Tuesday The Sky – ‘Drift’ (InsideOut Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Friday, 14 July 2017 04:00

Tuesday The Sky artworkTuesday The Sky is the latest project from Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos, which found its gestation in the downtime between the completion of the band’s last album, ‘Theories Of Flight’, and the subsequent touring cycle. In fact, it traces its roots back to the actual recording process of said album, in that its origins lie in an idea for a bonus track that ultimately did not fit in with the final concept, prompting Matheos to experiment a little more with the direction in which the song had been taking him… and it is one which long-term fans of his main band (or any of the other projects in which he has been involved) may find, especially initially, difficult to follow themselves, as it has taken him down an entirely unexpected route…

 

The result is an album than can loosely be described as ambient prog. It’s by and large instrumental in format: there are vocals on two tracks, provided by one Anna-Lynne Williams, but they are of the non-verbal kind, with the singer’s ethereal voice used as an additional instrument and layer of sonic atmospheric (with the latter, ‘Westerlies’, sounding like Enya collaborating with King Crimson). Its format allows Matheos - who is also joined for this project by God Is An Astronaut drummer Lloyd Hanney and, on two tracks, his long-time OSI collaborator, and former Dream Theater keyboardist, Kevin Moore – to stretch and breathe and explore more subtle elements of his playing than perhaps his heavier output to date would allow him. Yes, there are heavy moments, such as the fuzzed out final third of ‘Kite’, but this is completely left field of anything which might be expected.

 

Creating music of this ilk was clearly a challenge for Matheos, a fact he freely admits: “with this kind of music, it’s a lot about creating a mood and letting that sink in and develop over long periods of time, as opposed to the more frenetic format of most prog music,” he says in the accompanying biog. And “frenetic” is a word which definitely cannot be applied to ‘Drift’, as the album does just what its title says – drifts along in a reflective flow of deeply introspective vibes which both draw the listener into their layers of moodiness and also wash over you with the gentility of a retreating tide on a summer’s evening.

 

‘Drift’ is definitely an experimental album, both for its creator and its listener. It challenges the preconceptions the latter may have had about the former. It also contains lots of lovely little surprises, such as when the epic ‘Dyatlov Pass’ suddenly evolves from a dreamscape of ambient liquidity into a crushing crescendo of metallic guitar and thumping percussion counterparted by a stabbing keyboard line, before drifting back to sleep in a final lullaby. My only problem with this album is that you really have to be in the right mood, and location, to truly enjoy it… but, when that time comes, the perfect soundtrack is just an arm’s length away.

 

‘Drift’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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