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Tantalus: Lumen Et Caligo I

Part Eighties-era British synth-pop, part Alan Parsons Project meets Asia, and part old-school Marillion, the first album in a planned two-disc set by Britain's Tantalus which takes its names from the Romanized name of the Greek god Prometheus, son of the all-powerful Zeus revels in a retro vibe. Indeed, the band's early influences include Yes, Genesis, Vangelis and Pink Floyd. On Lumen Et Caligo I, those influences manifest themselves most prominently through the crystal-clear voice of singer and guitarist Bob Leek, who also programs synths and "dance beats" here, and the elegant keyboards of band founder Max Hunt.

Nearly every one of these 11 songs, including three instrumentals and a cover of Nicky James' 1973 track "Black Dream," reflects the band's expansion to a lighter and more accessible sound while still retaining great depth and variety. Just listen to the magical instrumental "Harp Dance/Dig the Sod." Lyrically, the six members of Tantalus show their darker side, as on "Dancing on Eggshells" a piece that musically is as upbeat as anything on Lumen Et Caligo I, but reeks of cynicism and contempt for, of all people, a stripper: "I take a step back, a deep confusion in your eyes/I pull a chair up, I stick my leg out part your thighs/Dancing for my pleasure, I've got money you do your turn/Dancing just how I want, I turn away and yawn." Other songs deal with greed, loneliness and you guessed it cunnilingus. All of these songs are presented in such a hopeful, exuberant and dare I say innocent manner by Leek that it's difficult to take the guy seriously. Yet he's so convincing

This album won't set the progressive-rock world on fire, and maybe it's not supposed to. But it's certainly a slice of musical manna for progheads looking for something a bit different.

Added: March 9th 2003
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Tantalus Web Site
Hits: 15557
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Tantalus: Lumen Et Caligo I
Posted by Hardy on 2004-11-29 15:37:53
My Score:

I love such Bands as YES, ELP, PINK FLOYD, MOSTLY AUTUMN,TRIUMVIRAT,MAGENTA......and this fantastic record from TANTALUS. The music on this Masterpiece combined a wide range between Folk, Classic,Pop and Rock. There are so many diversification and melody in this music, that there is every time "magic" to hear it. My favourite record of the year 2002. ABSOLUTE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !

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