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Tungsten: The Reservoir

This is the third time I've sat down to put together my thoughts on the debut album from female fronted Philadelphia Progressive act Tungsten. Why? Well every time I think I've got my ideas on The Reservoir straight, I give it another listen and begin to hear things I hadn't noticed before. So here we are on take three and still new elements keep emerging to knock my thoughts out of skew.

"Water Over Stone" kicks the album into life, a decidedly 80s Arena Metal riff in evidence, before stabs of Rush like synths and cymbal bursts break through. From there singer Titi Musick shows her class, the young lady in question eschewing the usual Gothic, Symphonic, Operatic approach for a far grittier snarl, growl and bite of Metal. It's an impressive, if not always accessible, opening and one which genuinely requires effort on your part to make it click. The heavier side of things then blurts into sight via "Contamination", organ underpinning the galloping drums and roaring guitars. However interspersed between the more forceful moments comes a helping of slow and steady as she goes Opeth like melancholy (a theme across the whole album). It is an assured approach and one which marks Tungsten out as a band who want to craft their sound and offer up new, innovative attacks to the old ideas we all love. Add to that a female vocalist with one of the ballsiest deliveries you could wish for and greatness should be assured. Yet somehow there's a nagging feeling that a little more focus and less round the edge frills would actually create a stronger lasting impression.

All too often songs reach into the six, seven, eight minute brackets through intersecting passages and all too often you can't help but feel that if "Atmos (Masto) Stoma", "Night Wanders By" or "The Reservoir" simply got to the point, they'd be more inclined to insist you come back for more. As it is however Tungsten are definitely headed down the right track, with their effective conglomeration of Rocking riffage, Progressive percussage, crashing keyboardage and varied vocalage, after time, sinking in to serious effect.

The Reservoir is expansive, wide ranging and impressive, considering it is also this band's debut, then there's little denying that Tungsten could be on to something special, and a little different.

Track Listing
1. Water Over Stone
2. Contamination
3. Atmos (Masto) Stoma
4. Night Wanders By
5. Coda
6. El Dolor
7. The Opera House
8. The Reservoir

Added: March 29th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Tungsten on BandCamp
Hits: 1611
Language: english

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