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The Tangent - COMM CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 358 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An impressive album that represents many prog elements of the past ...

I have been amazed by the band since its debut album 'The Music That Died Alone' which blew me away at first spin - musically and impressed me with its CD artistic work by Ad Unitsky who in fact like the Roger Dean of today's progressive music. At first, I thought the band would just focus on its Canterbury development as its roots but as time went by I have observed that the band has successfully capitalized all great elements of past progressive music. Well yeah, you can find the elements of Van der Graaf (a lot), Yes (a lot), Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant (even though a bit only) and many more. I do not say that they do not have their own roots because their music is basically a unique one that you may not be able to compare with any other progressive bands. Two thumbs up for The Tangent! Even though there are many elements of past prog music, nuance-wise, but the band has successfully pushed the envelop by presenting and packaging the music in a modern way with great sonic quality of production.

Andy Tillison as central act

As the band is truly multinational with its members coming from different nationalities, it's quite difficult to maintain its lineup - that's why the band has undergone many changes in its lineup with Andy Tillison as the only member who has been consistently with the band. In fact, right after the album was released the bass player Jonathan was leaving the band for his solo music career and personal reason (the loss of his father). I'm so happy having listened to the album when the young left-handed guitarist Luke contributes in this album. He is just an extraordinary guitarist and am so amazed with his skills. If he just play straight rock music, I may not so impressed with him but in this album where the music is totally prog to the bone he can provide great guitar work combining stunning guitar solo as well as rhythm or riffs styles. He's really great!

The album sounds like a concept album if you look at the titles of the track like 'The Wiki Man', 'Tech Support Guy', 'Titanic Calls Carpathia' even though in an interview with DPRP Andy admitted there was no such concept album in any release of The Tangent so far and they did not plan one in the future. But yes, he admitted that the central issue was about COMMunication as the thing that concerned Andy in most of the tracks in COMM album.

Musically, 'The Wiki Man' (20:14) that comprises six movements is really a great composition that wonderfully open this great album. It starts with sort of beeps in the 'fax machine' line followed with great symphonic style of music relying mostly on the keyboard solo with nice musical breaks having the fax machine beeps provide the fill during breaks. Luke's guitar solo starts right after the short musical opening with his unique style. The rest of the first part demonstrates great composition that shows dynamic drumming, inventive keyboards, stunning guitar work and dynamic bass playing. The first part already impressed me and right away I shouted to myself "This is IT! The music that I really love!". Next part is basically the vocal line in unique Andy Tillison way - it has become the band's trademark in terms of vocal line. I have to admit that Andy's vocal work is not superb but it does really fit with the music wonderfully. I repeat: "wonderfully"! I am not joking, while I am enjoying this opening track my mind fly back to the days when I first listened to Yes' 'Gates of Delirium', 'Close to The Edge'. Oh my God ...these guys really terrific! They are able to stimulate the great parts of past progressive music in their own way, in a modern sound technology. I say in their own way because there are parts with piano solo that remind me to jazz music followed with long sustained keyboard solo that reminds me to Rick Wakeman's solo in Close to The Edge or Patrick Moraz solo in Gates of Delirium. This epic 'The Wiki Man' to me is at par excellence as Yes' 'Gates of Delirium' - my all time favorite of Yes composition. The music of The Wiki Man is much more dynamic than Yes' Close To The Edge - that's why I tend to compare it with Gates of Delirium which has dynamic parts. Of course The Wiki Man has musical break as well and it is filled with great combination of vocal, acoustic guitar and piano. It's really a masterpiece composition! Bravo The Tangent! Even if the rest of the tracks are not good, this opening track represents the worth of buying the album, really! One thing that I really want more from this opening track: more guitar solo by Luke - it seems this opening track has spaces that actually he can fill ini more guitar solo and shreds.

'The Mind's Eye' (8:13) starts off with a choirs followed with music that moves in crescendo until it reaches certain tempo that is quite fast augmented with nice guitar rhythm. This track is more song-rientated composition and it relies heavily on Andy's vocal line. There are parts that have breaks as well but mostly the track comprises dynamic music. It's an excellent composition. The next track 'Shoot Them Down' (6:45) is a mellow one and it's not something that I really like because the music is quite straight forward - less challenges for me to digest. But it's a good as filler having listened to two dynamic tracks previously. 'Tech Support Guy' (5:51) is another dynamic track with great flute work augmented beautifully with dynamic drumming and organ / keyboard work. The vocal line of Andy enters nicely while the music still provide the unique sound of The Tangent. The alto sax solo is also nice and it makes this track characterizes the music of The Tangent. I like the interlude part that provides great flute and keyboard / guitar works.

'Titanic Calls Carpathia' (16:31) is another epic shorter than The Wiki Man and it comprises also six movements. It starts off with an ambient style with flute providing the lead backed with silent keyboard work. The opening reminds me to the overture of orchestral music. The real music enters at approximately minute 3 with a nice drumming work. The vocal enters slowly, still in the silent mode. The overall mode of this track is basically moderate in tempo and less complex than The Wiki Man. However, this track provides great combination of skills from the musicians involved. The interlude part has musical riffs but still maintain the nature of The Tangent Music - it does not something like progressive metal. This epic concludes the album wonderfully. Titanic Calls Carpathia .....

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. For those who like how the traditional elements of prog music integrated into one cohesive whole with excellent audio quality plus some jazz music parts, this album is really the one you need to have. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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