t aka Thomas Thielen is the multi-instrumentalist behind the German, and obscure, avant garde rock band Scythe, and two previous solo albums Naive (2002) and Voices (2006). But the 't' could stand for other things as well. 't' could stand for 'taunting' since his newest release, Anti-Matter Poetry provokes and dares you to listen to Thielen's eclectic and ethereal arrangements, and like them. Or 't' could stand for 'tantalizing' simply because this work succeeds in bursting your preconceived notions of modern prog by those very diverse ingredients, and you will like them.
Thielen takes visions and influences as diverse as early Genesis, Marillion, Pink Floyd, and maybe some Porcupine Tree and wraps them in nuanced European stylized electronica to form a neo-progressive sound. If that sounds inaccessible, then the 't' might stand for 'terrible' or 'terrifying' for some listeners. Especially if all you hear is the droning synths on The Wasted Lands or the quirky same on Phantom Pain Scars. But then Scavenger grips you with a strangely pedestrian, but still avant garde, accessibility, with convincing melodic lines, classic piano, and stirring guitar work.
But the brilliance behind 't' Thielen's music is his maddeningly deft pursuit of his own art, pushing his poetic imaginations into his musical vision. Anti-Matter Poetry is art against the Philistines shouting from the sidewalk, but also against that same aforementioned pedestrianism that demands the status quo. This work can seem equally soothing familiarity and eerily experimental creativity like U2 meeting Pink Floyd and Genesis in the most obscure studio. If there is anything a hint unlikable here it may be Thielen's stoner-like Bowie vocals throughout. But even these turn on that same quizzical deftness that pervades the music, especially on the latter half of Phantom Pain Scars.
t's (Thomas Thielen) Anti-Matter Poetry will probably confound the most sympathetic or curious listener at the first, and likely only, consideration. But for those who love progressive and experimental rock which is provocative, challenging, and entertaining, Anti-Matter Poetry will be a luminous flare enlightening heart, soul, and mind. Quite recommended.
For those who love progressive and experimental rock which is provocative, challenging, and entertaining, t's (Thomas Thielen) Anti-Matter Poetry will be a luminous flare enlightening heart, soul, and mind. Quite recommended.
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