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(50:46, MALS Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Prelude 0:35 2. Rite of Passage 2:59 3. The Transparent Boy 3:42 4. The Gift 4:26 5. Home for Christmas 1:13 6. Chanson de Geste 3:36 7. Thin White Line 3:01 8. Demise 2:39 9. Ghost of My Father 2:57 10. The Crash 1:17 11. Spray Painted with Faith 2:48 12. Acid Kiss 3:38 13. The Bargain 3:39 14. Lament 5:17 15. Art of Selfdestruction 4:05 16. The Slideshow of My Life 4:54 LINEUP: Klaus Bastian Ц vocals S?ren Lindberg Ц guitars, bass Klaus Herfort Ц drums, percussion Erik Wolf Ц bass
Prolusion. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, TINKICKER is a quartet of mature musicians, judging by the photos on their homepage. Not much is known about the band, as their site doesn't contain much info about the musicians or the group. They were signed by the Russian label MALS earlier this year, and their debut album "Soliloquy of the Transparent Boy" was released shortly thereafter.
Analysis. The goal Tinkicker had when making this album was to produce a classic rock opera, with a concept story binding the album together. Furthermore, they sought to incorporate the styles and manners of two major influences on this release, namely Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. Indeed, the sound they sought is described as Pink Sabbath on their homepage. To be honest, the one goal the band fails to achieve is to get that particular sound going. Clearly defined influences from Pink Floyd can only be heard on one composition, Lament. The spacey, drawn out guitar chords and the generally dark atmosphere of this tune do have many similarities with Pink Floyd. WhatТs missing on this particular track is Black SabbathТs influence, but that one is utilized a number of times throughout, in shorter or longer segments of various tunes. What I didn't find at all were compositions mixing those two influences, which at least indicates to me that these tunes aren't extremely obvious in style and manner. Indeed, my basic impression of the compositions on this release is that most of them are highly influenced by old school hard rock and metal. Kicking off many songs with acoustic or mellow guitar licks in a manner reminiscent of bands like Triumph and Rush, and then evolving the tune by adding distorted fuzz guitar licks in the background, as staccato riff patterns in a more central place in the soundscape or by adding drawn out heavy chords in a distinctly metal manner. The said two bands actually seem to be more of an influence than both Black Sabbath and Floyd. However, style and performance are by far as intricate as with those bands, and more often than not the songs here come across as rather typical old school hard rock, spiced with some metal crunch from time to time in the form of riff patterns as well as slow, doom-tinged chords. If not a rock opera per se, then at least Tinkicker's debut album succeeds in style when it comes to telling a story through all the album's compositions, and manages to tie all the tunes together by means of either melody lines or sounds crossing over from one tune to the next. As the number of characters in the concept story is rather limited, I'm a bit unsure if the term rock opera applies, but this release certainly fills all needed criteria for being a concept album. Anyhow, Tinkicker takes us through an enjoyable trip on this release. The songs are generally good, and it's obvious that there's a lot of passion invested in this project. But as enjoyable as this release is, it never manages to strongly impress me. This is partially due to somewhat weak production: the sound quality does leave a bit to be desired; the mix is a tad on the weak side too, and the song separation could have been better. But the songs themselves are also found a bit wanting Ц none of them are bad but none of them are brilliant either. Good stuff, but it won't set the world on fire.
Conclusion. Fans of old school hard rock and metal should find this release rather interesting. As there are some influences from progressive rock to be found, this release might be found worthwhile to be checked out by that crowd as well, in particular those among them fond of concept albums.
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