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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

t - solipsystemology - 2019


    
“... intriguingly arranged songs  ...”
Thomas Thielen is the man behind the project with the simple name t. However the titles of the albums he has released over the years are not so simple. His 2013 album was released under the brilliant title “psychoanorexia“. After this album he began working on a musical novel that resulted in a trilogy. After the first two parts “fragmentropy“ and “epistrophobia“ his new record label Giant Electric Pea has now released the third part under the name “solipsystemology“  In my progVisions review of part two “epistrophobia“ I wrote the following: Thomas Thielen has the ability to write dynamic, complex and intriguingly arranged songs, with frequently a rather dark atmosphere and much tension. Maybe you know Thomas from his Clouds Can project which he made together with Dominik Huttermann. The “Leave“ album of that duo could be categorized as progressive pop. But this new t album is a typical t album with resonating melodies and avant-garde soundscaping. A strange mix of Art Rock and Progressive Rock. Therefore music for the open minded music lover.
written, performed, recorded, mixed, produced and coffeestained by t (Thomas Thielen)
In his own words, “solipsystemology“ is the third layer of a holograph that started with “fragmentropy“ and “epistrophobia“.  The design of the artwork and typography has a consistent concept. So expect beautiful photography and a difficult to read font. But this font has been carefully chosen, it is the font of an old typewriter. The lack of paragraphs results in a difficult to read lyric sheets. Like the music itself it is a challenge to follow the lyrics of the songs that are combined in three chapters. This last album of the trilogy has the chapters seven, eight and nine.

The album opens with “Chapter Seven (The End Where We Begin)“ which is divided into the parts “The End Of Always“ (14:01) and “That Thought You Lost At Home“ (8:42). “The End Of Always“ is a piece with great diversity. Large pieces of text have to be recited, but Thomas managed to provide most of the text with beautiful melody lines. The music is dense and compact and full of rhythm changes with Prog, Jazz and elements of Classical music. You can find nice keyboard orchestrations and some lovely guitar solo’s. “That Thought You Lost At Home“ has more a Symphonic Rock character with great synth and guitar melodies. The music is very dynamic, first the tension of the music is working towards a kind of climax and is than followed by a mysterious section with delicate guitar and vocal parts. The delicate sung melodic vocal parts in the end section are beautiful. These kind of songs makes the music more accessible to the standard Prog fan. This also applies to the song “Lifeoscopy“ (6:01) the second part of the three parts “Chapter Eight (The Trauma Of Happiness)“. An uptempo piece with lovely vocal refrains. If you are a little used to his voice, you will notice that on this album the vocals are very strong. The previous part “A Haunted Ghost“ (8:06) is more complicated and has some Post Rock influences. “Lifeoscopy“ is also full of great guitar parts. Great song. The last part of Chapter Eight is the more than 12 minutes long piece “Laughter’s Cold Remains“ (12:09). A strong song with nice vocal melodies and some great instrumental passages with delicious synth solos and soaring guitars solo’s. The album ends with “Chapter Nine (Solipsisters)“ which is divided into the parts “When We Were Us“ (9:48) and “Beyond The Dark“ (14:01). “When We Were Us“ is an uptempo song with some complexities. It has some Avant-Garde and Jazz elements. But besides these hectic parts you can also find melodic guitar parts and neo-classical piano parts in this song. And always those strong vocal parts. “Beyond The Dark“ is the last song of this remarkable album. Fourteen minutes of mysterious soundscapes, delicate sung vocals, beautiful melodies and vocal refrains, nice guitar and piano parts. The tension of the music is slowly building up towards a climax but abruptly flows into a mysterious and creepy last part with scary screams and a creepy instrumentation. It leaves the listener confused and dazed behind. Searching for the repeat button ...

As I said before the music you will find on “solipsystemology“ is dynamic, and has because of all the layers a kind of complexity. You will find intriguingly arranged songs, with frequently a rather dark atmosphere. But you will also find beautiful melodies on the album. Especially in the vocal parts. If those parts are combined with full keyboard orchestrations and soaring guitar parts you are transported to Prog Heaven. Music for the open minded music lover. So open your minds and enjoy the music.

Douwe Fledderus - March 2019
rating - Giant Electric Pea

 

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