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THEO: Figureheads

I first became aware of THEO in 2015 after reviewing their debut album titled The Game Of Ouroboros, and as I recall I was mightily impressed. Led by keyboardist Jim Alfredson, the band put out an excellent debut, a mixture of classic progressive rock and newer up to date sounds. Alfredson is probably more known in the worlds of jazz and blues and his band Organissimo, which formed in 2000. THEO is his vehicle to express his love of progressive rock and this brings us to their sophomore effort titled Figureheads. According to the press release Alfredson states,

The debut album dealt with the ideas of an imbalance of power in a rather direct way. The general theme was reminiscent of post-World War II dystopian science fiction by the likes of Orwell. It outlined a resurgence of authoritarianism both secularly and religiously aided by technology, including Selfie Sticks. The original concept for the new album was more personal, exploring the psyche of those in power and those they seek to exert power over.

So, a continuation if you will (conceptually speaking) but this time focusing on the psychotic and perverse mind of the individual who seeks to control others. A very applicable examination given the geopolitical landscape that exists today.

Let’s see what the band has brought to us this time. First, the band members include:

Jim Alfredson (keys, vocals)
Gary Davenport (Chapman stick, fretless bass)
Kevin DePree (drums and percussion)
Jake Reichbart (guitars on 2 and 3)
Tom MacLean (guitars on 1 and 4)
Greg Nagy (background vocals)
Donny Brown (background vocals)

The lead off track “Pathology” is an absolute stunner featuring the band’s love for old school prog ala Genesis, King Crimson, et all, mixed with progressive fusion and more jazzier motifs. It’s a heady concoction with melodic lead vocals, dynamic shifts between heavy and lighter sounds. The guitar and keyboard work are absolutely stellar. The Pink Floyd inspired beginning of “Man of Action” with its crowd noise sound effects, inspired Gilmour-like guitar passages, and funky elasticized bass work is another fabulous track. The tension, atmosphere, and moods will be a highlight for any fan of ‘70s inspired progressive rock. That leaves “The Garden” and “Portents & Providence” for you, dear reader, to unveil their secrets.

Rest assured, Figureheads is a must have for old school progressive rock fans as well as those into ‘newer’ prog. Highly recommended.

A Generation Prog Records release.

Track Listing:
1. Pathology (10:24)
2. Man of Action (15:17)
3. The Garden (9:56)
4. Portents & Providence (16:47)

Added: September 19th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 675
Language: english

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