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TANTALUS

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Tantalus biography
- The name "TANTALUS" has its origins in roman mythology -
- "TANTALUS" was the "romanised" name given to the greek God "Prometheus" -
- He was the son of the all powerful' Jupiter' (Zeus) -

This band is undoubtedly one of the hallmarks of today's British Symphonic Progressive. The band's roots are very diverse. From classic prog such as YES, GENESIS & FLOYD to acts like HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, WEATHER REPORT and even elements of world music & modern psychedelic dance music. I think that music is now so global that it is a great thing that we can explore and combine many influences.

The third TANTALUS album, "Lumen Et Caligo - I", is the first part of a two CD project (part II coming in 2003). According to the CD press kit, the title of this album reflects the fact that the band's compositions have expanded in their depth and variety to cover flowing, commercial, and lighter sounding material through to the most adventurous, powerful, and sometimes dark sounds that the band have ever produced.

Tantalus official website

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TANTALUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TANTALUS Music


TantalusTantalus
Multiple Formats
Applause Books 2005
DVD$46.96
$39.99 (used)
Lumen Et CaligoLumen Et Caligo
Headline
Audio CD$24.29
PastichePastiche
Import
Hugo Montes
Audio CD$17.99
Short StoriesShort Stories
Headline
Audio CD$24.29
$3.95 (used)
JubalJubal
Headline
Audio CD$24.29
$10.00 (used)
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TANTALUS shows & tickets


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TANTALUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TANTALUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.20 | 5 ratings
Smoking Angels
1994
3.00 | 5 ratings
Short Stories
1996
2.55 | 14 ratings
Jubal
2000
3.95 | 19 ratings
Lumen Et Caligo - I
2002
4.86 | 3 ratings
Lumen Et Caligo II
2004

TANTALUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TANTALUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TANTALUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

TANTALUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lumen Et Caligo II by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.86 | 3 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo II
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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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 Lumen Et Caligo - I by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo - I
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So these guys aren't Italian then ? Haha. Nope and they're Prog-Related at that. Ok now that we got that straight onto the music. This has been an enjoyable listen although at over 73 minutes too long for my tastes. I do get why they are under the Prog-Related heading, I mean this music is on the commercial side of things, some radio friendly tracks for sure but not poppy.

"While There's Still Time" takes a while to get going and when it does we get almost a dance- like beat until the organ and synths take over. The vocals after 2 minutes are easy on the ears. I like them. Outbursts of organ come and go. "Eyes" opens with the birds chirping before these syrupy vocals and a pastoral soundscape take over. It's better when the sound gets fuller. This is pleasant, too pleasant. Haha. "Raining On The Parade" is fairly uptempo with piano before it settles before 2 minutes when the vocals come in.The tempo picks up 6 1/2 minutes to the end. "Harp Dance & Dig The Sod" opens with recorder.The sound gets fuller 1 1/2 minutes in then the guitar starts to soar a minute later. The recorder is back. "Finger Painting" has a good rhythm as vocals join in. It's spacey late. "On Dr Syntax's Head" opens with vocal samples before the music kicks in. We get spacey synths before 3 minutes and the guitar that follows is excellent.

"Shhhhhh! We're Sleeping" is an instrumental of acoustic guitar. "Route Thirty Six- Part 2" is another instrumental but with soaring guitar and synths. Great sound to open. Drums a minute in as the guitar solos.The song continues to change. Synths only 4 minutes in. Nice guitar 8 minutes in. "Dancing On Eggshells" and the next track are my two favourites, so yes it ends strongly.This one is simply melodic with those enjoyable vocals. A feel good tune for sure. I like the guitar 3 1/2 minutes in as he lights it up. "Hearts N' Minds" has a different vocalist but he's fantastic as well. Another uplifting and melodic track. Lots of synths and organ. Soaring guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. I really like those two songs. "Black Dream" is a cover of a Nick James song. I know niether the artist or the song. It's uptempo to open before settling quickly with vocals. Contrasts continue.It's ok.

Can't give more then 3 stars but those who are into well done melodic music will like this a lot.

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 Lumen Et Caligo - I by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo - I
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Regardless how anyone may wish to slice and dice this unique recording, truth is Tantalus has pretty much a classic neo style that incorporates glory day progisms with some extremely modern touches, nothing more apparent than vocalist Bob Leek's seductive voice (very similar in tone to 80's UK synth pop Naked Eyes' lead singer Peter Byrne). The paucity of decent vocalists is prog's bane but Leek has an extraordinary set of pipes that are instantly appealing, making this perhaps one of the all-time greatest "neo" recordings ever, on par with the best from Collage, Satellite, IQ, Pendragon, Galahad, etc.Every song is a scintillating example of tuneful songcraft, ideal when in the need for some progressive candy as opposed to the heavy technical meat & potatoes we all regularly feast on. The keyboards are swirling affairs in the hands of husband & wife team of Max & Geraldine Hunt, with plenty of pretty piano flourishes, chugging organ runs and some flashy synthesizer solos. The fretwork is expertly handled by Nick Beere, who rings out inspired leads when the material needs an exclamation point. Jason Tilbrook keeps a steady pace as well as contributing dulcimer, mandolin, mandola & balalaika while Tony Wells smacks some forceful beats out of his kit. The songs are extended mid-tempo melodious affairs that exude a whimsical charm that grabs immediately, huge melodies heavily slanting towards the romantic but chock full of simply brilliant passages or instrumental solos that really hit the mark. The first three songs are instant jewels: "While There's Still Time" opens with a convincing presentation of all the band's attributes clearly displayed, fascinating group work and a huge melody. "Eyes" is a memorable hook-laden piece with supreme vocal delivery and a guitar solo that really swerves into some passionate areas. The fabulous vocal work continues on "Raining on the Parade", with a well crafted tortuous guitar solo that leaves goose bumps around the earphones, followed by a driving gallop that leaves no stone unturned. "Harp Dance/Dig the Sod" provides an instrumental interlude that leans heavily on Celtic/folk traditions with Geraldine's recorder work leading the way, a phosphorous Beere solo flings this into Andy Latimer territory with a gut wrenching performance, in unison with the grandiose theme a definite and somewhat unexpected album highlight. There is no relenting as "Finger Painting" quickly inspires awe, an intensely brooding piece that is immediately mesmerizing, with a thick muffled beat, a dignified yet angst-laden chorus that sears the brain, conducted by a huge wailing voice and another 6 string bleeding that flows savagely, synthesizers wildly dancing in the background, just like a painting! "On Dr. Syntax's Head" carpets some heavier sonic snippets, a seemingly more histrionic arrangement with purring synths and some decidedly adventurous soloing from Nick, full of furious and stormy notes, timbres and shrieks. An acoustic guitar instrumental brings some brief relief, as if to prepare the last leg towards home, again unexpected and yet most welcome tranquility. The album's absolute peak is reached with the next instrumental, the ravishing 9 and a half minute "Route 36 Part 2", a classic electric guitar prog étude that rivals anything by the masters, hinting at the heavenly heights of Hackett's "Spectral Mornings", with massive keyboard interventions, as well as sultry mandolin encouragements, both setting the table for Beere's mania axe to repeatedly soar deep into the ionosphere! Some devastating choir mellotron then launches another unbearable dripping solo. The melancholic "Dancing on Eggshells" is probably the most immediate track here, with the overt Naked Eyes vocal exuding warmth that just can't be shaken. Beere goes crazy again with a blistering showcase, (who is this guy?). "Hearts & Minds" has the guitarist singing, a breezy affair somehow closer to Mostly Autumn than anything else, plied with great piano and moog work until the fretmeister lets another run out of his rather large bag. "Black Dream" is a cover version of brit Nick James 1972 song, unknown to this reviewer, so I cannot say whether an improvement or not but it does sounds like a typical rock song from that era. A pretty good piece with the by now obligatory fiery guitar solo (a damn good one to boot!) closes out this near perfect monument. Tantalizing 4.5 beeres

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 Jubal by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.55 | 14 ratings

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Jubal
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I did not listen to any other of their records, but I've got to say this one here is quite a weak and mediocre one. It's okay and nice to listen as a background music but does not offer anything interesting, at least to me. It's a mixture of well-known Neo-Progish patterns and some acoustic rock. Actually I'd file it rather under Neo-Prog since I'm not able to discover any similarity with classic British Symphonic Prog as we know from bands like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson or Gentle Giant. But as well there is not any hint for a "new generation Symphonic Prog". Really nothing I could recommend to a Prog collector, still 2 stars!

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 Lumen Et Caligo - I by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo - I
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by pyciu

4 stars Tantalus third is one of the best modern-progressive album I've heard recently. Interesting, catchy melodies, nice vocals and well constructed songs draw your attention for the whole 73 minutes. Three instrumental parts are the highlights of the album, but the first - "Harp Dance & Dig the Sod" is just marvellous. "Lumen.." proves that you don't need to be the band from the first line to make great, melodic and interesting music. Very good one!

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 Lumen Et Caligo - I by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo - I
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by k.bornemann

5 stars A record full of magic sounds from the seventies with rocky rhythm and neoprog with folk influences. It sounds like a mixtures from PINK FLOYD, EL&P, YES, MOSTLY AUTUMN and ASIA. This opus is full of emotion, diversification and genius parts. It is music from yesterday, today and for tomorrow. This record is a "MUST HAVE".

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 Lumen Et Caligo - I by TANTALUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 19 ratings

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Lumen Et Caligo - I
Tantalus Prog Related

Review by wolfram.e

5 stars This record is my absolut Top-Highlight of the year 2003. I think, it is one of the best Neo-Prog-Records in the last years. Make a mixture of MOSTLY AUTUMN, YES & ELP with a pinch of A-HA and flavour all with superb rocky guitars (played by "Nick Beere" - hear the instrumental "Route Thirty Six Part Two" - pure fantastic !) then you are on the "Lumen Et Caligo I" way. If you like such kind of music, go and BUY IT !!!

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