The Tangent
The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery

1. Two Rope Swings
2. Dr. Livingstone (I Presume)
3. Slow Rust
4. The Sad Story Of Lead and Astatine
5. A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road

Andy Tillison - Keyboards, vocals, drums
Jonas Reingold - Bass
Luke Machin - Guitars, vocals
Theo Travis - Saxes, flutes
Marie-Eve de Gaultier - Keyboards, vocals

The Music That Died Alone 2003
The World That We Drive Through 2004
Pyramids And Stars (Live) 2005
A Place In The Queue 2006
Going Off On One (Live CD/DVD) 2007
Not As Good As The Book 2008
A Place On The Shelf"" 2009
Down And Out In Paris And London 2009
Going Off On Two (Live CD/DVD) 2011
COMM (2011)

Le Sacre du Travail (2013)
A Spark in the Aether (2015)

Boff Whalley - vocals
Matt Farrow - DJ

Produced by Luke Machin
Artwork by Mark Buckingham

Released 2017-07-21
Reviewed 2017-07-27


The Tangent isn’t shying away from making statements with their music and this time they are taking a political route, the cover art is a sign of what to expect. It is about the plight of refugees running from war and harassments and the story is being told both on a personal and more general plane, but they are also looking at other things circling around our western society with runaway consumption and all that stuff. These stories are of course accompanied by some music in clever compositions and the general fresh thinking that is a trademark of The Tangent. Tillison is doing the drums for the first time ever on a Tangent album, and they have a DJ and for the first time in a while they add some female vocals as well courtesy of their new member Marie-Eve de Gaultier.

Of course they are travelling down the progressive rock path, those knowing The Tangent’s earlier works will recognise the sound, as they are quite recognisable. They build their sound around long songs; the album is over an hour long but has only five tracks where the longest is over twenty minutes long and all but one of them are over ten minutes long. The production is very strong, excellent in fact and the tracks show a lot of variation and once again they prove that The Tangent has to be one of very few bands that can pull off such long songs without long uninteresting passages. They manage to make the songs interesting all the way through their playing time. I don’t know if the addition of a DJ makes much for the overall sound or the inclusion of a new producer changes anything to the sound, if anything that is marginal and you don’t really think that much about them using female vocals either. I would say that this is a fresh but also fairly typical album of The Tangent; they evolve yet stay the same.

This is a great album, as expected. I think the album makes one think about how we in the western world that have everything don’t have any compassion for those fleeing all kinds of trouble, we think it is better to built walls to keep them away because they cause our societies some inconveniences. Then again, you don’t really need to listen to the narration or the lyrics, the songs and the music are really strong and I would claim that this album has no real weaknesses. The only little weakness is the fact that The Tangent has done better albums in the past, their new album may be very good and be on an interesting subject matter but they have done better albums in the past. That doesn’t mean that fans of the band shouldn’t have a look at this album as it is still a very good album with very strong songs where I think the second track Dr. Livingstone (I Presume) has to be the strongest. I also think that the ending track A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road is worthy of a mention as it is a very strong and thought-worthy track about where to draw the line and so on.

All in all I really like this album, it is great and has much to offer with a great artwork, great songs and some fresh musical ideas, like it has always been with The Tangent. They are closing up on ten albums now and with their nine first they keep making good and relevant music. The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery is a very enjoyable album with great songs, well worth having a closer look at. Fans of The Tangent and progressive rock should not miss this one.






Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Karmakanik/The Flower Kings/Yes
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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