Has it really been 14 years since we last heard from Austin, Texas based prog-rock ensemble Thirteen of Everything? Turning back the clock even further, Sea of Tranquility first got acquainted with this talented group when yours truly ran into and got introduced to a few members of the band who were also attending the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARfest) back in the early 2000's, subsequently reviewing their demo as well as their full length debut Welcome, Humans in 2005. The promise of the band was fully on display, and the debut was quite strong, so we held our breath for a follow-up...which never quite came, until now, all these years later, after drummer Ted Thomas reached out to ask if we'd be interested in also covering this sophomore effort. Our Own Sad Fate is a very successful second installment for Thirteen of Everything, their brand of classic sounding progressive rock with a modern twist in full force throughout seven lengthy new compositions, the first three making up the 20+ minute "Dark Energy Suite".
The epic suite which kicks off the album starts off with some symphonic synths, piano, meaty guitar lines, and intricate rhythms, before Genesis styled atmosphere blends in, Thomas' vocals expressive and emotional, sounding a tad like Michael Sadler from Saga. "Dark Energy" is an excellent track to start off the album, segueing into part two of the suite, "Storm Season", as melancholy piano eventually draws in yearning electric guitar strains, stabbing synths and heavier riffs. The final movement of the suite, "Event Horizon", features more of Bruce McIntosh and his majestic piano, as well as some tasty electric guitar solos courtesy of Joe Funk and Brett Cosby.
"Walk on Water" is highlighted by a heartfelt vocal from Rick Clark, as the lilting guitar and synths help create the mood, huge swells of dramatic keyboard effects (Mellotron perhaps?) and tricky rhythms then take over, as the band partake in influences that range from Genesis, The Flower Kings, and Spock's Beard. A great track. "Life is Change" is more of an upbeat composition, the band throwing in some pop and hard rock muscle into their prog stew, Thomas again taking on the vocal from behind the kit, Cosby also tossing in a blistering guitar solo that is part Alex Lifeson, part Steve Hackett. "West Texas" is a haunting instrumental featuring mostly acoustic guitar & synths, while the quirky "Plague" closes out the album, bassist Mick Peters this time stepping behind the mic, his vocals sounding like a cross between Gentle Giant's Derek Shulman and Ray Weston from Echolyn, and he's surrounded by some terrific drum patterns courtesy of Thomas, layers of guitars, and wonderful synth textures. Oh yeah, and his bass grooves on this track are tremendous as well!
Though it might have taken 14 years to get here, Our Own Sad Fate was absolutely worth the wait. Here's hoping Thirteen of Everything stick around for a while and grace us with their musical presence once again in the not so distant future, but in the meantime, we'll no doubt get a lot of mileage out of this new effort. Well done guys, and welcome back!
Dark Energy 06:35
Storm Season 05:15
Event Horizon 08:41
Walk On Water 09:26
Life Is Change 05:13
West Texas 07:11