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TILES

Heavy Prog • United States


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Tiles biography
The American quartet TILES hails from Detroit. TILES has a Rush meets Extreme kind of a hard rock sound. Their debut disc was a bit on the simplistic side, but their latest music is a realm dominated by SHADOW GALLERY and ENCHANT. The music is atmospheric on a vast level and well orchestrated with lots of layers. There is a greater use of acoustic instruments (mandolin, acoustic guitar and violin) and ballad structures. They bring us further refinement in their magical blend of prog sensibility and hard-rock energy. For fans of a technical brand of semi-prog hard rock!

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Buy TILES Music


Fly PaperFly Paper
Inside Out Music 2008
Audio CD$11.00
$4.95 (used)
Window DressingWindow Dressing
Limited Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$9.99
$3.86 (used)
Off the FloorOff the Floor
Standing Pavement 2014
Audio CD$9.99
Off the Floor 02Off the Floor 02
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$14.87
$24.02 (used)
Presents of MindPresents of Mind
Magna Carta 1999
Audio CD$15.89
$5.27 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
TILES - TILES [BONUS TRACKS] - NEW CD US $13.91 Buy It Now 5h 57m
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Window Dressing [Bonus Disc] [Slipcase] by Tiles (CD, May-2004, 2 Discs,... US $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Fence the Clear [Bonus Tracks] by Tiles (CD, Mar-2004, Inside Out Music) US $0.99 [0 bids]
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Under the Sun S/T SEALED 2000 USA Magna Carta CD Magellan Cairo Enchant Tiles US $27.95 Buy It Now 2 days
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Fence the Clear [Bonus Tracks] by Tiles (CD, Mar-2004, Inside Out Music) US $6.99 Buy It Now 6 days
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Stray Cats : On the Tiles CD (1998) US $10.17 Buy It Now 6 days
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Presents of Mind by Tiles (CD, Jun-1999, Magna Carta) US $11.99 Buy It Now 7 days
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TILES - 'TILES' 1994 3-TRACK ALBUM SAMPLER CASSETTE TAPE PROGRESSIVE ROCK US $1.62 [0 bids]
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Tiles Presents of Mind SEALED 1999 USA CD Magna Carta King Crimson Transatlantic US $12.95 Buy It Now 10 days
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Fly Paper [Bonus Track] by Tiles (CD, Jan-2008, Inside Out Music) Germany US $8.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Babylonian Tiles Green Midnight Glow CD St Thomas Records US $7.75 Buy It Now 16 days
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TILES shows & tickets


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TILES discography


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

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

3.61 | 33 ratings
Tiles
1994
3.76 | 48 ratings
Fence The Clear
1997
3.86 | 82 ratings
Presents Of Mind
1999
3.38 | 43 ratings
Window Dressing
2004
3.26 | 38 ratings
Fly Paper
2008

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

2.75 | 8 ratings
Presence in Europe 1999
2000
3.73 | 11 ratings
Off The Floor
2012
3.40 | 5 ratings
Off The Floor 02
2014

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

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

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

TILES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Presents Of Mind  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 82 ratings

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Presents Of Mind
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by OldSchoolProg

4 stars This was the first album of my introduction to Detroit based Tiles. A solid outing and I was instantly intrigued by their style and sound. I often read of their comparisons to Rush, and I understand the personnel links with producer Terry Brown, artist/guest musician Hugh Syme, and even a guest appearance by Alex Lifeson on the later released "Fly Paper." But, I think Tiles has forged their own sound and path in the prog world and any comparisons to Rush, Dream Theater, Queensrythc are just that, comparisons and influences, Tiles has been around as long as some of these other groups. Often asked, "How can a band be prog with our a keyboard player?" Well, Tiles does the job with their rhythms, time signatures, plus they have that edge of metal sound that moves that album along at an intense pace. Vocalist Paul Rarick starts to really mature with this release, especially in the control of his upper register, his range continues to grow. Guitarist Chris Herin starts to push the sonic qualities of his instrument with some wickedly interesting chords that he later explodes with on "Window Dressing." Bassist Jeff Wittle is truly a master of his craft and adds that driving punch and harmonic bass component missing in so many prog bands. The Tiles catalog is worth exploring, "Presents of Mind" is their strongest contender in the prog/prog metal world, highly recommended by this listener, I would give this a 4.5 our of 5 stars, I like it that much.

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 Window Dressing  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 43 ratings

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Window Dressing
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars This is the fourth studio album from Tiles, and any band that starts with a song that is over seventeen minutes long is obviously full of confidence. That is the title cut, and it shows the many sides of Tiles as they mix melodic rock with loads of other forms to create a type of music which has obviously been heavily influenced by Rush. But although they have a guest keyboard player in Hugh Syme (who also provided the artwork) this is a four-piece rock band (they also have a guest violinist in Matthew Parmenter (Discipline), and a guest guitarist in Kim Mitchell ? surely not the Kim Mitchell from Max Webster?), one that uses extra instruments to colour and flavour the proceedings, but not to take it over.

The music is extremely melodic, and even crunchy when they require it, and the production of Terry Brown (Rush, IQ, Fates Warning etc) has given the music an extra polish. It may not be pure progressive in the normal sense, but it has taken a hefty chunk of that genre and placed it with melodic rock to create an album that is very accessible on first listen yet also contains depths to enjoy and investigate. Yet another strong album from the Detroit based band.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

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 Fly Paper by TILES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.26 | 38 ratings

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Fly Paper
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Latest album to date of this intrsting heavy prog band from USA, issued in 2008 and named Fly pare is another winner in their catalogue. At first listning was almost the same as on previous albums, musicaly speaking, but nevertheless good, this album has Tiles trade mark for sure but again like on Window dresing they are stuck in some lacking moments in their career when they are not able to surpass this period. Not a bad album , Sacred & Mundane is a killer piece , the guitar works are excellent featuring as guest Alex Lifson, if all the pieces were sounded like this one then the album were from my side almost 5 stars, but unfortunatly is diffrent..... Matthew Parmenter is again on the album doing some vocal parts and keybords, the result is more then ok. So overall , good, nothing groundbreaking here like on Presents of mind or Fence the clear but is a pleasent album that worth to be heared. 3 stars for sure, great cover art again. I'm waiting now for a new release from this great band , is no 3 years since this album was released.

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 Window Dressing  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 43 ratings

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Window Dressing
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Tiles is already at the time this album was released 2004 a force in heavy prog realm, albums like Fence the clar and specialy Presents of mind are true jewels of the genre in the'90's. This is their forth album issued in 2004 and named Window dressing is another worthy album, but as previous reviewers said, this release is lacking in great ideas. While the album overall is ok, good no doubt, is no memorable moments, the passages are ok but lacking in a strong captivating arrangements. It's bean almost 5 years since their previous album and Tiles wanted to come with a solid album after some respiro years. They suuceded at some point but not entirely, for ex the best pieces is without doubt the opening and title track Window dressing, almost 18 of greatness, intelligent arrangements and great musicianship, the rest of the pieces while are ok are little same in passages, but not bad. Heavy prog is present on every track here, Rush influenced album with guest Matthew Parmenter on violin on Te water tea, maybe the second best of the album. Great cover arts and booklet. So, this album worth to be investigated if you like heavy prog as I do and specialy this band, they don't have weak albums only less intristing, one of them is this one who desearves from me 3 stars.

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 Presents Of Mind  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 82 ratings

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Presents Of Mind
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars 4,5 stars realy!!! In my humble opinion, this third albun of the North American band TILES entitled "Presents of Mind" , is his best work and with certainty one of the best albums of heavy-prog to the late 90's. The main influence is the Canadian band RUSH, however there are still other influences also evident, as for instance QUEENSRYCHE, ENCHANT among others. In this disk the band presents a work very well elaborated where the heavy approach of their melodies (with excellent counterpoints between the guitars and the bass) they almost always presents intercalated sections with more moderate themes but that contains the same strong melodic appeal . My highlights are the track 2 "Modification", track 4 "Facing Failure", track 6 " Ballad of the Sacred Cows", track 8 "Taking Control " and the track 9 "Removes Procedures." The bonus tracks are excellent with prominence for the track 12 "Token Pledge (live) ", that it is one of the best moments of his first work of 1994. The 4 musicians are all excellent and my rate is 4 stars!!!

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 Presents Of Mind  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 82 ratings

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Presents Of Mind
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by The SaidRemark

2 stars Huge Disappointment.

I would like to preface this review by saying that I am an enormous RUSH fan. Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures hold special places in my heart like few albums possibly can. When I heard phrases like "the album Rush never recorded" and "If you can't get enough of the Hemispheres/ Permanent Waves / Moving Pictures period of Rush" I though I had struck gold. So I paid 15 dollars for this album with only having heard "Safe Procedures".

The music the band has written is incredible - beautiful melodies, odd time signatures galore, long solos packed full of great chops. The problem is the lyrics. I actually cringed with embarrassment spinning this disc for the first time. The guitarist/lyricist is obviously trying to write words in the same manner that Peart has pioneered, only he is not nearly as good as it. While Neil Peart has an uncanny ability to capture sophisticated ideas that have no business in a rock song or tell a compelling narrative, Chris Herin's lyrics are unbelievably awkward and juvenile by comparison, the equivalent of being lectured by a thirteen-year old in song. Even though the James Labrie sound-alike vocalist has great talents, there is nothing he can do to make me want to hear these words sung.

Clearly this band takes a huge amount of influence from RUSH's progressive roots, but does not produce a remotely comparable product. Good music, but not strong enough to redeem the atrocious psuedo-intellectual lyrics, lyrics poor enough to give Dream Theater's last album a run for it's money. The music is however, enough to boost my rating to a 2, but not enough to make this anything I would ever want to listen to again.

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 Fence The Clear  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.76 | 48 ratings

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Fence The Clear
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by JLocke
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I see nothing wrong with taking heavy influences from past greats, but what I do and will always take issue with is when perfectly capable musicians seem to dive into the old territory, then simply stand still, without trying anything new within the space of their genre.

So it is with Tiles' Fence The Clear, whose nifty album cover and low price tag led me to pick it up in the store after I had been previously intrigued by the band on this site. I have no idea if the band as a whole has done better or worse work outside of this release, so I cannot base my rating on those factors. All I can do here is rate the album on its own merits, not on the band's overall capability. I came across two records by this band in a used bin of my local Suncoast/FYE, and had money to burn, so I bought one of them (mustn't buy two of something from the same artist when you have never heard them before). I chose this one because as I recalled, it had quite high marks on here, was fairly early on in the band's career, and the album artwork is just gorgeous.

When reading the album's liner notes, I became even more intrigued. I read about the story behind the album title, the symbolism of the cover visual, and how the band spent a long time working out the music for the record. They spoke of experimentation, clean, live takes in the studio with very little overdubs, and how the music was tried out for live audiences and perfected over time before the album was recorded. Taking in all of this knowledge, I was gearing up for quite the inventive listening experience. What I got instead was a slightly above-par Rush clone with some modern trappings thrown in now and again. Hardly the earth- shattering event the band seemed to think it was.

As I said before, being influenced by a single band of a previous generation isn't bad in and of itself (although I honestly can't wrap my head around the concept, myself). It's what you do with that influence that shows how good of a songwriter you are, how capable you are with the material, and whether or not you're able to transcend conformity and make something new and fresh with old ingredients. Don't laugh and suggest such a thing isn't even possible, because it's been one before. For all their cheese, Spock's Beard makes damn good music, and they take obvious influences from only a handful of past bands. But they succeed in creating something more substantial and less contrived than most in the same boat. Bands such as Tiles seem to always hit a brick wall at some point and come to the realization that they aren't able to go much further than what their inspiration already did twenty years ago or more. But rather than take that as a challenge and rise to it by either starting from scratch or reinventing themselves, they simply accept the fact that they aren't original or inspired in the slightest, and they go through with it anyway. Is that a lack of motivation, or is that simply not caring?

Perhaps music such as this simply can't progress any further, but if that is indeed the case, modern bands need to stop mining it for inspiration and move on to another musical frontier. There is plenty of ground still seldom covered, yet these types of modern artists always seem to head for the same exact spot. It's like a buddy told them about a super-cool place for finding gold, but by the time they get there, everybody else's buddy has told them the same thing, and nothing is left. When the stream runs empty, move on, don't hang around and hope for the best. That is, unfortunately, what I felt has happened with this music most of the time I was listening to it. That isn't to say that there aren't things to enjoy, here, but I'm simply warning you: do not go into this record expecting anything terribly original as I did, or else you'll find yourself more than a little wrought with disappointment.

Okay, so I've talked about the album's weaknesses: lack of originality. Okay, fine. But that's something that becomes more and more common all the time, so should I really give this release such a hard time over it? Perhaps not, but it's my personal opinion being shared, here. Many will disagree with me on many things I say. I write reviews to simply help my like-minded music enthusiasts steer clear of the bland or the unnecessary. I consider this album to be both, however, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's not completely worth your time. Just tread carefully when you venture into its territory. The album does have strengths to counter the weaknesses, but I just don't personally think it is strong enough to give the album anything above an average score. The strength would be the music itself, of course. Sure, it's hardly original, but it's well-played, well-produced, and sometimes a lot of fun to listen to. Will I be playing it on a regular basis when there are so many better albums in my ever-expanding collection? Well, no. But I certainly plan on breaking it out now and again when I just want to have some cheesy prog fun.

The musicians are very good, the songwriting is above par, but the originality and artistry is lacking. Good for what it is, but nothing you haven't heard before. Believe or not, however, I came out of this with high hopes for this band. I think I will pick up one of their later releases before closing my book on them. After all, the talent and ability is clearly there, and it takes time for musicians to find themselves, especially in an area as wide open and varied as Progressive Rock. No, I think Tiles might still hit the right mark in releases to come. But we'll see.

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 Fence The Clear  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.76 | 48 ratings

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Fence The Clear
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

2 stars An interesting case of how a band can have so many of the right components for excellence but still fall short because of a lack of emotion in delivery. "Fence the Clear" is a finely tuned machine which sounds, and very much wants to be, interesting, yet ultimately leaves a hollow impression on the listener.

First, it's important to note the good stuff this album has going for it, and foremost among these traits are its excellent musicianship. The instrumental players are first rate, jumping through and between tempo, melodic, and dynamic hoops with ease. "Fence the Clear's" sound is heavy, generally up-tempo, and aggressive in its delivery, and the group comes ready to play. Although guitar-led, the rhythm section stands out as a dynamic and catchy force, performing with complexity and energy. Herin's guitar is a good example of where things fall short though; while technically outstanding, it is bland and emotionless. I'd compare him to Alex Lifeson or Alan Morse, but without either of those player's effortless style and emotion. The result is a boring metalish roar that does little do enamor itself to the ear, despite the dexterity demonstrated. The acoustic sections are even worse, the lack of emotion in the quite moments really showing itself.

This leads to "Fence the Clear's" songwriting, which, while also quite good, makes almost no impact because the performances are sterile, over-produced, and noisy. The melodic hooks come and go without grazing the skin, and the band's ambitious time changes feel contrived and poorly integrated. For example, the extended piece "Jigsaw" really just sounds like 4 other songs crammed together; there are no recurring themes or cohesiveness, just lots of flashy playing. At its peak the group is on par with early Dream Theater (which I think isn't half bad!), but again, these songs are really just a jumble of notes lacking direction.

The biggest strike is the rather bad vocals of Paul Rarick. His high pitched, plodding, inflectionless sustains forced me to turn off "Fence the Clear" early on in my first listen, and even after objective attempts they remain very unappealing. Poorly produced, unambitious, and crammed with dense verbage (either preachy or obvious), they are rotten to the core. "Fence the Clear" is at its enjoyable best when he shuts up and lets the band let loose, which occurs precious few times.

All in all, a dissapiontment. Don't be lured in by comparrisons to other bands; Tiles shows that it takes more than technical pizzaz to be a great band.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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 Fly Paper by TILES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.26 | 38 ratings

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Fly Paper
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars It's unusual for me, but I found myself in similar situation as sinkadotentree, where I didn't get "into" it for the first time, so I've tried it again. Then various tracks, one at time (not two, of course) and then again whole album.

I have to say that I still have creeps from this track: 6. Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds (8:08) (completely with tracknumber and time, hehe), purely from rattling sound (snakes ? dragons are supposed to be evolved from them, but are these snakes just rattlesnakes ?) which is here. First to be heard at 2:36 and then continuously (weird word, but hell, these are weird thoughts). I don't know why, but I can't stay calm while listening this song. And this all thanks to this song. It's good thing sometimes. I suppose I'll just gather some friends and we'll make brave stand together. Hehe, imagine ten people standing in a row (or circle, triangle or even something wild, line square. Yep, let's stick with square, it's absolutely crazy. Or maybe it is not), listening this song, waiting for first snake rattling sound. It always comes and you can't prepare for it so much.

Oh, and music is good, Marty out.

4(-), this story I just written (upper paragraph, or what is it) helped me to understand this album better. Remember, when someone can give album 5 star and different person 2- star rating, it's all in your head). Oh, I had this album in my collection for some time and todays thread reminded me it. It really reminds me late Rush (Snakes & Arrows,

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 Presents Of Mind  by TILES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 82 ratings

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Presents Of Mind
Tiles Heavy Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars ''Rushing'' through the new millennium!

TILES' third release felt like a real ''present'' to me. I purchased this album near its release date at a ridiculously low price and I never regretted it. The ''presents'' TILES have to offer in this release are powerful and energetic heavy prog compositions, heavily influenced by RUSH but with a very ''fresh'' and modern approach, in the vein of ENCHANT.

Some people (including Mike Portnoy) have commented that the sound of this album is how RUSH should have sounded in recent years; and that's not far off the truth. This album is ''soaked'' with the influence of Lifeson's riffs and Lee's bass lines; however the ideas are so live and well-worked that the resemblance to the great heavy-prog act does not become at all annoying. The main elements of TILES' music are the hard rock/heavy prog guitar uplifting riffs that usually build up with beautiful vocal lines and very catchy melodic refrains. The musicianship will definitely impress some listeners who could have expected ''another rock record from an American band''.

Trying to ''categorise'' the songs, this album mainly consists of powerful, short-to-medium length, mid-tempo rocking tracks: Static, Modification, Facing Failure, Taking Control, Safe Procedures. There are also a couple of very short charming acoustic guitar tracks that act as introductions: Crossing Swords, The Sandtrap Jig. The instrumental piece of the record (Ballad of the Sacred Cows) is probably one of the most interesting moments, balancing between heavy prog riffs, dynamic rhythm sections and melodic acoustic guitar breaks. A half-ballad (The Learning Curve) and a mini-epic (Reasonable Doubt) complete the puzzle of ''Presents of Mind''. The former, without being weak, is probably the most indifferent track, while the latter is a pleasant surprise, flowing in a low tempo with strong vocal melodies and ''coloured'' with the presence of a violin's sound - something completely different to the rest of the album.

Apart from the resemblance to RUSH and the indifference of one track there is nothing that would keep from recommending this release to all heavy prog fans. Attention should be drawn to the pure rocking energy of the compositions; particularly in the guitar/bass riffs and the beautifully drawn melodies, especially in the vocals section. Suggested starting points: Static, Taking Control, Ballad of the Sacred Cows. Unreservedly recommended to friends of RUSH that would like to hear a more modern approach to heavy prog.

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