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Crucible - Tall Tales CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.87 | 81 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Surprisingly good for a debut, I fully endorse that despite its release date, this album be tagged as Symphonic Prog and not as Neo-Prog. The sound is closer to the 70's classics than to Neo.

This could be described as a seemingly strange combination of mid-70's Genesis with modern Rush, but no worries, this is not a clone of any of the big ones. The prominent keyboards of Tim Horan use a lot patches sounding like Tony Banks in Gabriel-era Genesis and this gives it a vintage feel, but the music itself is more modern, when it reminds of Genesis it's more like the period of Wind and Wuthering or And Then There Were Three. The Rush feel comes mostly from the voice of Bill Esposito which is a kind of mellow Geddy Lee, without the harsh screaming tones of the canadian, but also because some vocal melodies are similar to the softer tracks of mid-modern Rush. We can also feel some similarities with Kansas and Jethro Tull, and with the lesser known Iluvatar, and in fact the voice is like a mix of Geddy Lee and Iluvatar's Glenn McLaughlin.

The rest of the instruments play very competently but in a balanced way, without any of them particularly standing out.

The compositions are symphonic but with a modern touch, no bombastic moments and not much self-indulgence here even if we have a nice 21 minute suite divided in 7 parts. All the tracks are really good without actual weak moments, maybe the weakest track for my taste is the reggae-oriented The Salamander which is not bad anyway.

It's not far from deserving 5 stars, but the reason why it does not reach them is that even if all the music is really good, the compositions are somehow less inspired than those of the symphonic classics. There is no track which can be considered a timeless masterpiece, and as another reviewer put it, "even after some listens the music does not stick to your head". Sure enough if you let it spin enough it finally sticks and grows, but it's true that in the beginning it all sounds very good but nothing so outstanding as to make you think "whaw!".

But I have no hesitation in giving it 4 solid stars and strongly recommending it.

Gerinski | 4/5 |


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