Tantalus - Short Stories

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Headline
Catalog Number: HDL507
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:42:00

Sometimes you are given material to review by bands you know nothing about, yet you try to help yourself using every little detail the scarse information in the booklet gives you. So I think the first seven songs on this album date from '96, whilst an extra track has been added on a cassette version of this album, with a further, ninth, track on the CD I'm now listening to. And pleasant it is, too, when we set off with the funky instrumental "23 Enigma" containing the perfect mix between prog and fusion, highlighting some truly wonderful guitar. Try and think of Brand X blending with Shakatak in order to get you on Top Of The Pops! I think we have struck the core of what Tantalus is all about with "Shot Down In Flames" which delivers a nice piece of blues as issued by the likes of Blue Blot [Belgian funky pop outfit - JB]. Delivering a fair amount of flageolets, "Light From Dark" is yet another pièce de résistance for guitarist/singer Rupert Willder. Another pleasant instrumental is delivered by means of "Moondance" which does include some Camel licks. A new recording is added in the form of Bach's "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor," which of course turns all spotlights in the direction of Max and Gérlinde Hunt whilst Nick Becre steps in as new guitarist (although I don't like the stolen riff from the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" in the backgrond!). The bonus track "Can't Say No" sports yet another guitarist and singer, illustrating what I was afraid of -- that Tantalus combines skilled musicians on the lookout for originality yet strands itself in bland pop as opposed to well crafted progressive gems. Back to the drawing board I'm afraid.

[This title is no longer available through Headline; according to the label the band is now signed to, The Ninth Cloud. {Juy 2010: it seems even that label has folded; CDs appear available through Tantalus' website} -ed.]

23 Enigma (5:07) / Shot Down In Flames (5:38) / Light From Dark (6:22) / Moondance (4:56) / Plans (4:06) / City Of Dreaming Spires (4:54) / Wherever You Turn (4:54) / Toccata & Fugue In D Minor (7:45) / Can't Say No (4:00)

Max Hunt - keyboards, rhythm programming, vocals (1-9)
Rupert Willder - guitars, lead vocals (1-7)
Steve Meston - bass, backing vocals (1-7)
Gerlinde Hunt - keyboards (8, 9)
Tony Wells - drums (8, 9)
Nick Beere - guitar (8)
Jason Tilbrook - bass (8, 9)
Bob Leek - lead vocals (9)
Tim Day - guitar (9)

Smoking Angels (1994)
Short Stories (1996/2002)
Jubal (2000)
Lumen Et Caligo I (2002/2004)
Lumen Et Caligo II (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: September 29th 2002
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.tantalus.co.uk
Hits: 1087
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]