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Thieves' Kitchen - The Water Road CD (album) cover

THE WATER ROAD

Thieves' Kitchen

 

Eclectic Prog

3.63 | 89 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I became a fan of this band after their first album called "Head" which is still my favourite album from them. They really have brought something new to the table with each record that has followed the debut. This one is no exception. Of course replacing your long standing keyboard player can change the dynamics somewhat, especially when the replacement is Thomas Johnson the former keyboardist for ANGLAGARD. And he plays a real mellotron ! No samples needed for this album. Anna Holmgren guests on 6 of the 8 tracks with flute, she also was part of ANGLAGARD. Another ANGLAGARD connection is the involvment of Mattias Olsson who helped engineer this record. For me this album doesn't really bring to mind any other bands, these guys have always had a unique style.There is a Jazz flavour here, but really this is about creating a mood, there is a lot of atmosphere on this one. And while the more dynamic sections just thrill me, the slower mellow passages with vocals frustrate me. Amy is a talented singer but her vocals do little for me here. So yes this is very much a hit and miss album for me.

"The Long Fianchetto" is the 21 minute opener. It's my favourite track as well. Piano tinkles away for 1 1/2 minutes then drums, mellotron then guitar come in. I like the guitar here. The organ comes in powerfully before the guitar takes over again. Vocals don't arrive until before 7 1/2 minutes as it settles down. A Celtic vibe after 9 1/2 minutes but it's brief. The mellotron, guitar and organ take turns impressing me the rest of the way. "Returglas" features a relaxing beat as piano and flute play on. Mellotron comes in. An outburst of sounds follows, in fact it's stop and go much like ANGLAGARD used to do. Some therimin from Amy before 2 1/2 minutes followed by some excellent drumming, organ and guitar. Great section. I love the guitar and mellotron as the bass throbs. These first two tracks and the self titled final song are easily my top three. "Chameleon" brings to mind the previous album "Shibboleth". Not a fan really. Mostly vocal led as it plods along. "Om Tare" is uptempo with some killer guitar. The style here reminds me of SPOCK'S BEARD. Well that is until the vocals come in. Lots of mellotron though.

"Tacenda For You" is mellow and vocal led for the first half then it gets much better. Check out the dirty organ before 5 minutes. Nice guitar after 6 minutes followed by mellotron. "When The Moon Is In The River In Heaven" is my least favourite. Especially when a calm with paino and vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. "Plaint" is painfully slow. Some cello 1 1/2 minutes in. "The Water Road" ends the album on a high. We get some aboe, flute, mellotron and cello. This is simply a beautiful mellow track. Nice guitar before 10 minutes. Gorgeous song.

3.5 stars. This is too long as well at 73 minutes.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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