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


Thieves' Kitchen


Eclectic Prog

3.63 | 89 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars From fully neo-prog (''Head'', ''Argot''), the band evolved towards a more complex song writing with their last album ''Shibboleth'' that sounded seriously jazz-oriented.

When you listen to the well named ''The Long Fianchetto'' one gets the immediate impression that the band is stepping finally more into the eclectic direction than ever. Some fine mellotron combined with piano and a jazzy groove ( la TFK) is a good start for this epic.

Some nice and pastoral flute passages lovely brighten up this track as well. But the major part is quite dark and definitely reminds the Crimsonesque atmosphere. It is a kaleidoscope of what the listener will be able to listen to during these 75 minutes: complex music, symphonically jazz-oriented and tinted with remarkable mellotron and flute breaks (not to forget some cello as well).

Even the short ''Returnglas'' holds all of these elements: complexity, virtuosity, melody (thanks again to the sweet mellotron), symphonic jazz and simple beauty. I like this piece very much.

The atmosphere on this album is wholly melancholic (maybe a bit too much) and at times, Amy's voice of is too monochord. This is compensated for example while ''Chameleon'' is being played thanks to its excellent instrumental parts (sax, mellotron and guitar in closing section).

During ''Om Tare'', the band is again demonstrating its proclivity for complex material (at times for the sake of it). This one in particular is too hectic and jazzy to be attractive: heavy, loose and chaotic. Quite a mix! My favourite song from this offering is the cold but beautiful ''Tacenda''. Fully in line with the great Nordic school. A dark vocal timber, some fine mellotron, sweet fluting, a vaguely symphonic and jazzy mood during the long instrumental part. Very much TFK.

And what to say about the sublime intro of ''When The Moon Is In The River Of Heaver'', the crystal clear vocal part, the sad mellotron lines and such a peaceful atmosphere that emanates from this piece of music. A moving one for sure.

The melancholic mood also prevails during the long title track and closing number. It is true to say that a bit more variety, some more delectation would have been welcome. But this is reached during the wonderful finale.

This album is a very good surprise for me, I really didn't expect the band to reach this sort of level. What a drastic change in direction since their debut! Maybe that this effort could have been shorter?

Four stars. Let's hope that they won't wait for five years to release another album and that they will keep this good evolution.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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