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T - Solipsystemology CD (album) cover





3.96 | 183 ratings

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4 stars Thomas Thielen is a multi-instrumentalist that has released several albums under the moniker of "T", which is a Neo-prog project based out of Germany. Thomas has been involved with several different bands, but only received minimal recognition in those bands, so he decided to start his own project. In most of these albums, 7 released since 2002, he has been the sole musician. His last three albums have been part of a series of albums told in chapters. In March of 2019, he released the 3rd in this trilogy called "Solipsytemology", which incorporates Chapters 7, 8 and 9. The album is made up of 7 long tracks for a total run time of over 72 minutes. Once again, he is the sole performer on this album.

Chapter Seven is called "The End Where We Begin", and the first track is the 14 minute "The End of Always". The track starts with a chaotic mix of noise and instruments, but suddenly cuts off to a very quiet processed keyboard and vocals, which eventually opens up to normal volume and then full instrumentation kicks in. The vocals are passionate and the music is very cinematic. Just as it seems to be reaching a climax, it returns to the tin can effect again, and then cycles through another build in intensity. The vocals have a certain resemblance to David Bowie, but the music is a definite neo-prog sound with plenty of keyboards, effects and guitar with occasional sections including saxophone and violin. The music is also very dynamic in both volume and in changing textures quickly moving from minimal to full instrumentation many times throughout the track. The music stays complex, never settling into one particular sound for too long, but it does remain quite dramatic throughout. The second part of this chapter is the 8 minute "That Thought You Lost at Home". The overall beat of this one is a bit faster and more consistent. A nice guitar and synth section establishes some nice melodies, the feel of the track noticeable brighter. After a few minutes, the music calms a bit, but melodies become more complex with some interesting patterns and atmospheric music. A nice soft guitar section moves us along before vocals return after 5 minutes, but the music remains calm, yet somewhat complex. It's not until after 7 minutes that the drums bring in a slow but constant rhythm.

Chapter 8: "The Trauma of Happiness". This section starts with another 8 minute track called "A Haunted Ghost". This starts similar to the first track, but it's not long before full instrumentation starts. This moves between processed and somewhat ambient sections to normal and fuller sections. Again, the track is an exciting conglomeration of feelings, textures and many melodies and the music moves smoothly between all the changes without feeling choppy at all. The addition of a cello in the last few minutes lends a nice sound that creates a tension that culminates in an emotional guitar solo. "Lifeoscopy" is the shortest track at 6 minutes. This track follows more of a singular melodic idea than the other tracks, and is probably the most accessible track because of that, however, it still retains a level of complexity. "Laughter's Cold Remains" returns to dynamic structures again, ever changing along its 12 minute course. Once again, you get heavy and light sections with various textures and feelings throughout. A nice change of pace midway through is led by a rousing synth solo. One thing you will notice is the album is lyrically heavy, so when there is time to throw in an instrumental section, it's a welcome change. However, the music never settles for too long as it weaves its way around ever changing passages and emotions.

Chapter 9: "Solipsisters". "When We Are Us" begins with a very solid beat and great guitar hooks, one of the few more melody driven tracks that relies on a more repetitive pattern. Of course, this changes after a few minutes when the music calms down and takes us through the kaleidoscope of sounds and styles, even adding in a dissonant piano section before bringing in more guitars, and a very exciting instrumental section. Heavy progressiveness continues, again never resting too long on any one style. The last track is another 14 minute track called "Beyond the Dark". This continues the complexities of the previous tracks, always changing in mood and style with some excellent instrumental sections spread throughout.

The music on this album is mostly quite complex and involved, moving from one passage to the next with a lot of dynamic change, yet running along smoothly. It is very seldom that the music settles into any one feeling or style for very long. The vocals are emotional, but in a Bowie sort of way. For the listener not used to progressive music, it is going to probably be way over their head, but it is one of those albums that, given time, will grown on them. The musicianship is excellent, but the complexity tends to make the tracks sound alike at first, but with time they take on their own personalities. The album is lyrically heavy, and the melodies are also complex, not following any real standard formats for the most part. This is a great progressive album, definitely a complex neo-prog sound somewhat similar to Marillion, but much more complex than their latest output. Easily 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |


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