Album review: TICKET TO THE MOON – Dilemma On Earth

 

 

 

Brennus Music – Released November 2012

The tidal wave of superlative progressive rock emanating from continental Europe shows no sign of dissipating anytime soon and, for all aficionados of the genre, surfboards should be waxed-up and this tsunami ridden to the shore – for this is surely a golden age.

Ticket To The Moon is the latest band to take the prog rock template outside and give it a damn good thrashing.

The band are a four-piece hailing from Basel, Switzerland, hardly regarded as a hotbed of progressive rock, but ‘Dilemma On Earth’ is a thrilling piece of work rendered even more amazing insofar as this is their first foray into a studio.

Imagine, if you can, a collusion of Paranoid-era Black Sabbath, Hogarth-era Marillion, Black Album-era Metallica and the current contemporary progressive-metal incarnation of Pendragon and you’re starting to grasp where they are coming from.

Seven tracks in all, not a duffer to be seen, and only one clocking in at under seven minutes – all the signs are there.

But I don’t think anything can prepare you for just how good this is.

From the staccato riffing and glorious guitar solo of ten minute opener ‘Earth’ to the more Marillionesque ‘Deadly Schizophrenia’ and through to the almost industrial rifferama and pounding drums of closer ‘Machine Is Running’ the band explore every sphere of progressive rock without ever resorting to cliché or pastiche.

What they really bring to the table though, apart from great songwriting and peerless musicianship, is real excitement – you can never second-guess what’s coming next – a quality sadly lacking in so much of today’s music.

The album lurches from pastoral guitar swashes with the chorus pedal in full effect to soaring keys to anthemic, tooth-loosening riffs in the blink of an eye, yet without ever losing sight of the music’s message.

Judging by the band’s publicity photographs they look very young and it’s great to see young musicians prepared to carry the torch of progressive rock to a new generation – especially when it’s this damn good.

If prog, and progressive metal in particular, is your thing you won’t find better than this and, given this is their first effort, the future’s bright – the future’s 3TM…

Now where’s my surfboard?

*****

Review by Alan Jones


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