less. Groove, catchiness, complexity, sophistication, meaningfulness, experimentalism - all attributes will apply regarding this album. Is there any more of it?

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally published in


Since The Tangent's early days I've been fan of their music, they know how to create challenging music with lots of changes, instrumental and vocal passages, vertiginous moments and calm tracks, they also bring a rollercoaster of emotions that touches the symphonic, Canterbury an even heavy side of prog. Andy Tillison and co. are now back this 2017 with an extraordinary album that once again shows their inherent and endless talent, an ambitious 6-track release with 4 long epics and 2 short tracks that will make you have over an hour of great prog rock. I must say that I personally have a bit trouble with albums this long, I always prefer a length minus 50 minutes, but with The Tangent I can let that rule slip away.

The album opens with "Two Rope Swings" which has a delicate sound, sweet vocals and a beautiful piano. Little by little more instruments join, calm flute, acoustic guitar, soft bass and drums. The sound is really gentle, easy to dig and easy to make you feel comfortable. Then at minute 2:30 keyboards appear so does the symphonic sound, so you have to be prepared to start a great journey and leave The Tangent guide you. "Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)" is the first (and shortest, by the way) epic of the album. The musicians have nothing to prove; we all know they are amazing, so in every single minute of the song (and album) we will feel satisfied. When asked what progressive rock is, I could easily play a The Tangent song, this instrumental one might be a great example, due to its great passages, the changes in time and mood, the use of symphonic, jazzy and classical elements, and much more. The song runs so gentle that in a blink of an eye it has already finished. The Canterbury-esque essence is provided here at its best.

Man, what a long and amazing track "Slow Rust" is, Tillison, Reingold, Travis and co have done one hell of a track (and an album). Vocals return here in an incredible labyrinth of emotions, tricks and dungeons where our ears and soul will be trapped for over 20-minutes, and let me say that you will not wish to find the exit, you will happily accept the musical seclusion. Lush keyboards and great bass lines can be found here; it is like a TV series with its chapters, the music is changing and creating different passages that naturally match with its predecessor. There are no weak moments, of course there are ones I enjoy more but I cannot ask for more. "The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine" continues with these examples of challenging compositions full of a cascade of changes, textures and nuances. The work of Travis here is beautiful and of course, Reingold always (but really, always) create the best bass lines for what the music needs.

"A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road" opens with a calm minute but then all of a sudden it explodes and becomes rockier and a bit heavier. The intensity increases and a sense of tension can be felt while a powerful symphonic sound surrounds us. As usual the song has different changes so we then listen to calm passages and minutes later it returns with more intensity. Great! The album finishes with "Basildonxit" which is the shortest composition here. As you can notice by my words, The Tangent has not let us down and I can actually say this this is my favorite release of their from this current decade, hands down. This last track is very different; it includes electronics sounds made by a DJ while keyboards work normally creating nuances. Then the symphonic explosion comes, strings, drums and keys work together in a wonderful work of art with some Floydian guitar, a jazzy funky sound and that great use of electronic background. A great way to finish a magnificent album!

The Tangent is of course, one of the bands I want to see the most on stage, and if everything goes normal, I would be able to do so next Progtoberfest at Chicago.

Enjoy it!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I did not see this one coming but I should have. THE TANGENT's previous album was the first one I gave less than 4 stars to but in the mean time Andy Tillison had a heart attack and I've said for years that tragedy or heart-break is the best thing to get the creative juices flowing in an artistic person. Should have seen this one coming. This is hands down the best THE TANGENT album I have heard to this point, and it's not close. What a lineup as well with Andy of course, Theo Travis on flute and sax, Luke Machin on lead guitar, Jonas Reingold who might be my favourite bass player, and Marie-Eve De Gaultier on keyboards and backing vocals. She basically has taken Sam's place I'd say and it's surprising how much her backing vocals add to the sound here. Everything is just perfect.

The cover art was done by Marvel/DC Comics illustrator Mark Buckingham and it's outstanding like everything else here. This is a political album of epic proportions and for the first time in my life I'm putting a spoiler alert on one track called "A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road" with it's shocking ending. I liked how THE TANGENT's first two albums came to mind at times here.

"Two Rope Swings" deals with the fate of wild animals in the 21st century lyrically. Piano, bass and laid back vocals to start along with female backing vocals. Flute and a beat join in after a minute as it slowly starts to build. It kicks in hard at 2 1/2 minutes. Huge bass lines here and Andy sings with passion. It settles back after 5 1/2 minutes with piano and reserved vocals.

"Doctor Livingston(I Presume)" is an absolute killer instrumental. It hits the ground running with prominent bass before a guitar solo arrives before a minute. So much going on though including organ and synths. It settles back before 2 minutes but kicks back in a minute later as contrasts continue. Sax around 3 1/2 minutes. Jazzy piano and drums a minute later followed by some massive bass lines and ripping guitar 5 minutes in. So good! Sounds like mellotron after 7 minutes then a calm with flute, atmosphere and more. it kicks in again around 9 1/2 minutes. Nice synth work a minute later.

"Slow Rust" is 22 1/2 minutes long and it deals with a lot of current political topics. Organ to start as laid back vocals join in with backing female vocals. A fuller sound with synths follows a minute in, drums too. The dual vocals continue followed by bass and electronics. Lots of atmosphere as well. The bass kills here. The chorus arrives around 3 minutes and later before 5 1/2 minutes with keys, bass and drums. Beautiful stuff. Love that guitar solo after 6 1/2 minutes. Vocals are back after 8 1/2 minutes with organ in this powerful section. Check out the driving rhythm section 10 1/2 minutes in. There's a "Roll The Bones"-like Rap section 12 minutes in. How blissful is the calm with flute, picked guitar and female vocal melodies. Love how Andy comes in vocally. It kicks in before 16 1/2 minutes with huge bass. Love the organ after 18minutes. The chorus is back after 20 minutes.

"The Sad Story Of Lead And Astatine" with "Astatine" being a radioactive chemical element. Sad vocals and piano to start. It picks up1 1/2 minutes in with flute in this jazzy section as the vocals become more alive. Backing female vocals a minute later then it turns more powerful 3 1/2 minutes in with that amazing bass. Sax joins in before 4 minutes as the vocals step aside. Organ too and check out that bass around 7 minutes. Oh my! Lots of atmosphere then it kicks in hard. Check out all those intricate sounds before 8 minutes. The tempo picks up making this even more mind boggling. Drum solo after 9 minutes and I like it. It settles back with organ, piano and vocals. There's such a feel good vibe to the chorus 11 1/2 minutes in. Check out the guitar and bass 14 1/2 minutes in.

"A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road" is where I have a spoiler alert. If your going to pick this album up don't even read this because my hair actually stood up when it was revealed late who this country was Andy is talking about. This song was brought about because of the refugee problems in the World these days, and Trump of course, and Brexit as many countries seem to fuelled these days by nationalism, greed and power. So Andy uses an example from the past but we don't know that until the end as I figured the country he was going at great lengths to describe was just a made up one. Instrumentally this is complex but also all over the place as it were but the narration from Andy was surprising throughout as it comes and goes to great affect. This is a 17 1/2 minute epic itself to close the album.

Basically the country here in question reminisces about their glorious past and concludes that immigrants have a lot to do with their decline. So they vote in a party who will deal with that particular problem among others. Like I said earlier Andy goes to great lengths to describe the feelings and history of this nation and the reasonings for a change. They want to be great again. Sound familiar USA? So the scene is set up for us to where this party is elected and after 12 minutes the emotion of that event is stunning to say the least. Andy's vocals that follow couldn't be more moving and emotional. We are then taken to the newly elected political party's first official meeting as they discuss the issues they have to deal with. It's haunting here as the new leader tells his cabinet ministers that the immigration problem is his main priority and he turns to one of his senior officials and looking over his reading glasses he says "I think this one(the immigration problem) is seriously important and as such I would like you to handle it" as he looked over to Heinrich Himmler. Himmler responds "Jawohl mein Fuhrer leave it with me".

This is jazzy and oh so proggy in several different ways. The lyrics really match the incredible musicianship here and it all makes this one of the best from 2017. It will be featured high on my list.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Poignant and Pointed. Tillison wrote that after his heart attack he temporarily lost interest in music, and he even thought about wrapping up the band. But clearly inspiration struck, disturbed by the xenophobic politicking around the Brexit vote, and he again found his voice. This is one of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1888752) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, February 24, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes, "Good, but non-essential". No, three stars rating doesn't mean the record is bad. This is a solid, professional record with excellent production and sound (bravo, Tangent!) and flawless musicianship from the crop of modern prog. As always, I especially love their jazzy moments and how thos ... (read more)

Report this review (#1816204) | Posted by Booba Kastorsky | Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I must say that it is not easy to describe the music of The Tangent because it is quite unique. Many of the songs open with a beautiful melancholy melody which is reprised throughout what tend to be long tracks, interspersed with up-tempo jazz rock and further enhanced by intelligent, poignant and s ... (read more)

Report this review (#1766226) | Posted by CeeJayGee | Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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