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Tiles - Presents of Mind CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.85 | 118 ratings

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Heavy Prog Team
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.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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