Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Tea Party - The Edges Of Twilight CD (album) cover


The Tea Party


Crossover Prog

4.33 | 124 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I was lured into listening to this album for two reasons: 1) it has such high ratings and recommendations on ProgArchives and YouTube, and 2) I thought it was an early album of a 21st Century favorite of mine, The Tea Club. (It's not.)

1. "Fire in the Head" (5:06) Steven Wilson/PT with Michael Gira on lead vocals. A little more grunge/metal than SW/PT, thus, influenced by their times. Great two-voice chorus! Really well-crafted, spacious song! Great production. (I'm listening to the re-mastered version.) Sounds like a child of Led Zeppelin ("Kashmir"). Feels like very mature song-craftsmanship. (9.5/10)

2. "The Bazaar" (3:42) North African hand percussion with horn-like guitar bursts into a pretty standard hard rocker. (8.25/10)

3. "Correspondences" (7:28) piano (there are no keyboards cited on the album credits) intro turns into a heavy ballad. It's pretty beautiful--with a great, very beautifully sung vocal. Tension builds at the end of the third minute--fulfilled by the amped up guitars and vocal before a brief instrumental passage with slide (bottleneck?) guitar. The next time we have that buildup isn't until after the next verse, chorus, and instrumental interlude. What a great gravelly voice Jeff Martin has! Nice guitar soli throughout--using three different sounds/guitars for each. Nice but could've rocked out even harder in the crescendo parts. (13.5/15)

4. "The Badger" (3:58) long Scottish bagpipe-like intro with some acoustic guitar picking over the top. Guitar finishes without bagpipes. Really a drawn out guitar interlude. (A little more Led Zeppelin feel here.) (8.75/10) 5. "Silence" (2:51) full-on LED ZEPPELIN opening with Indian lead melody line taken by vocal and mirrored by sustained guitar "horn." Congas and drums. At the two minute mark it goes full on Zep--especially in the rhythm department. (4.5/5)

6. "Sister Awake" (5:43) acoustic guitars strumming (sitar, too) over which Jeff sings slow and deliberately. I keep expecting the music to jump out with some "Over the Hills and Far Away" screams and walls of sound. It kind of does abit at the end of the second minute with a whole mess of hand percussion instruments building up over the wall of acoustic guitars. Then the whole song shifts into rock with a complement of Indian support instruments. The heavy guitars, bass, and driving drum beat definitely brings this East-affected song into the realm of Western rock and roll. A really amazingly well (lovingly) crafted song. (9.25/10)

7. "Turn the Lamp Down Low" (5:16) now to the Memphis blues--even using a little Elvis-like voice stylings. I can tolerate the swampy first half so that we can get to the rollicking, rolling second half. Nice transition! Nice impassioned vocal in the second half, Jeff! Nice Jimmy Page riffing, too! (9/10)

8. "Shadows on the Mountainside" (3:39) Now into the Ozarks. (Can't believe these guys were from Windsor, Ontario, Canada!) Great sound for all of the guitar and vocal tracks--so warm and intimate--and such great playing, chord choices! (8.75/10)

9. "Drawing Down the Moon" (5:26) A guitar-showcasing real blues rocker in the tradition of John Mayall, Robin Trower and even God himself, the Jimi. The vocal starts out a little bit too similar to the previous song, but amp up powerfully for the great chorus. This guitar noodling going on in the background goes from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Don "Buck Dharma" Roeser for the second verse. Wow! What a switch. Then to Jimmy Page & the Zep for the second chorus. What an amazing song! What vision! What balls! Rock 'n' roll does not get much better than this. I love how clear and direct Jeff's guitar playing is--no frilly unintended flashes, all intentional and purposeful. (9.5/10)

10. "Inanna" (3:48) Another East Indian-infused song; not as cheesy as George Harrison, not quite Shakti or other Indian raga-based, but the most Indian music on the album. The vocal is most like that of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, stylistically. Lots of sitar and other Indian stringed instruments used throughout. (8.75/10)

11. "Coming Home" (5:53) another acoustic guitar-based Led Zeppelin-like song with another Eddie Vedder-like vocal. Love the multiple guitars (including 12-string) in the lead up to the chorus sections. The rest of the song (and lyrics) are just okay. (8.5/10)

12. "Walk with Me" (14:20) great opening--like DEAD CAN DANCE (the hammered dulcimer) with STEVEN WILSON and METALLICA. But after that, it's all pretty routine near-Led Zeppelin stuff--perhaps a bit more spaced out, Petri Walli style. Vocals here remind me of the lead singer for FIELDS of the NEPHILIM (andy Delaney). (26.25/30)

Total Time 67:21

Surprise, surprise! What we have here is a heavily-Eastern India-influenced LED ZEPPELIN-inspired rock band with some very serious compositional and production ideas. I love how thoroughly "finished" each song feels. I gotta admit: this is one of the best albums I've heard to come out of the 90s--so finely crafted. I don't know if the original release is as clean and well produced as the "re-mastered" version I have, but I'm betting it's close. Still so hard to believe they were from just across the river in Windsor!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE TEA PARTY review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.