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The Tangent - The Music That Died Alone CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.99 | 389 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Music That Died Alone is the first album of The Tangent, a project started by Parallel or 90 Degrees vocalist Andy Tillison. The Music That Died Alone is an ambitious album dedicated to the resurgance of interest in symphonic progressive rock. Tillison brings togethor an all star cast of cast of musicians to fill the slots. Not only do Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold, and Zoltan Csorsz of The Flower Kings backup Tillison, but legendary sax player David Jackson of Van der Graaf Generator has a piece of the action as well. The Tangent combines a variety of influences to make one of the most unique modern symphonic prog albums.

The apparent styles of these musicians are easily noticeable. Andy Tillison's pychodelic influence is clear as the main composer of the album. This is contrasted by Roine Stolt's bluesy and bright style. And what's more is David Jackson's retro but dark style hinting at shades of Van der Graaf Generator. Still unmentioned is the Canterbury influence all of these musicians are fond of. The Music That Died Alone is almost a library of symphonic progressive rock styles.

Andy Tillison is the key to the project. His vocals and Moog skills are prominent throughout the album. Tillison starts out on the click organ on the opening track "In Darkest Dreams" which brings the listener back through time to the height of symphonic prog. Tillison's composing features excellent depth managing to combine symphonic, pychodelic, and Canterbury influences togethor in a logical fashion. Tillison's vocal abilities are distinctively prominent when compared to that of Roine Stolt and Guy Manning. Tillison put his heart and soul into this album and it shows.

Roine Stolt takes a step away from the mastermind role he has in The Flower Kings. This is an album where Stolt just plays, and what a job he does. Stolt's distinguished bluesy styles really comes out. His solos are some of the finest work of his career. His vocal work though not the most prominent adds a necessary contrast to Tillison. Tillison found the perfect guitarist in Stolt to play on this album.

Jonas Reingold also takes a backseat. The fusion jazz fills that Reingold has used to identify himself in The Flower Kings are not as ubiquitous here. Reingold sits back and grooves a little more with his familiar rythymn section counterpart Zoltan Csorsz. Reingold's excellent technique also comes through in select places, but never enough to wear a listener out.

Zoltan Csorsz much like Reingold plays a smaller role here. It's puzzling to hear Csorsz sit back and hold down the rythymn without the ubiquitous fills used throughout his career with The Flower Kings. Never the less, Csosrz also delivers an excellent performance. The swing style on this album is a much different style that shows Csorsz's versitility.

Sam Baine is the keyboard counterpart of Andy Tillison, and also a member of Parallel or 90 Degrees. Baine's synths add a modern flare to this album amongst a bunch of retro musicians. Baine has excellent technique to match her wide array of synth sounds. On the opening piece, "In Darkest Dreams" Baine's contrasting synth sound and Tillison's reto organ show the colliding but complimenting world of influences in this band.

Guy Manning adds an essential jazzy rythymnic element to this band. (yes another different influence). Manning's chordal creativity and rythymnic background sound great adding lush chord changes behind Roine Stolt's bluesy lead work.

David Jackson returns to symphonic prog on this album, with his hat too!!! Jackson does some amazing saxophone work, but sounds a little out of his element when he plays other woodwind instruments. His solo on "In Darkest Dreams" is one of his highlights on this album. Jackson's arpeggiated solo riffs are examples of the extreme sax solo skills in prog at their best.

The production is perfect. It changes with the particular influence of a particular track. This album is not only a tribute to symphonic prog styles, but symphonic prog tones as well. Every instrument is in perfect balance along with unqiue and creative micing techniques to create the illusion of a record live concert hall. Andy Tillison and the bunch have made an essential album for fans of many styles of progressive music.

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |


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