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Toxenaris - The Third Policeman- Revitalized CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.71 | 3 ratings

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Steve Conrad
3 stars It Sucks to Be Dead

Especially When You're a Murderous Blighter

All right, all right. I confess I have NOT read Flann O'Brien's (actually Brian O'Nolan's) novel "The Third Policeman". But I HAVE read ABOUT it.

This album by TOXENARIS (actually Timo Aspelmeier) is a whimsical, cinematic adaptation of the novel.

Got it?!

And, if I'm reading ABOUT the novel correctly, the never-identified narrator turns out to be dead, and living in his version of hell due to being a murderous blighter.

HIS version of hell is filled with cops, bicycles, infinitely nested intricately carved chests, and pseudo-intellectual philosophizing- and the eternal stuff of the universe, 'omnium'.

So Let's Just Pause

A moment of respect for TOXENARIS AKA Mr. Aspelmeier for refusing to be content with simple, straightforward, decipherable points of reference or discussion or themes in his composition.

What a Lovely, Mysterious, Whimsical Adaptation it is

The album is entirely instrumental, although there is a muffled statement in the final track, "Happy Return". I couldn't make it out- maybe you can.

For me, the terrain is experimental, eclectic electronic progressive music laced with complexity, whimsy, textures, programmed drums, live cello and some guitars, live grand piano, and walls, rivers, and streams of synthesized music.

Contrapuntal Music

The complexity- and for me the challenge and fascination of the music- lies in its deceptive sophistication.

Often there is a meandering theme that develops, wanders, grows, builds, then devolves. Meanwhile beneath it lie offset bass and drum patterns, sometimes busy, sometimes pastoral, sometimes mysterious, rarely frenzied.

It Almost Becomes a Soundtrack

There are effects, like the hammering sounds in track 10, "The Codex and the Scaffold", or whooshing wind sounds, or chiming tones.

Listening as I did with headphones, it was easy to become immersed in the variations and moods and textures.

And to forget it's a version of hell, wherein a murderous blighter lands as his due destiny!

As I said- a challenge, and much respect.

In Conclusion

I found this a most enjoyable, lovely way to stretch my understanding of just desserts for dirty deeds. Yes, it sucks to be dead, so maybe give a thought to being a decent person?! 3.75/5

Originally posted on my blog:

Steve Conrad | 3/5 |


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