Apollon Records [Release date 15.11.18]
‘Tribus’ may be somewhat derivative as a lot of prog is these days. But you can’t deny the musicianship. This is the Norwegian band’s third studio album and it gets mixing and mastering treatment from one Karl Groom (Threshold).
Genesis and Pink Floyd (‘Make Me Feel’) loom large as you might expect. If you gauge prog by the length of tracks, then ‘The Tree’ (23:53) is an exemplar. It maintains the listener’s interest throughout, especially with its “Pink Panther”-esque mid-section punctuated by jazzy sax and piano figures.
The Windmill’s template is very much flute/sax (Morten Loken Clason) and guitar (Stig Andre Clason) driven, with rich orchestrations. In this respect, Camel and Focus come to mind (‘The Storm’) although this band veer on the more pastoral approach throughout.
Only ‘Dendrophenia’ breaks this vibe and is unusually (if not deliberately) single length along with the folksy ‘Play With Fire’ which is Tull-lite.
Frequently, derivative prog is not well constructed and merely wrings the last bit of prog grog out of old familiar bottles. The Windmill, through sheer musicality, have taken those old bottles and refashioned something both deferential and refreshing. Don’t let this late-2018 release be put out with the empties. ****
Review by David Randall
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