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The Tangent: The Slow Rust Of Forgotten ...
The Tangent - The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery CD Album Review

The Tangent: The Slow Rust Of ...

Melodic Progressive Rock

The Tangent has been consistently releasing albums, studio and live, since 2003, but I haven't been pitched an album since 2011's Comm, a pretty good album. Lead by founder and prog mastermind Andy Tillison, The Tangent returns with The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery, and a few twists. Instead of hiring an additional musician, Tillison is behind the drum kit; he is, after all, a drummer too. Also, for the first time since 2008's Not As Good As The Book, The Tangent has a female vocalist in Marie-Eve de Gaultier.

The Tangent Band Photo

The Tangent, with Andy Tillison at left.

The Tangent and The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery (let's shorten that to TSRoFM) are two good examples of why progressive rock can be difficult to assess and then, in turn, explain. At least explain with some sense of coherency and intelligence. I've always found The Tangent's music both entertaining and complex. As to that complexity, I don't think melodic progressive rock as a full description, gets the breadth and depth of the album. Definitely, there's a measure of classic prog and neo-prog. But with the intertwining of piano, synths, guitars, flutes, and saxophones, TSRoFM is more a hybrid of prog rock and jazz fusion. Then there's the spoken word parts, or something such, that come from a DJ. Clever.

Basically, you really need to listen to the songs, rather than have some punter like me trying to wax eloquent about the tunes within TSRoFM. Perhaps now is a good time to play the Two Ropes Swing video below. But to go on.

Really, it's the long songs that betwixt me. There's so much going on that, even after a spin or three, I recall only a few things. For instance, with Slow Rust it's the guitar solos at the front and back, and the old school Hammond. With The Sad Story of Lead And Astatine it's the piano leading, some more organ, and then, after the five minute mark, is that some xylophone, or just some synth synthetic version? I wonder. For Doctor Livingstone (I Presume), I can tell you it's a 12 minute instrumental with highlights of piano, bass, a flute at the midpoint, and two nice guitar solos. I guess with that one, I caught more than I thought. Conversely, somewhere Tillison does a drum solo; I totally missed that. You see what I mean?

Prog can create a conundrum for the listener, a confusion between listening for enjoyment or listening with understanding, which requires some concentration. Perhaps the former should precede the latter. Or perhaps drop the latter all the same. Why? Because to do defeats the former. What about listening for enjoyment alone? Well, then, the 22 minute opus essentially becomes prog rock music that lingers in the background, slowly dissolving and eventually forgotten. The must be a middle way. You find it, please. Thankfully a strong gin and tonic was to write this review.

So, it's all good. Get The Tangent's The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery and be mesmerized and perplexed, but dutifully entertained and intrigued. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

Note: All Amazon advertising in this review first benefits the artist, then Craig Hartranft also receives a residual. Click, and thanks for your support.

The Bottom Line

It's all good. Get The Tangent's The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery and be mesmerized and perplexed, but dutifully entertained and intrigued. Easily recommended.

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