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(52:46, Apollon Records Prog / Artemis Prog Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Trees 23:53 2. Storm 10:05 3. Dendrophenia 4:35 4. Make Me Feel 9:40 5. Play with Fire 4:33 LINEUP: Arnfinn Isaksen - bass Erik Borgen - vocals, guitars Jean Robert Viita - keyboards, vocals Morten Loken Clason - sax, flute, vocals Sam Arne Noland - drums Stig Andre Clason - guitars
Prolusion. Norwegian band THE WINDMILL have been around in one form or another since 2001, and when they released their debut album back in 2010 they were a band that had developed into a tight and compelling unit that knew perfectly well what they wanted to achieve and how to go about it. Hence they hit the ground running, and have kept up ever since. "Tribus" is their third studio album, and was released through Norwegian label Apollon Records in the late fall of 2018.
Analysis. For those who tend to find bands described as retroactive or vintage oriented, The Windmill have been one of the numerous go to bands in the last decade or so. This is a band that know and love the sounds of the 1970's, and they explore these landscapes in a manner many progressive rock fans will applaud. Cue this album, that opens with a mammoth almost 24 minutes long affair. This fact alone will raise interest among many fans of progressive rock fans in itself of course, and when you add in that it is a multiple sectioned affair that alternates between classic era symphonic progressive rock landscapes and more delicate pastoral ones presumably that interest will not decrease. That we are treated to a token jazz-tinged interlude, complete with nods to both ragtime and barbershop, will presumably be seen as the icing on the cake. For the other half of the album, the material becomes a bit more diverse. The other long songs explore more or less similar landscapes I guess, but with perhaps a few more nods towards the likes of Jethro Tull in between everything else than in the opening epic. Not that this is lacking on the opening cut as such, but in the greater totality it has arguably more of a minor role there. I also note a sweet orchestral oriented passage appearing as a one off, and the harpsichord making an appearance as some details of note in the other long songs on this CD. Lead singer Borgen has a voice that tends to remind me of good, old Uriah Heep, and whther it is by plan or by accident we get a few nids in that direction on the first of the short songs here, Dendrophenia. Some of these tendecies also appear on the other short track, Play with Fire, accompanied by additional traits that made me think of Jethro Tull, again, as well as Ambrosia. The latter mainly due to the role of the piano in certain sequences. In essence we have an album here that explores a fairly broad canvas based on the music of yesteryear. The greater majority inspired by vintage era progressive rock, with a few nods towards the more art-oriented hard rock bands of the same era. Everything very well executed in all departments too, and as far as album experiences goes this is a solid one.
Conclusion. The Windmill is a band that, if it isn't already present, should be added to the check list for just about anyone with an interest in early to mid 70's progressive rock. I find it rather charming that they choose to combine several aspects of vintage era progressive rock with a wee bit of vintage hard rock as well, which as I regard it makes the album experience one with at least a potentially broader reach. Be that as it may be, in their chosen field this is a solid band with a solid new album to their name.
Progmessor: December 29th, 2018
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