"A high quality release from an underrated band."
While less eclectic than their earlier work, the sheer magnitude of "Distant Dreams" (16 tracks sprawled over two CDs) institutes The Loving Tongue's third release as their most ambitious.
With a wide ranging musical approach that is often as subtle as it is extravagant, "Distant Dreams" heads in a clearer progressive rock/metal direction than was the case for the two previous releases. The soaring vocals and epic guitars point you towards the more traditional metal and hard rock styles, yet while tracks like the subtely catchy "Why did you cry tonight", the Jim Morrison-style monologue "Warrior of Enchantment" and the meandering Hendrix-influenced "Lady of the Sea" often display an indebtedness to "seventies" rock influences, the very "new" production values of "Distant Dreams" ensures that the songs rarely feel dated.
But the most impressive aspect of this album is the way The Loving Tongue interweave sounds borrowed from a variety of world music traditions into their songwriting. From the Celtic to Native American to Slavic influences (Lady in Black, Sacred Winds and Death respectively), The Loving Tongue borrow their musical elements in an almost random fashion, but because they use them with care, they gently flavour the music without overpowering the hard rock backbone of the songwriting. This gives "Distant Dreams" a coherence and unity that would otherwise have been lost had this kind of eclecticism been deployed by less skilled hands.
"Distant Dreams" is most likely to appeal to fans of "seventies" prog rock and its contemporary incarnations, but because it is not simply a wholesale appropriation of the genre - The Loving Tongue make the style their own - its appeal is wide enough to include fans of hard rock or metal looking for something a little different to current trends or fashions.
A high quality release from an underrated band.
Michelle Phillipov - dB Magazine, Adelaide, Australia
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"The best CD I've heard all year"
I'm not sure why, but a lot of people seem to think that just because something is made locally, it is of a lower standard. This seems to be particular true of music; if the band is Australian, or worse, if they're from Adelaide, it can't be as good as something from the US or Europe. That is absolute crap,
and if ever there were one band who could dispel those ideas, our very own Loving Tongue would be it.
Their latest CD Distant Dreams is nothing short of fantastic and, despite being an Adelaide band, this one puts just about everything else to shame.
This album was a long time in the making, but I assure you the end product is worth every minute of the wait. The resulting double-disc set is an epic journey, with each of the two discs having their own theme, like two movements from a classical opus. Right from the word go, you can just feel
that the album is going to be excellent. The first disc "When Angels Sing....." is a collection of the band's shorter, mostly high-energy tracks, guaranteed to get your heart pumping and head banging. Included are live favourites like the blistering opener Universal Love, heavy blues Going Crazy, trippy Loving Ways Today, Sabbath-esque Evil In The Sky, and the closer, the super fast-paced, Celtic influenced Lady In Black.
The second disc, "....Warriors Cry" is an expansion of the first disc, developing fantastic moods and atmospheres. The disc is built around four songs, Lost Princess, Death, my favourite, the mammoth epic Indian Chief and the beautiful instrumental jam Lady Of The Sea, with ambient music, poetry, and spoken word bridging it all together.
An important aspect of Distant Dreams is the way that everything fits together. The use of two discs, each with distinct themes, and the smaller themes within each disc make the release really feel like an album in the truest sense of the word. The production is spot on, with the use of extra instruments including Irish whistle and keyboards adding to the effect and atmosphere. The feeling I
get listening to this CD is simply indescribable; you have to experience it for yourself! I can definitely recommend this one: Distant Dreams is, without a doubt, the best CD I've heard all year.
Luke Balzan ~ Rip It Up Magazine Adelaide Australia
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