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(73 min, Musea)
TRACK LIST: 1. Flying East 9:22 2. Let It Go 6:35 3. Sleepdance 11:08 4. Replay 5:42 5. Semprini 4:15 6. Bird in Hand 10:11 Late for Dinner (7 to 13): 7. Xenophile 3:54 8. Soul on a Slick 2:54 9. Doom 2:15 10. Gloom 1:54 11. Real Estate 5:09 12. Three-Hundred Years Asleep 2:23 13. Xenophobe 7:45 All tracks: by P McFarland, Funk, Peters & Thomas. Produced by Thirteen Of Everything. LINEUP: Joe Funk - electric & acoustic guitars; vocals Mick Peters - Stick, bass, acoustic guitar; vocals Ted Thomas - drums & percussion; vocals Thad Miller - piano, organ & synthesizers
Prolusion. THIRTEEN OF EVERYTHING is another (third by number) outfit from Texas, appearing in this review series. The quartet was born at the end of the '90s. When they were close to finishing the recording of their demo in 2002, the lineup was comprised of Joe Funk, Mick Peters, Ted Thomas, whose names you can see above, and the keyboardist Patrick McFarland, who was one of the principal composers in the band. Soon after that however, McFarland decided to leave in favor of work in his home studio, and was replaced by Thad Miller.
Analysis. So, "Welcome Humans" is the first official release of this unusually named Prog Rock unit, and it turned out to be rather diverse, complex and beautiful. Many compositions flow non-stop, which imparts a sense of monumentality to the material. The primary style, which is a blend of Prog-Metal and symphonic Art-Rock with elements of psychedelic Rock, is represented already on the first track and touches most of the songs on the album. Flying East is notable for the powerful beginning with a complex rhythmic pattern and the inventive development of central theme. When the vocal line appears, it unfolds at the more transparent instrumental background, the overall picture arousing certain associations with Genesis and IQ. The second half of the song is once again more powerful and saturated, featuring plenty of excellent solos, particularly from the guitarist and keyboard player. Let It Go follows and is much heavier and denser than its predecessor. The vocal part reveals interesting harmonic and melodic decisions; the instrumental arrangements are abundant in unexpected twists and turns, faded away are the analogies with the 'monsters'. From the dark Space Rock-like intro, Sleepdance leads the listener to the accessible (4/4), yet, cleverly arranged Art-Rock theme with unexpectedly low lead vocals and a light, unobtrusive background chorus. The guitar solos are never rapid, but such would be just unnecessary in this very case. All of the further compositions are also done with high professionalism. The highlights include the intricate Bird in Hand and the long concept work Late for Dinner. It consists of seven tracks, following each other in the album's second half, and is the richest in symphonic, psychedelic and just progressive features. The semi-acoustic textures with a meditative-like atmosphere alternate with intense arrangements, some of which are infected (by Genesis, Marillion, IQ and Pink Floyd), the others shining with originality.
Conclusion. Overall, the album has made a very positive impression upon me. It's diverse, profound, devoid of commercial matter and is interesting throughout. I'd only wish that the band would work in the future with no glances back to the past (read: others') achievements in the genre.
VM: October 4, 2005
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