[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(51:33; Basement Avatar Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Dark Energy 6:37 2. Storm Season 5:17 3. Event Horizon 8:43 4. Walk on Water 9:28 5. Life Is Change 5:14 6. West Texas 7:13 7. Plague 9:01 LINEUP: Mick Peters - vocals, Chapman Stick, bass, pedals, guitars, percussion Ted Thomas - vocals, drums, percussion, synthesizer Joe Funk - guitars, synthesizer Bruce McIntosh - piano, organ, synthesizer with: Thad Miller - synthesizer Brett Crosby - guitars Rick Clark - vocals Mark McMillan - violin
Prolusion. US band THIRTEEN OF EVERYTHING can trace their history back to the year 2000, and following an initial demo tape in 2002 they released their proper debut album "Welcome, Humans" in 2005 through French label Musea Records. Band activities slowed down a few years after this, but from 2016 and onward the band has been active again, and now in June 2019 they are set to release their second album "Our Own Sad Fate".
Analysis. Personally I'm not all too familiar with this Texas based progressive rock band, although their initial demo have found it's way into my music collection at some point. Not having explored that production to any greater length, listening to this new album of their has been a journey of discovery more than anything else. As far as specific style is concerned, my impression is that they exist somewhere on the borderline between classic era symphonic progressive rock and mid 80's neo-progressive rock. You can tell that this is a band that know their Camel and their Genesis, and they are probably familiar with Gentle Giant and King Crimson as well. Instrument details that can be traced back to all of those bands are very much present, albeit not in an overt manner. Still, those familiar with vintage era progressive rock will nod their heads to familiar sounds and familiar sounding arrangements and instrument details. Expressive keyboard details and drum patterns in particular. Much the same can be said about the structure of the songs, especially the longer ones. Otherwise, I note the presence of both organ, Mellotron and the occasional harpsichord. On the other hand, those fond of atmospheric oriented arrangements with soft, floating keyboard textures, elegant plucked guitar details and arrangements with a stronger emphasis on the creation of distinct moods will also find a lot to enjoy here. In addition, there's a tighter, more spirited cut at hand of the kind that the early neo-progressive rock bands had a tendency to dish out as well. Further expanding the canvas are nods in the direction of folk music and, arguably, Americana, and certain passages and instrument motifs does strike me as featuring some direct inspiration from classical and perhaps even medieval music as well. In addition I do get the impression that this is a band of proud Texans, as the atmospheric laden instrumental 'West Texas' comes across as a tribute or homage to that part of their home state. The songs are all well made affairs too, with effective use of contrasting elements and clever use of subtle alterations and changes to create and maintain tension. Some compositions do have their fair share of magical moments too, the second half of 'Walk on Water' with it's bass line and expressive drums a personal favorite in this context.
Conclusion. "Our Own Sad Fate" is an album that has been in development for around a decade, and I understand members have both come and gone in that period. Which may be a reason for the diversity of the music on this album. But all the songs play out well, and maintains interest easily throughout. While perhaps not a finely polished gem it is still a solid jewel this one, and a production that merits a check by those with an equally strong passion for 70's era symphonic progressive rock and mid 80's neo-progressive rock.
Progmessor: May 22nd, 2019
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]