Let me start off this article by posing a question. Why the hell are all bands these days classifying themselves as “post-(genre)”? Have we, as a society, collectively transcended all music as it was to a higher (or lower) place? Are we so exceedingly self aware and/or self-important to recognize that we have moved past what music has always been since the dawn of man? Are we…post-human? Damn, that’s a thinker.
Anyway, now that my “get off my lawn” rant is out of the way, let’s talk about the post-progressive rock band Turning Virtue & their album, “A Temporary Human Experience”. Released earlier this year, the album features 9 songs totaling 47 minutes of some pretty impressive material.
Throughout listening to this album, the resemblance to Porcupine Tree is unmistakable, which makes a lot of sense considering it was mixed by Tim Palmer & mastered by Andy VanDette, both of whom have worked with PT. Despite the resemblance in sound, the album is still very much their own. The guitar work is impeccable, performed by David Karczewski & Carl Cino, being very reminiscent of Alex Lifeson (Rush), especially in the solos. The album also features drummer Mark Zonder of Fates Warning & Warlord, who was recently rated among the 100 greatest drummers of all time by Rolling Stone.
One of the highlights for me was “Box of Disappointment” (track 3), which, I feel, featured some of the most interesting & intertwining riffing on the album. I also very much enjoyed the switching between clean & slightly distorted vocals, which was a nice touch. Again, very Steve Wilson-esque.
Another big highlight for me was “Theody”. Track 7 on the album, it opens up w/ a snippet of angry, ominous preaching that continues to rear it’s head here & there throughout. I’m kind of a sucker for that kind of thing, so it definitely got my attention. The song is very well done. Everything seems to be in just the right place, ya feel me? This track the magnum opus of the record in my opinion.
“A Temporary Human Experience” is a very competent album with astounding musicianship that certainly earns my recommendation. I give it an 8/10, mainly for the reason that the lyrics, though not bad, were a little cliché. There’s really nothing wrong with them, but all the same I feel they could’ve been a little more interesting. That being said, I’m very interested in this band’s future endeavors and can only imagine what will happen once they’ve had even more time to grow.