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Steve Hughes - Tales From The Silent Ocean CD (album) cover


Steve Hughes


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4 stars About 5 years ago I discovered the band Big Big Train. Their music just overtook me and I proceeded to buy their entire back catalog and have participated in all of the pre-orders since their amazing release The Underfall Yard. Since then, I have been watching current members and past members very carefully. When something is released, my interest is piqued. First it was Sean Filkin's War And Peace & Other Short Stories, and now it's former drummer Steve Hughe's Tales From The Silent Ocean.

I have to admit that I bought this on a complete whim. I bought it directly from Steve and I had a good feeling about this one,...and I was right. Tales From The Silent Ocean mixes a lot of styles, but it's got that classic progressive style, but it doesn't sound outdated in the least. Assisting him is the aforementioned Sean Filkins on vocals, with whom he shares vocals with Steve. Numerous instruments are handled by Steve himself; however, he does have help from guitarist J.C. Strand, as well as other musicians.

The opening track 'Will We Ever Be Free?' is a 9 1/2 epic that swirls with different styles from classic Genesis to even some Tool-esque segways. Different moods make appearances throughout. You could have a pretty intense section, but it'll give way to something so ethereal and beautiful. Isn't that what we all want with our progressive music? How would Genesis' 'In The Cage' sound without that soaring synth section in the middle? The album is full of outstanding tracks, however. The opener, '50/50 Zone', 'Sunshine Willow' and 'Willow's Lament' just really stick.

The concept of the album isn't something arbitrary or something we can't relate to, but it deals with the real problem of depression and how it not only affects them, but how it affects those closest to you. With the album's concept, it's easy to understand why Steve explores different mood swings. Manic one moment, tender the next.

Surprises are how multi-talented Steve Hughes is and how he handles a variety of the album's instrumentation. Yes, we know what an awesome drummer he is, but there's definitely more to him. From concept to execution, Tales From the Silent Ocean is top notch prog. You can tell that he poured his soul into this one. I'm sure he's curious as how it's going to be received, but once the word spreads, people will see that this is a quality project. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a successful career.

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Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 | Review Permalink

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