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Thieves’ Kitchen: Genius Loci

Thieves’ Kitchen is a UK progressive rock band that formed in Swindon in 1999. The band has released seven albums thus far, including their latest titled Genius Loci, released in 2019. There is much of their discography I have yet to explore, I own One For Sorrow, Two For Joyand Shibboleth, both highly enjoyable prog albums. The band’s sound mixes old school 70’s prog, some Canterbury influences and more modern progressive rock. The band have been able to stay away from the neo tag and that is what really sets this band apart from many of their peers. Genius Loci continues the band’s trend of outstanding progressive rock.

This isn’t an album that will hit you over the head with over the top instrumental fireworks, no, this is much more subtle and mature and when you peel back the layers quite intricate. The music flows beautifully even when their eclectic and off kilter nature kicks in. It all makes for a highly enjoyable listening experience beginning with the album opening “Eilmer” featuring melodic yet abstract guitar work and variations between softly lit passages and more intense band interplay. This can be a subtle piece at times but there is much at play here including fantastic guitar and keyboard solos. Darby’s vocals are excellent as usual. With “Uffington” the vibe is a little more breezy, even summery and the guitar work is again exemplary with outstanding flute and keys adding to the band’s colourful sound choices. The jazzy “The Poison Garden” is a pretty piano and vocal piece while the twenty minute opus “The Voice Of The Lar” features some of the best guitar and keyboard work on the disc. This one has the band’s playing kicked up a couple notches.

There really is nothing negative for me to say about Genius Loci. A mature progressive rock album that points to the future rather than the past. Highly recommended.

The musicians:
Amy Darby (vocals, theremin)
Thomas Johnson (keyboards)
Phil Mercy (guitars)
Paul Mallyon (drums)
Johan Brand (bass)
Anna Holmgren (flute)

Track Listing:
1. Eilmer (9:33)
2. Uffington (11:35)
3. The Poison Garden (3:50)
4. The Voice Of The Lar (20:06)
5. Mirie It Is (8:52)

Added: March 22nd 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 681
Language: english

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