Hello, this is Luke. Once again, I have been met with some albums that I think are worth your while, but which I really don’t have all that much to say about. I have written a Triple Feature to highlight these albums. This month’s featured bands are Fool’s Ghost, Anubis, and Tesa.
Fool’s Ghost is a progressive rock band based in Louisville, Kentucky. Consisting of Amber Thieneman on keys and vocals and Nick Thieneman on guitar, they’re a decidedly talented “cinematic” project, which normally I’m not too keen on, but they definitely know what they’re doing. Their third album, Dark Woven Light, was released in March of this year.
What kind of music does Fool’s Ghost play? It sounds a bit like the really slow, ethereal songs at the end of a Porcupine Tree album. It’s dark, repetitive, and ambient. Nick’s guitar tone and style is a very interesting aspect, as are Amber’s keys; there are definitely more real instruments than on most albums of this sort.
The songs are good; unfortunately, they’re all equally good, because they all sound kind of the same. There are no real changes in the dynamic or feel of the album. You could probably listen to them in any order and it would make just as much sense. Fool’s Ghost don’t do a lot of different things, but what they do, they do well. I, personally, would have liked more variety, but if shoegaze and drone music are kind of your thing, or if you need something to relax or do your homework to, Dark Woven Light is definitely worth a spin.
Anubis is a big production. Based in Sydney, its members are: Robert James Moulding (lead vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, keys), David Eaton (keys, vocals, guitar), Douglas Skene (guitar, vocals), Dean Bennison (guitar, slide, vocals), Anthony Stewart (bass, pedals, vocals), and Steven Eaton (drums, vocals). Their sixth album, Homeless, released earlier this year, is a very good record, but one I have mixed feelings about.
The good news here is that the songs are amazing. “White Ashes” is concise and catchy, and probably my favorite on the record. Lead single “Home” is extremely well-written as well. The title track has some awesome odd time riffage. The instrumental performance throughout is positively top-notch: technical, but not too technical. I highly recommend it.
The bad news? It’s not unique at all. It sounds kind of like every other prog metal album ever. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily! To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s original as long as it’s good (and making music that sounds “original” is a fool’s errand anyway). Unfortunately, it does feel just a bit stale at times, and I’m not sure if that’s the production, the writing, or the performance. Maybe there are just too many people playing at the same time for there to be much space! Rush did their thing with three dudes. (One of them was borderline-savant-multitasker Geddy Lee, but the point stands.) However, if you like well-made prog rock with a lot of guitar, Homeless is worth your while.
Tesa is a highly progressive band. Consisting of drummer and vocalist Janis Burmeisters, guitarist Davis Burmeisters, and bassist and vocalist Karlis Tone, and hailing from the great nation of Latvia (I defy you to find another Latvian band), their sound is gritty, aggressive, and experimental.
C O N T R O L is a true tour de force: a forty-plus-minute, one-song instrumental release. (It’s divided into tracks entitled “Control 1,” “Control 2,” and so forth, but really it’s just the one song.) Prog was started so people could do stuff like this! It sounds like it could be boring, but it’s decidedly exciting. It reminds me of King Crimson’s extended instrumentals. The playing throughout is fantastic.
While it’s not at all boring as a whole, it’s a bit stale at times. They will occasionally stay on one leitmotif for too long, or spend too much time developing a certain drum riff. Nevertheless, this is an extremely good album, and one that makes me want to check out their stuff with vocals!
Find Fool’s Ghost online:
Find Anubis online:
Find Tesa online: