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Parallel Or 90 Degrees - No More Travelling Chess CD (album) cover

NO MORE TRAVELLING CHESS

Parallel Or 90 Degrees

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.82 | 37 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was originally released on cassette in 1992 when they called themselves GOLD FRAKINCENSE & DISC DRIVE. This was actually their second release, as they already had an album out called "Running Rings" from 1989. This "No More Travelling Chess" album actually got it's start back in 1988 when Tillison lost his "Godbluff" record and he and Manning started to record "Arrow" from memory. For something to do they then added "Flight", "Roncevaux" and "Modern" between 1990 and 1991. Tillison says this wasn't really a tribute album (even though they are huge fans), but a process of learning.They added a couple of their own compositions and then released it. "In The Black Room" was added later when this was re-released in 1996 on cd. It should be noted that Peter Hammill himself helped Tillison and Manning with the lyrics on "Roncevaux" and he has been very positive about this record. Also the only time this record was played live(in 1992) Hugh Banton himself played with them on stage, an event that Manning and Tillison both say was the highlight of their careers. Banton also played organ on the 17 minute epic bonus track "A Gap In The Night" from PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES first album "The Corner Of My Room". At least it was their first album under that new name. David Jackson the great sax player from VDGG has played with Manning and Tillison's latest project THE TANGENT. As for this record I was surprised at how well Andy does in singing Hammill's songs. I mean no one can sing like Peter but Tillison is emotional, tortured, passionate and very into it. Great,great job with the vocals.

"Flight" from the "Godbluff" album is perhaps the highlight of this recording. The soundscape is so powerful and with Tillison's passionate vocal display, it's simply a joy to listen to. I should mention that the sax sounds are performed on the keyboards.They almost had me fooled. "Roncevaux" is from VDGG's "Time Vaults" record. A mellow intro becomes full sounding a minute in. Fantastic sounding song. I just love the full sounding sections as well as the mellow passages. It's all good. I like the way he spits out the lyrics after 5 minutes ala Hammill. "Flight" is from Peter Hammill's solo record "A Black Box". This one is over 19 minutes long. Piano and reserved vocals to open. They will be back later as themes are repeated. Check out the drum,piano and vocal melody 5 minutes in. This song shifts and changes tempos and moods, it's a real ride.

"Modern" is from Peter Hammill's solo album called "The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage". This is my favourite. The aggressive guitar and vocals are incredible ! Check out the dissonant guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Lots of noise. Riffs before 4 1/2 minutes. This is great ! Spacey synths 8 1/2 minutes in. "In The Black Room" is from Peter Hammill's solo album called "Chameleons In The Shadows Of The Night". The tempo changes a lot in this one. Tillison gives a great vocal performance going from reserved to passionate to theatrical. A killer instrumental section 4 1/2 minutes in. "Advance" is a Tillison composition. It's uptempo and catchy. The piano and synths are excellent. "Evolutionary Status Quo" is a Manning song. And this is a very cool song with strummed guitar and vocals. The lyrics are meaningful. Tillison really gets passionate vocally. I wonder where he got that from. Tee hee !

This was just a pleasure for me being both a huge Hammill and Tillison fan. This exceeded my expectations considerably.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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