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Released: 2014, Indie
I’ve got a new radio show featuring the more progressive side of Metal so I’m always on the look out for new independent Progressive Metal bands to feature and I came across Tungsten. I’m glad I did because their debut album THE RESERVIOR is a gem waiting to be discovered so I thought I’d review it here as well.
This sextet is based in Philadelphia and in late 2013 released the album on-line digitally, free in many places and in early 2014 was the official hard copy release date. Tungsten are a diverse and dynamic Progressive Metal band. Fronted by Titi Musick, she lists Ark and Jorn Lande as big influences. Very cool. It is nice to hear a female singer who is not just trying to be a Euro-goth clone of Tarja singing in a soprano style. In another odd note Titi Music (if that is her real name!) lists the Overkill album FROM THE UNDERGROUND AND BELOW as one of her favourite albums. Normally, I would not care what her favourite albums are but it is interesting to note that she chose what is regarded (by thrash fans) as one of the worst Overkill albums. I happen to really enjoy FROM THE UNDERGROUND AND BELOW as well, (it’s very under-rated, especially the ballad) and I love Jorn Lande in everything he has ever been in, so automatically I really like this chick! He voice is powerful with strength and range and she really brings a strong personality to the songs. Her talent and delivery are a major asset for the band.
Musically THE RESERVIOR is a solid collection of Progressive Metal. The songs are not too technical or compositional strange or avante-garde, just to prove a point, the song remains the focus of the writing. The members are very proficient but not too flashy in the Dream Theater style for example. The songs are well arranged and interesting running in the six to eight minute range with the exception of a brief instrumental called ‘Coda’ and the closing title track that runs well over 12 minutes. There are numerous sonic elements ranging from all manner of acoustic, synthesized and conventional electric. There are some nice keyboard tones reaching back into the 60’s and 70’s with a bit of a Hammond tone perhaps. All these sonic components are weaved in and out of the songs rather than just being a solo spotlight. The tone and pace is a little darker and heavier which is not surprising as I think every member mentioned Opeth as favoured band.
I know it is a crass way to describe a band by describing mentioning other bands, (which unfortunately I have done four times already in this review) but it goes to show the wide range and diversity of styles and influences that Tungsten have. They take bits and pieces and make it all their own. If there was one word that I could pick to describe the bands sound it might be ‘class’. THE RESERVIOR never gets too frantic or showy but is loaded with excellent individual performances. It is a perfect blend of songs and performance. To end with some more name-dropping Tungsten remind me of some of the elite names in Prog like Tiles, Magellan, Shadow Gallery and Threshold. This will appeal to a wide range of prog fans that enjoy adventurous music with anchored by strong songs.
1.Water Over Stone
3.Atmos (Masto) Stoma
6. El Dolor
7. The Opera House
8. The Reservoir
Titi Musick- Vocals
JT Wieme- Drums
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