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Parallel or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways To Die CD (album) cover

MORE EXOTIC WAYS TO DIE

Parallel or 90 Degrees

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.14 | 40 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES is one of my favourite bands and this is my favourite album by them. In fact it's also a top three album for me for 2002. I find it interesting that for this their final album(they did make a comeback album in 2009) that they amped up the heaviness in a major way. PORCUPINE TREE did the very same thing in the very same year with "In Absentia". Sadly PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES called it quits after this one and by the following year we saw that Andy Tillison was part of the first THE TANGENT release. I always appreciated that Sam and Andy played synths in this band while Andy also played the organ and Sam the piano. They always were a heavy keyboard driven band and that's still in affect here, it's just that the guitar and heaviness were never this prominent.

"Impaled On Railing" sounds amazing to start with that guitar/ bass/ drum melody as the vocals join in. That melody will come and go. It picks up on the chorus each time. Organ before a minute followed by a nice heavy sound. Synths scream 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the spacey calm a minute later then it kicks back in after 3 minutes. A great opening number. "A Man Of Thin Air" opens with bass as spacey synths and drums join in. Vocals follow in this laid back intro. It kicks in hard before a minute including organ. Some excellent guitar expressions follow as themes are repeated. A guitar solo after 2 minutes. It picks up before 4 minutes as they kick some ass. Ripping guitar here as well. Some huge bass lines 4 1/2 minutes in. "Embalmed In Acid" is a top three although I really do love every track on here. It sounds like electronics as reserved vocals join in, keys too. Great lyrics by the way to this one. It's so moving a minute in(gulp). A laid back tune that turns fuller 3 minutes in to great affect. The synths are beautiful before 4 minutes and they continue almost to the end as it slowly fades away with picked guitar and piano. Gorgeous.

"The Heavy Metal Guillotine Approach" is up next. Here we go! Heavy with drums, bass and vocals standing out on the versus. Love that chorus. Guitar to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes then he starts to light it up. So good! Some interesting vocal expressions 3 1/2 minutes in. "Drum One" has random drums and electronics. Growly synths take over and they are powerful as the drums and electronics return. So cool. Keys over top a minute in. Love this stuff. Here we go after 1 1/2 minutes as it picks up speed. The guitar comes in before 2 1/2 minutes laying waste the soundscape.

"The One That Sounds Like Tangerine Dream" has more drums and electronics like the previous track even the same melody. Tons of atmosphere when it settles and voices too. Brilliant. "A Body In Free Drift" is a top three song. Guitar, piano and a beat as the vocals join in. It's fairly relaxed to start out. Such a dreamy chorus. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes with some prominent bass. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in with the drums out front before settling back to that dreamy vibe. It absolutely rocks after 2 1/2 minutes, just killing it! The wah wah guitar a minute later turns into a shred-fest. It settles back 4 1/2 minutes followed by an instrumental section of bass, keyboards, drums and synths. It kicks back in with vocals after 5 minutes. Organ runs before 7 minutes then the vocals return as we get a big finish.

"The Dream" reminds me of STORM CORROSION with the electronics and sparse piano. A fuzzy sound here before it kicks in with drums and more. Powerful stuff. Another calm after a minute with spoken words as contrasts continue. "Petroleum Addicts" is my final top three. What a way to end the album. A heavy intro then synths pulse followed by more heaviness as the riffs start to speed up. Organ as well before a calm arrives with vocals. The lyrics are so meaningful. It kicks in again at 3 minutes but not for long as it settles back with vocals before kicking in again as contrasts continue. It calms right down with windy synths then samples of someone speaking before piano, mellotron, bass and drums appear briefly before 9 minutes. Vocals and a more upbeat sound take over. Love those Hammill-like vocals. Such angst as he spits out "We're all addicted to petroleum!". Such emotion in the words that follow as well.

A bit of fanboy here but I love this band. That perfect combination of intelligent lyrics and lights out instrumental work.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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