Tom Hayes 16-April-2001 Tall Tales

This one may have been doomed from the beginning: Comparisons generally were made to Genesis circa Selling England By the Pound. Look out - those are some big shoes to fill. Perhaps it's unfair to ask a modern band to sound like their idols 25 years earlier. Or maybe the band didn't even ask to hold up to such lofty aspirations. Whatever the case, Crucible falls short on a number of fronts. Basically what we have here is broad stroke rock, with latter-day Marillion-like songs, a Rush/Geddy Lee vocal delivery (not vocal sound thankfully) and some Bic-lighter-swaying-audience choruses. Drums are of the boom-boom bash arena rock variety. In fact, I didn't hear one rhythm break that caught my attention. This isn't within a solar system of classic Genesis. It's all rather uninspired and dreadful save some nice organ and Moog runs. Authentic analog instruments, in and of themselves, do not make a quality album. And are these lyrics for real? Imps, Dwarves and Elves? In 1997? If they weren't serious, I could go for the parody. Well, this is why progressive rock cannot shake the Dungeons and Dragons dork tag. For fans of arena rock and simple neo-prog only.

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