Written by: Kev Rowland
Turning now to the 2017 album ‘The Antithetic Affiliation’, Tom was again joined with guest musicians and also this time by Dreamwalkers Inc. This is a band that has been put together to perform TDW material live, as up until then that had never taken place. So, in 2016 they played their first ever gig as a band, acoustically, at ProgPower. The plan was to film it and release it as a DVD, but for some reason the audio recording failed. Instead of just dumping the tapes, TDW made the decision to make it available as a bonus, and even explains both in the booklet and on the DVD for the rationale for doing so (it was a historic event) and hoping that fans would forgive them for the quality. To be honest, this was the disc I played first as I was home alone and doing the ironing, so thought it was a good idea to put it on the TV. I was soon lost in the music and totally forgave the quality of the audio recording as it made such a big impression on me overall. Unfortunately not much ironing was completed.
So when it was time to get to the album itself I was really looking forward to it, especially having heard the earlier album and the DVD. Only eight songs, but it is more than two hours in length as it is a double CD release. It is presented as a fold-out digipak, three discs in total with a booklet containing all the lyrics and details, did I say that this is yet another independent release? TDW are putting many more far established bands to shame.
Musically and lyrically this is way more complex than ‘Music…’, as Tom has brought together musicians that enable him to provide both more width and more depth than before. When there is a need for just piano it is there, want some delicate woodwind? Want emotional vocals? Check. Want a band blasting with everything turned up to 11? Yep, we’ve got that too.
It is hard to explain just how honest and powerful this music feels, and how it makes me feel. This is music and lyrics to get lost inside, never knowing where it is going to twist and turn, yet always with a coherent sense of melody. TDW are one of the finds of the year for me, and I look forward to both discovering what has gone before, and what is yet to come. Heavy prog rarely, very rarely, is more complete than this.
The More We Remember // Anthem // Lovesong // Monolith – The Ascent // Monolith – The Descent // Aphrodisia // Dirge // Lest We Forget