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Neo-Prog • Germany

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Mad Tea Party biography
It is rare, but with MAD TEA PARTY we get something German that actually sounds like German, thanks to the members of this highly skilled German quintet, who have all visited the Cologne Conservatory at some point, have a knack for combining accessible, catchy melodies with complex musical structures.
You could name Yes, King Crimson and "Foxtrot"-era Genesis as their main source of inspiration although you'll only hear those influences very intermittently on their albums. Other references are probably Gino Vanelli, Saga, Gentle Giant and Tea In The Sahara - but only very roughly. This five-piece from Cologne are a bit hard to classify, although they seem to fit better in the neo-progressive spectrum.
Still, their music requires multiple listens to be completely understood. The combination of different times and shifting of accents does not end up in 'fooling around with timings', but also makes it hard to do full comparisons to other bands, much in the vein of The Flower Kings or Dragonfly.
MAD TEA PARTY's mini-CD as well as their full-length album "The Marionette" showcase some impressive instrumental work and solid drumming, as the band works its way through a series of short but colorful numbers alternating with melodious, catchy ballads and solid vocals throughout. The full CD features a couple of lengthy pieces, one of them a true-blue prog piece clocking in at almost 20 minutes where the guys really show their teeth and treat the listener to a roller-coaster of moods, themes and odd-time signatures. This track alone is worth the value of the album.
The band no longer exists but vocalist Alexandre Zindel and guitarist Markus Sagschneider, who were responsible for most of the compositions, now function as a duo under the name Two High.
Fans of the mentioned bands and neo-prog in general will certainly appreciate MAD TEA PARTY.

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MAD TEA PARTY discography

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MAD TEA PARTY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 11 ratings
The Marionette

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MAD TEA PARTY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Mad Tea Party


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Marionette by MAD TEA PARTY album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.17 | 11 ratings

The Marionette
Mad Tea Party Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mad Tea Party is an obscure art/progressive rock band from Germany with one album released so far in 1998 named The marionette. The musicians involved here are all highly skilled , each one done Cologne conservatory at some point. The music is tight, precise, when accesible when really complicated, there are some really complex structures that will pleases every fan of the genre. Though the music is quite hard to clasify, I can tell some Yes influences, Saga, Gentle Giant and even very similar in many parts with Diffrent Trains another unknow band conducted by Davon Shulman no other then son of famous Ray Shulman from Gentle Giant. Also there is a lot of art rock moments, all done in elegant manner, some fantastic instrumental parts on many pieces like on Love In A Square, Every day an uplifting happy tune with nice vocal passages, Shadows Of The Past or the monster ending track She clocking around 20 min is a pure joy. The vocal lines are aswell excellent Alexandre Zindel has a very pleasent voice for such music. All in all, I wonder why they never gain much more wider recognition, this is a fantastic album with a lot to offer, catchy moments all over, impressive song writting and skills. I guess they disbanded few years later in 2001 as far as I know. From me 3.5 stars, a forgotten unkown release that has plenty of memorable passages. Intresting art work aswell.

 Mad Tea Party by MAD TEA PARTY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
2.00 | 1 ratings

Mad Tea Party
Mad Tea Party Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars An obscure German Neo Prog band from Cologne, found in 1994 by guitarist Markus Sagschneider.Two years later Mad Tea Party had a stable core, featuring also singer Alexandre Zindel, keyboardist Wolfgang Braun, bassist Till Brandt and drummer Martin Mueller.1996 sees also the release of their first work, a 20-min. 4-track self-titled EP.

The opener ''Another face in another dream'' is not actually a Prog track, more of a Melodic Pop/Rock and AOR affair with sweet vocals, light keyboards and a decent guitar solo.''Private investigation'' sees the band eventually stepping in proggier territories, although Zindel's voice fits better in a Pop Rock band despite his great color.This track holds similarities with compatriots CHANDELIER, interesting combination of keyboards and more fiery guitar playing, good tempo changes and more deep musicianship.''The journey of J.J. Prey'' is absolutely pointless, unimaginative Pop Rock in the vein of early-80's GENESIS, forgettable with cheap and mellow music supporting Zindel's voice.''A silent conversation'' is a bit better, though quite AOR-oriented.This reminds me a bit of MYSTERY at their early steps with good keyboard passages, a good ending solo but overall. a somewhat weak 80's sound.

Not a release you should go after and there is a reason why this album remained unknown.One very good track among three other mediocre compositions make the album suitable only for Neo Prog die hard fans.

Thanks to ProgLucky; Hibou; Atkingani for the artist addition.

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