This is my last triple feature for 2021. I have three EPs again, three very different ones, actually. All of them are excellent, though. Check out my thoughts on Tangerine Dream, Lethian Dreams, and Corque below.
Tangerine Dream is a legendary progressive electronic outfit. Many members have passed through the project, with Edgar Froese being the primary mainstay. After his death some time ago, the lineup has remained constant with Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss, and Hoshiko Yamane. I’m finding that these three are just as brilliant as those who came before them.
The project just released a new EP called Probe 6-8, which is a preview to their full-length album coming in Spring 2022. The EP released on November 26th, and I’m honestly loving it. This group of musicians showed us with 2017’s Quantum Gate that they have the patience, subtlety, and creativity to match Tangerine Dream’s amazing discography. This EP displays that once again with three warm, looping, instantly attractive compositions that are in the spirit of progressive electronic, through and through.
The EP has five tracks: two of them being remixes. So, the focus is on the first three. “Raum” opens the EP with a deep Moog bass that sounds amazing. The song is 15 minutes in length, but doesn’t feel like it. It flirts and loops with beautiful, striking melodies that I have come to love. “Para Guy” follows as the shortest of the three, and it has a little more grit and energy in its blood. There is almost an exotic and burgeoning feeling to it that really grabs me, mainly because of Hoshiko’s violin. Finally, “Continuum” veers off course to a different sort of sound, one that is closer to trip hop than progressive electronic. It has a steady and addictive beat to it that sets it apart from most TD compositions.
Overall, I’m excited for the new album next year. This EP has three fantastic songs, each of them feeling a little different and exciting in their own ways. I’m particularly interesting in “Continuum” and whether that will represent a new sound that appears on other tracks. Time will tell.
Lethian Dreams released an album in 2020 called A Shadow of Memories which I reviewed and liked quite well. The band is back with an EP that is sort of an extension of that last album. The EP is called Last Echoes of Silence, and it released on December 3rd. The lineup remains Carline Van Roos on vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboards; Matthieu Sachs on guitars and keys; and Pierre Bourguignon on drums.
Let me just say this: I am really enjoying this EP. I had issues with the mix of the last album, particularly Carline’s voice being mixed so far into the background. I feel like that issue is non-existent here, as her voice can be heard clearly and centrally. The music is still atmospheric doom metal with blackgaze tendencies, and is just as beautiful, graceful, and well-composed as ever.
The EP has 6 tracks on it, including some remakes and new versions of older Lethian Dream tracks from the past decade. You will notice an acoustic version of “Wandering” from 2012’s Season of Raven Words, and also an alternate version of “Your Silence” from last year’s release. I would specifically point out “What if the Winds” from the collection of unreleased tracks back in 2011. This new version is an absolute delight, probably becoming one of my favorite songs this year. It has such elegance, floating beauty, and catchiness that I find myself listening to it over and over again.
The rest of the EP is wonderful, too. I specifically love the single “You Remain” with its subtle gravity that slowly becomes more emotive and more desperate. Carline sounds fantastic on that song especially. The EP as a whole is so refreshing for the spirit, like airing out a stuffy house. I love this EP.
Corque is an Australian based multi-instrumentalist named Chris Warren. I reviewed his Far Out EP back in 2018, and he is back again with a new EP that feels like it has better production. The new EP is Centauri Breach and it releases on December 15th.
This release is quite impressive. It has six tracks of modern progressive metal, but has a sound that feels different from the myriad such one-man projects I receive daily. On the previous EP, my favorite aspect of Corque’s sound was the pure, unbridled energy. With this EP, I feel like much of that is gone, and in its place is a more purposeful, almost proggier style. Many of the songs start slowly and the guitar phrasing is almost conversational. However, most of those songs get going halfway through, and new rhythms filter in with catchy results, almost like Chris is building a foundation and then taking the leap when the moment comes.
I want to spotlight a couple tracks. The title track is the opener, and it feels great. I love the instrumental in the second half with its heavy beat and great fingerwork. I also like “Play Computer” with its galloping rock rhythms; again, the second half has some awesome fireworks.
The track that excites me that most, however, is the closer “Terror Stricken Gaze”. As far as I know, this is Corque’s first track with vocals. I’m not sure who the vocalist is, but his voice is soothing, and the results overall are atmospheric and outstanding. I think that sound could be the future of this project, if things came together as needed. Anyways, Corque has a great new EP here, and metal fans should be pleased.
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