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Tirith, The - 2015 Tales From The Tower

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ARTIST: Tirith, The
ALBUM: Tales From The Tower
LABEL: Convergent Recordings
YEAR: 2015


LINEUP: Tim Cox - guitars * Dick Cory - bass, vocals * Carl Nightingale - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Farewell Fair Laurien * 02 Gin Lil * 03 Laurelae * 04 Home From The Sea * 05 The Daughter Of The Water * 06 The Quest * 07 Gazing At Stars * 08 The Tower * 09 Song Of All Ages * 10 Pioneers Of The Outer Arm * 11 Lost



This English trio has been around for decades, yet it would seem, have only just been discovered. Much like Texan pompsters Hobbit, these guys are well versed in the world of J.R.R Tolkien, and in their former guise as Minas Tirith, explored the prog soundscape back in the 70's. Cox and Cory reunited the band in 2010 after working separately as musicians and songwriters. A new album was touted as far back as 2013, after making an appearance on the CD promo/giveaway for the May 2013 issue of Prog Magazine. Though The Tirith originate from a prog background, the music on 'Tales From The Tower' is a solid mixture of both the prog and hard rock sub-genres. Tim Cox's guitar is exemplary, and I'm certain GDM regulars will get a swag of frequent flyer miles out of this album.

The Songs
Lyrically, the concepts are fantasy and sci-fi based, not quite as fetching as a band like Aryeon for instance, but still.. you get the drift. Even though the band are a trio, the soundscape is very rich, ethereal in parts, acoustic interludes and orchestration to boot. 'The Daughter Of The Water' is the absolute album highlight. The lucid introduction makes way for some high-octane rockin'. The extended guitar solos throughout this one are high quality. 'Gin Lil' is a coarse rocker which should sit quite comfortably for lovers of 70's hard rock. Both 'Laurelae' and 'Home From The Sea' are both expansive prog pieces. When they increase the tempo and intensity, a band like Threshold comes into play. Other listeners may pick up different influences. 'Gazing At Stars' is another powerful presentation, the guitar solos again lifts the song to another level. 'Song Of All Ages' is one out of the box, while 'Pioneers Of The Outer Arm' has all the makings of a space-epic in the style of Hawkwind, but never gets down to antediluvian levels.

In Summary
The appealing thing about The Tirith is their ability to combine older style concepts with a modern sounding production. As you can probably conclude from my review, 'Tales From The Tower' does not cover itself in heavy drenchings of 70's prog treacle. Thank God for that. Tim Cox's guitar work keeps things very contemporary and action-oriented. There's really only one ballad of note ('The Quest'), the rest of the album rock along at a good clip. A very good English prog/hard rock release for 2015, may we hope to see more of The Tirith into the future.

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