Friday, September 21, 2007

The Shadow out of Tim

What can I not say about this concept album by the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets? Since having been turned onto them, I've been a big fan, their space-rock, Lovecraftian riffs are both rockin' and actually well played, which is a hard combo to pull off. Their other albums have been good, and they've got some songs that are top notch, but this latest effort takes the cake, hands down.

First of all, it's a concept album...about a marine biologist. A marine biologist whose mind is supplanted by the Great Race of Yith, and ventures back sixty million years to the Cenozoic. Meanwhile, in the present, his possessed body travels the globe, searching in dark nooks and forgotten crannies of the lost Earth. When our Doctor, the good Tim O. Vess returns to his body, he has to piece his life back together. After ten months he is back in control and finds himself, and his old crew back aboard the Steadfast, their ship, and searching for some coordinates in Melanesia. Cultists attack, kill most of the crew, the survivors rig the fuel tanks to explode, taking them all to a watery grave. The captain / doctor is rescued by the Royal Navy, and they finish looking for the lost island from his dreams. They find it and search around, coming upon the stone 'configuration'. There's a tomb, it's sealed...they decide to open it. Big mistake.

It's almost pointless to list the 'best' tracks on the album, they're equally brilliant. There are some that stand out though, 'No Way', 'Return to Melanesia', and the magnanimous 'Ride the Flying Polyp', which was a track that friggin' demands to be in the next Guitar Hero installment. If this funky blog interface had a 'star' rating thingie, I'd be happy to give this one a deserving five. Rock on.

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