TDW, Music To Stand Around And… , 2014
To be fair, the full title of this album is: Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward To… TDW is Tom de Wit, who you might know from the Mind:Soul release also featured here. So with that pedigree, and with this title, it takes little guessing to understand that we again have a progressive metal album on our hands.
And while Tom is credited with lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, synths and orchestral and drum arrangements, the guest list is still pretty long, so I won´t be naming all 14 of them. Some less obvious instruments are dulcimer, violin and guitar soundscapes. Like with the Mind:Soul album ,Tom sings almost in a singer songwriter style. Because of the layers of harmony vocals, there is still a lot happening in the vocal department, but as we all know, the most busy sections are the regular instruments. They have to deal with the countless time signature changes, breaks, solos and various instrumental parts.
And yet I have no problem listening to this and connecting to the album. I feel Tom is a talented writer and performer that keeps coming up with interesting songs and conceptual ideas. The packaging is also unique. an oversized cardboard sleeve, containing the disk and an oversized booklet that has all the lyrics and explanations on the stories, straight from TDW himself. And all is enhanced by interesting drawings.
Okay, one bit of criticism goes to the drum sound, that is a bit to clinical for my tastes. But as a whole this album works, so Tom and label Layered Reality Productions can be proud of this achievement and I have no problem recommending you go listen to this.