Proxy : Reviews

Progradar

ProgRadar

"This is what progressive music should be about, you’re hearing a true progression and maturation of The Tangent’s sound and it’s bloody brilliant."

Martin Hutchinson - Prog Radar

Full Review


ddogDangerDog

"Proxy and The Tangent are the real deal, genuinely creative and entertaining melodic progressive rock. Enjoy!"

Craig Hartranft - DangerDog

Full Review


progreportProg Report

"Filled with long, developed suites of music, intricate instrumentation, challenging arrangements, conflicting but convergent styles and virtuoso performances from all members."

Prog Nick - Prog Report


progMagPROG Magazine

"Spikey and combative arrangements with an unswerving velocity."

Sid Smith - PROG Magazine


progarchyProgarchy

"Filled with long, developed suites of music, intricate instrumentation, challenging arrangements, conflicting but convergent styles and virtuoso performances from all members."

Eric Perry - Progarchy

The Whiskey Soda Review

Andy Tillison hat einen Hals. Nach dem launigen, luftigen Vorgänger gibt's auf dem neuen The Tangent-Werk "The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery" vornehmlich düster-melancholischen Stoff mit klar politischen, angepissten und bisweilen schwarzhumorigen Texten, die relativ klar machen, was Andy von der derzeitigen politischen Entwicklung speziell in seinem Heimatland hält.

Musikalisch bewegen sich The Tangent natürlich weiterhin im Spannungsfeld zwischen eklektischem Prog und - wohl auch dank Bassist Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic) - jazzigem Canterbury-Feeling, also, irgendwo zwischen Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, Roger Waters, Caravan und Soft Machine, abgeschmeckt mit allem, was Andy zwischen die Finger kommt. Das wären diesmal beispielsweise waschechte Metal-Shreddingsoli von Luke Maschin, weibliche Gesangsharmonien, Punk-Riffs, DJing, Spoken Word-Passagen und Zappaeske Brüche. Der Opener 'Two Rope Swings' ist dabei mit sechseinhalb Minuten Spielzeit der einzige "kurze" Song - der zweitkürzeste ist bereits das zwölfminütige Instrumental 'Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)'. Der Quasi-Titelsong 'Slow Rust' läuft 22:32 Minuten, 'The Sad Story Of Lead and Astatine' exakt 16 und das vorab veröffentlichte 'A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road' 17:31 Minuten - also definitiv keine leichte Kost. Im Gegensatz zu manch' anderer Band, die kürzlich ein politisch motiviertes Album voller Longtracks veröffentlicht hat, wirkt aber hier nichts erzwungen oder gar predigerisch. Dank Tillisons engagierten, unverklausulierten Lyrics und seiner sympathischen Nicht-Stimme, beides irgendwo zwischen Roger Waters, Bob Geldof und einer Prise frühem Dylan behält die Scheibe auch in den abgefahrensten Momenten noch eine angenehme Bodenhaftung und kommt durchaus mit einer Prise Humor und enormem Spielwitz um die Ecke. Der Höhepunkt dabei ist 'A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road', bei dem die Musik und der vor Sarkasmus triefende Text eine perfekte Einheit abgeben und sogar - trotz der Komplexität der Komposition - so etwas wie Eingängigkeit entwickeln - auch wenn zartbesaitete Gemüter ob dieser Behauptung ungläubig den Kopf schütteln werden.

Konnte man "A Spark In The Aether" durchaus zu Recht vorwerfen, etwas zu entspannt zu klingen, begeben sich The Tangent mit ihrem aktuellen Album eher wieder in die experimentierfreudigen Gefilde des Bandhighlights "Not As Good As The Book", wenn auch, wie erwähnt, deutlich jazziger. Eines der bisherigen Jahreshighlights im Progrock und mit 'A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road' liefern Andy und Co. den bisherigen Longtrack des Jahres ab. Abgerundet von einem gewohnt eigenwilligen und sehenswerten Comic-Artwork kann man also absolute Kaufempfehlung aussprechen.

The Echoes & Dust's Review

“The world changed. Not the band.” On their ninth studio album, The Tangent cites Roger Waters’ ability to communicate ideas about world affairs through progressive rock music. Admiring Pink Floyd’s Final Cut and Water’s Amused to Death, The Tangent remark how such music does not challenge the zeitgeist. However, with their new release, the band are engaged in political commentary by focussing on the plight of refugees and their treatment by the Western media. They also draw parallels between the construction of walls and borders with friendships. Whether geopolitics or a parable about life, The Tangent have used their new album as an expression of thought that all may relate to.

The line-up again features Andy Tillison on keyboards, vocals, and a debut on drums, Jonas Reingold on bass, Luke Machin on guitars and vocals and Theo Travis on saxophone and flute. Marie-Eve de Gaultier’s inclusion completes the line-up, playing the keys and adding further vocals. Chumbawamba founder Boff Whalley and DJ/producer Matt Farrow also have guest appearances. The album is produced by Machin, whilst DC Comics’ Mark Buckingham provided the artwork.

The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery takes an impressive hour and fifteen minutes to listen to from top to bottom; as such, it is not music for a casual listener. As with most classic progressive releases, this album has to be absorbed completely, and the song lengths alone prohibit listening to snippets only.

‘Two Rope Swings’, the shortest song by some length, opens the album with a dramatic piano and vocal introduction. Before the midway the mark the full band begins to enter into majestic instrumental joy. Some may class this as an overture of sorts, as it demonstrates several elements that the remainder of the album explores more fully.

‘Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)’ is a well-constructed instrumental song and with several different layers and recurring motifs, it demonstrates the virtuoso ability of the group but manages to convey decent melodies, without the necessity of a familiar vocal pattern. As a result, it is clear that The Tangent’s strength lies in their instrumental construction.

‘Slow Rust’ shows, however, that in the sections where both Tillison and de Gaultier sing in unison, the songs are immediately lifted lyrically. One criticism of progressive rock music is often the vocals, and when the instrumental sections are as complex as they are here, it can be hard for the vocals to sometimes be warranted. Generally, The Tangent manage to make the vocal sections interesting and relevant enough to be included, though some of the more descriptive verses could have some work.

The aforementioned ‘Slow Rust’ is the longest song on the album, at 22 minutes, and is the song with the most distinct passages of music. ‘The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine’ slows the pace slightly, introducing more jazz elements in the instrumentation. Nonetheless, the song continues to build on itself, as is often the case, in a style not unlike a jam; all the instruments seemingly bouncing off each other, improving each passage. The call and response section halfway through really adds an organic element to the song before hurtling back into the manic keyboard and guitar riffs, and then a jazz drum solo. Ambitious as ever.

‘A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road’ closes the album and it does not relent on the intricacy or intensity of its predecessors. With the use of profanity, it feels as though this song may carry an additional angst in its lyrics. In the closing sections, there are famous classical motifs, and hard rock riffs thrown in alongside woodwind instruments; effectively if anyone asked “what is progressive rock?” you would show them this snippet.

Through their extensive discography and fourteen-year lifespan, The Tangent believe they are ‘Re-Purposing Progressive Music.’ There is certainly a more modern sound to this record, but the traditions of classic progressive rock are certainly prevalent; arguably fitting in with the theme of re-purposing. Despite its great melodies, it does take endurance to listen to, but in the end, that is the reward of it. There are fantastic instrumental passages, and lyrics that, whilst may not be overly thought-provoking, certainly provide apt commentary.