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Neo-Prog • Germany


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Born and based in Germany, Thomas Thielen (SCYTHE) is the person behind the two albums so far released under the project name t. Initially a keyboard player, he started taking piano lessons in 1980. One year prior to finishing those he joined a band in 1992. Although that experience apparently was rather uneventful, it lead to Thielen changing his choice of main instrument; and during his tenure with this group he decided to start learning the guitar.

Soon after he joined a blues band as bassist; but that did not last too long either. It was a useful experience nonetheless; as the lack of rehearsing, planning and innovation led Thielen to want to do the exact opposite in his music. Around this time he started checking out a band called Marillion; which subsequently made him discover early 70's Genesis. While looking up this "mythic" music he also started taking singing lessons; from what one can read on his homepage, this was the start of a long and still ongoing journey of discovery and evolvement.

POWDS CON FUSION was the next band project Thielen got involved in; and after this outfit folded three members from that band, including Thielen, formed SCYTHE along with a bass player.
The recording of SCYTHE's second album "Divorced land" was a nice learning experience for Thielen, and a direct result of the knowledge acquired in those sessions was that he set up his own home studio. Galileo Records, who had released this production, was persuaded to release Thielen's first solo production "Naive" in 2002; issued under the moniker t.

The release was met with critical acclaim, and work began on a second solo album soon after. This follow-up release, "Voices" was issued by Galileo Records in 2006.

WHY IS THIS ARTIST LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
Taking cues from early GENESIS, Thielen has created two albums where this symphonic foundation has been mixed with impulses from acts like MARILLION (Hogarth era), PORCUPINE TREE and GAZPACHO; modern symphonic rock with leanings towards ambient music. t was suggested to and approved by the Neo progressive team.

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T discography


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

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

3.06 | 9 ratings
Naive
2002
3.53 | 31 ratings
Voices
2006
3.79 | 68 ratings
Anti-Matter Poetry
2010
3.87 | 246 ratings
psychoanorexia
2013

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

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T Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Both in the press release and on his website, Thomas Thielen has a mission statement about this album which is well worth reproducing here. 'This is the time when ringtone applicability equals musical quality. This is the place where the greed of being a popstar has replaced the sublime experience of creativity. This is the era in which democracy means mass phenomena, not choices. When we have become too lazy even for subterfuges. And too busy to feel the loss. This is the age when equality means mediocrity, fame defames excellence, education encourages despondency. We excel in conformity, we celebrate our empty hands. We may not burn books, but we skim them. We may not slaughter heretics', but we overshout them. We strive, long, hunger for nothing, thus nobody strive, long, hunger. Fascistic, yet aimless aposiopetic selves. Timetabled freedom. Death in Bologna. Psychoanorexia.'

Yes, this is an album that wants, in fact demands, that we think. Thomas wrote, performed, recorded, engineered and produced the album but it doesn't come across as a one-man band, as it is so carefully constructed and layered. The piano may well be the bedrock of all that he does, but this is more than just a pianist attempting to bring in some other instrumentation to pad it out, but instead this is all about the right instrument for the right emotional feel and approach. When he brings in electric guitar it fairly blasts out of the speakers, with 'Kryptonite Monologues' actually managing to have more than just a hint of Rammstein about it. There are times when this is crunching stadium-filling anthem rock with blistering guitar solos, while at others it is Muse on steroids, Floyd for the masses, Porcupine Tree for the many.

It is not an album that will make its' full presence felt on just one or two plays, this does need some work but rewards the listener for their patience. Apparently Thomas states that he is a 'strictly under-average musician on quite a few instruments, none of which he is capable of playing properly'. Somehow I think he is a master of understatement, as certainly that doesn't come across on the album. Complex, complicated, majestic and soaring, this is quite a piece of work. There are only four songs, but it is still well over an hour long, and well worth investigating.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by vir_casae

5 stars This is a classic piece of modern progressive rock and no questions asked. Well, alright, there be questions asked. Hopefully also answered. In this review.

Thielen's latest work is something like an "all of the above" of what is, on the one hand, typical of *good* progrock: Versatility in compositions and performances, a certain avantgardeness, structural integrity (yes, also in the Star Trek sense of the term), a certain amount of pathos and, not least, the will to use the musical equivalent of a lot of subclauses to differentiate and be a counterpart of the typical simplifications of rock and pop. Psychoanorexia fulfills all this, and the sky is the limit.

On the other hand, Psychoanorexia is also in a great sense a modern album in that it does not sound dusted at all. The production is first rate in any way, the mix is full of ideas and novelty, the instrumentation develops many unexpected ideas and twists and turns. It includes contemporary sound ideas without actually copying them or sounding opportunistic. Thielen manages to simply include all these puzzle pieces organically. But what makes Psychoanorexia an absolute classic is the way in which music and lyrics interact. The lyrics themselves are worthy of being published as a piece of poetry, but the music and the lyrics together bring it to its optimum.

So this is why I think this is the great work of this year. A classic. 5 stars.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by champone

5 stars As there seem to be problems on the site, I write my lines on Psychoanorexia once more:

Lyrically as well as musically, t sets new standards in the prog world. Yes, I am serious. This is a new horizon in melodic prog, namely that its melodies are less pathetic and sugary, but more sophisticated and complex, thus holding a clever and emotionally assessible balance that still is not mainstream, but also not too avantgarde to attract listeners. Very rarely is it that this kind of project actually is successful: Being different and fresh, but not TOO different and fresh to be recognized as emotional...

t's lyrics enhance this impression. Postmodern approaches not little akin to the greatest of American and English poets and dramatists like Beckett or Pinter appear all over the place. Direct quotes from E.E. Cummings and William Butler Yeats are cleverly set up to create instant atmospheres for those well-read enough without actually leaving those behind too much who cannot understand the "code" or "puzzle". The lines make sense well enough without us recognizing the references, but it is wonderful how much is gained by actually tracing them back to their "homelands". There is, e.g., the line about "wish by spirit in the garden" in Psychoanorexia. The first part at least goes back to Cummings' famous "Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town" poem and thereby expresses within only three small words the whole of the wonderfully naive longing for individuality and intimacy that Cummings' Lyrical I stands for. This is only one example among very many. Whatever you think about the actual compositions, t is a master of poetry, and his lyrics are among the best I ever came across in the musical world. Yes, and that includes Fish.

The music sets out to underline t's poetic vision. It is therefore, as the theme is evolved in a rather collage-like fashion, eclectic and at times jumpy, at times deeply introvert and emotionally dense. Even sarcastic humour and tragic irony occur, which is very rare in progressive rock. Judging musical compositions is always a matter very much depending on your tastes, so I leave that out here, only stating two things that should be enough to underline the masterpiece status of this record. Firstly, the music is always perfectly meaningful in a way that the compositions mirror the story and in themselves are interesting, very well played and produced, and innovative in their sonic approach. Secondly, as a whole, the album is marked by brilliant dramaturgy. This is not very often the case with concept albums...

So it should have become obvious why I consider Psychoanorexia one of the best albums ever created. You should get your hands on a copy and give it some time. At first sight, this seems a lot like neoprog, but as with all brilliant pieces, the edges and innovative potentials are so clevery introduced that you need some time to actually spot them... before that you only "feel" a certain amount of strangeness to the otherwise so coherent piece of work. Great!

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by onlineman

5 stars I am writing this review for the second time as my first one vanished with all the other reviews I did. Server crash?

This is to me still the album of 2013 so far. The eclectic approach simply adds so much to our beloved genre that I have been missing before. There are guitars reminiscent of The Cure or U2's The Edge without ever actually copying the style of any of them. The vocal lines are indeed quite catchy, and the voice production is simply stunning: Ever so often, Thomas' voice is pure and direct in its emotional grandesse, but there are all kinds of filters and panning tricks involved to underline certain perspectives that appear on the album, as it seems. The same goes for the rest of the mix: With so much love to detail, this seems to be a kind of acoustic movie rather than just an album. You should use your headphones definitely when listening to this.

The compositions remind me of a new kind of supergroup featuring people as disparate as Steve Rothery, Trent Raznor, Thom Yorke, Jon Anderson and Tony Banks. Again, these are only mild guidelines! There is not really a moment when the album sounds like any of their bands. So go and have a listen. This is certainly, as all great art, not for everyone, but make sure you won't miss the album. This is different and extremely interesting at least!

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars I received a message of Thomas Thielen (T) asking me for a review of his album "PSYCHOANOREXIA". First, I was surprised because I didn't know this project and to receive a personal message grew my total interest. I looked for the album and finally could get it, and believe me, I could not believe what my ears where listening to, an amazing album from beginning to end with a lot of variations within the same songs, and the flow from one moment to the next is perfectly timed and arranged. The album is made up of four epic songs, more than 18 minutes each, and one of almost 10. And as I mentioned, the songs contain minisongs within the song and they match really well between one and another, and between one song and the next. Believe me, this is a wonderful album, it reminded me many prog classics but I don't want to mention any because I saw T with a particular style of composing and singing that makes it enjoyable. Unknown for many, I really recommend you to listen to it, you won't regret at all, it's 100% worthy!

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars To those new to this artist page (like I was only recently), this is mostly slow-moving, atmospheric music, led by delicate synths and somber vocals, and only occasionally punctuated by some instrumental noise and Genesis-like theatricality. Somehow, it is immediately clear that this is a one-member project, you can just feel him sitting at his computer, listening to his work and wondering what other detail to add, if anything at all.

Three 20-minute songs and a 8 minute song. Original stuff. But requires patient, dedicated listens to uncover various synth and instrumental layering hovering in behind the music, as there is little conventional hooks or readily identifiable song structure to speak of. Just various atmospheric segments slowly drifting into one another.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

BUY
psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Some months ago I was chatting with a musician in Facebook, and we were chatting about musicians being in bands or being full time soloists. I said to him that, in my opinion, being in a band is very hard for some musicians because in bands there are a lot of 'politics' and 'egos' about who is going to be the 'leader' or the 'main star', and that in bands there are one or two musicians who like to dominate the others and that with the passing of time this situation makes the bands split (this has happened a lot of times in a lot of bands, as their histories say). So, in my opinion, sometimes the best solution for a musician to develop and enjoy the freedom to create his own music (or her own music, if it is the case) is to be a full time soloist, to have his own home recording studio (which now is easier with the use of computers) and to do what he wants with total freedom. It is also easier to have total control of the final product (and the potential monetary earnings of his own very hard work ) because now the so-called major record labels are really not very much needed thanks to the existence of the Internet and some websites on which the musicians can share or sell their albums or songs. So, this album is another example of a 'one man band'. I don`t have any objections about it.

This album by German multi-instrumentalist and singer T (Thomas Thielen) is not a very easy to listen to, and the lyrics and the concept of the album are not very easy to understand without visiting his personal website to read them. It has four songs, with three of them almost reaching the 20 minutes of duration and one of them the eight minutes of duration. So, for this reason it is a bit hard to listen as the listener becomes a bit tired by the end of the album. The kind of music in this album, in my opinion, is very Progressive Rock, with a lot of contrasts in the intensity of the music, sometimes being very heavy, sometimes being quiet, sometimes being very 'dark' and dramatic. I think that this music has a lot of influence by bands like Marillion (with both Fish and Steve Hogarth as lead singers, but maybe with more influence by Hogarth, a period of that band which is not very attractive for my taste), Arena, IQ, and Genesis with Peter Gabriel, more in the dramatic and sometimes 'dark' elements. As T explains in his personal website, the lyrics are very personal, very related to a period of his personal life, and the lyrics (as I understood them) have as central theme the loss and grief of significant personal relationships, and how to survive them, and the other theme is a political and sociological criticism towards the lack of psychological and intellectual ambition by some people in the 'modern' world (I think that this is the meaning he gives to the word 'Psychoanorexia', which also is the title of the album). So, as a whole this album requires some 'concentrated listening' by the listener, and to be listened to several times to appreciate it. It is a bit 'excessive' in some things, and hard to listen to sometimes. It really is not the kind of music that I like to listen to very much in the present, but for the fans of this kind of music it really could be a very interesting listening. It also has a lot of work. Maybe it took to T a lot of time how to plan, to compose, to record and to mix the album. The lyrics were written in a two year period. So, because this album really took him a lot of time to create it, in my opinion it deserves a four star ratting even if this is not the kind of music that I listen to very much often in the present. The recording and mixing is very good. The same is for the playing of the instruments, and he is also a good lead and backing singer. Some lead guitars are very good in playing and sound, and there are also some very good atmospheres created with the use of keyboards. The drums sound a bit programmed, but they sound good anyway. The cover art is also good, very much related to the content of the music and lyrics of the album.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by VOTOMS

3 stars I have to agree with David (Guldbamsen). The good side of this album is the ambiences. T is Thomas Thielen. Yeah. It's another one-man band. When you are alone to write, play and record all the instruments you are free, able to make what you really feel. Sometimes is good, but sometimes what makes sense in your mind is hard listening to the others. It doesn't mean it's bad. But sometimes you should recalculate the lenghty and short parts, or replace some passages. When I decided to record with a band, I showed them one of my suites, and the guys said: "This is amazing, but... it's progressive ENOUGH! I can't feel a good riff because there's a lot of them." I mean, you know your music, but if you want to share your music to the masses or friends without an individualist feeling, you need think about the music structure. I think the problem with Psychoanorexia is: lenghty boring passages overlaps the short goods.

What I really like from the album is the self-titled track Psychoanorexia (the last track), that reminds me of a David Sylvian atmospheric track, both vocals and background. But the song suffers from a sudden heavy synth attack, like the industrial ones. It's not a bad idea, but I expected more atmospherics. Although, is a great track. The first track, The Aftermath of Silence , is very Disintegration (The Cure) in the beginning, just like Plainsong, with the keys background and the robert smith-like guitar. I can't skip a track like this, since The Cure is one of my favorite non-prog bands, and every time I listen to some bands, like Katatonia, using robert smitish-riffs I feel very glad to see his influences on later and modern music. But the track is something like a chameleon, and I didn't like the song after the vocals at first, but the same song has a good and deep feeling later, but too neo-prog for me. Another point - I like the cover art. Really.

Thom's vocals sometimes sounds like The Killers, but the melody lines are just like Marillion. I already said that I like the vocals in the last track, but honestly, it wasn't catchy enough for me at all. The second track, Kryptonite Monologue, is boring at the beggining, and gets better with the organ introduction, but the good part is too short, and after 8:00"~~ it gets boring again. After 14:00" the song quickly changes the tune, and an indie rock guitar riff begins, with a neo-prog crescendo behind it. So the song falls into a slow sad mood. The Irrelevant Lovesong is the third track, and the only track under 18 minutes. The track title reminds me of Disintegration again, you know, Lovesong, but this time, the music reminds me of Radiohead. Actually, this song is VEERY radiohead oriented. This track do not have the best parts of the album, but it's the only track that I like as a whole, from start til end.

As I said before in other reviews, I'm not a huge fan of neo-prog, of course the genre has some great bands, but I can compare it with power metal bands like Hammerfall. I can listen to a whole album having fun, but I don't care and never bought anything from them, since the whole album sounds the same and you can summarize it with two tracks. But if you are into neo-prog, I will reccomend this album. It's depressive music. Has some good vibes and nice passages. 4 tracks, each one during between 18 and 21 minutes, with the exception of The Irrelevant Lovesong (8 minutes). And thank you Thomas for sharing your music at "t-factor" soundcloud.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

2 stars Grandiose dad-prog

The prog world is currently overflowing with one man acts, and with all the modern technologies available, it now is possible to achieve something akin to a full band sound without having to deal with superfluous banter and discrepancies between members. The search for full control seems to be right there on the horizon.

The question beckons though - do we, as simple fans of music, want our patterned sound to be as concise as that, or do we want that irreplaceable shading of something crooked and out of sync present? To each his own I guess, and while I was, and am, very impressed by the musicianship of Thomas Thielen, I still miss something audacious and raw from this album. Something that rips me by my hair and throws me on the bed and..........hold on a minute, I may be talking about something different here - and I'm not even a girl...

The previous gibberish may come across a little harsh, especially when you count in the fact, that there are heaps upon heaps of current prog bands doing the exact same thing. The Flower Kings spring to mind. For my tastes the music becomes far too safe and predictable. Inside of 5 minutes with this kind of music, I get restless and start looking around my apartment for mice, lice and thrice as much dice as I'll ever find on here. I played this album to one of my friends the other day who also happens to be very much into progressive rock, and he said it sounded like "dad-prog". I laughed a little first, but I completely understand where he's coming from.

Take a dash of Camel flavoured vocals tinged with an ability to reach highs that Latimer can only dream of. Mix this with lush piano driven melodies, synthesizer leads, sky soaring guitar solos, a metronomically tight rhythm section, all kinds of keyboards, and out on the other side comes this melody based prog that feels as docile and friendly as a fluffy hug from a care bear.

My favourite parts of this album are to be found in the ambiances. At times I swear I can hear hints of The Cure in the ambient keys oozing up from the back, and that is a big compliment coming from yours truly. More than once I found myself thinking of the opening cut on their 1989 album Disintegration, I'd just wish there was more of this, and that it wasn't diluted by what genuinely sounds like latter day Marillion.

If you're into the current line of prog acts such as Nine Stones Close, The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, Sylvan, Arena and Pendragon, then I guarantee you'll love this baby! Without a doubt! I have to be honest though, and I find very little that tickles my fancy on Psychoanorexia. To me this feels like prog by the numbers, no matter how talented and refined Thomas is behind the instruments. Sorry, but this just isn't my bag.

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 psychoanorexia by T album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 246 ratings

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psychoanorexia
T Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Known simply as "t", German multi-instrumentalist Thomas Thielen has been recording music as a one-man act since his time with the short-lived progressive rock act Scythe ended, and 2013's Psychoanorexia marks the project's fourth full-length album since its 2002 debut. It's my experience that one-man bands often feature a weak link in the instrumentation, but Thomas Thielen is a deeply talented musician across the board; no instrument here outshines another, the arrangements are remarkably textured, and there is an attention to detail on Psychoanorexia that makes it easily stand out from the crowd. When the stunning vocal harmonies are also factored into the equation, it becomes clear that we are really dealing with something special here.

Thielen's music can best be described as neo-progressive rock, albeit a rather unconventional approach to the style. Imagine a more experimental version of Brave-era Marillion, and you're halfway there - Psychoanorexia is a very atmospheric and ambient listen, but it still is 'busy' enough to scratch that prog itch. Although it only contains four tracks, Psychoanorexia clocks in at over an hour, as three of the songs here are around the twenty minute mark. The shortest track is entitled "The Irrelevant Love Song", and is actually one of the album's highlights. This is an example of a prog ballad done right! Of all the more extended pieces, the title track is my favorite (if only by a small margin); its ending segment sends chills up my spine every time.

Psychoanorexia is a near-flawless effort in my eyes, and anyone that enjoys melancholic progressive rock music with a bit of an edge is bound to love it. The only real knock I can give the album is the sound of the drum machine, which (in spite of how well-programmed it is) sounds a bit artificial to these ears. I'll admit that it's nitpicky complaint, though, and it hardly detracts from the overall experience of Psychoanorexia. This is a strikingly beautiful observation that stands tall as one of 2013's finest recordings!

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