Title - 'Abandoned in the Stranger's Room' [2CD]
Artist - Epic Tantrum
For those not in the know, one of prog rock’s most promising new bands, Epic Tantrum (which is now one of my most favorite band names ever!) have just-released (January 20th, 2020) their quite brilliant debut double CD, Abandoned in the Stranger's Room.
Containing elements of prog rock, jazz, and heavy metal, Epic Tantrum’s debut double disc offering is a double dip assortment of wonderment, that's for sure.
Epic Tantrum is comprised of members Peter - guitar, vox; Paul - guitar, vox; Greg - bass, vox; and Z - drums and the origins of the band started in 2007 when Peter and Paul began recording instrumental classical guitar pieces.
They enjoyed working together and decided to write and record original material in Paul's studio, known as The Strangers Room.
Inspired by the creative process of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the two wrote songs and tinkered with them until they were satisfied, at which point they brought in friends to round out their recording sessions.
That's when Paul's longtime friend Z joined the band as the drummer. They named this collaboration Epic Tantrum, and recorded a demo entitled ‘31st’ and ‘Mary.'
Over the next few years, with several starts and stops, they continued to write and record material - but the goal of a full band remained elusive.
In 2016 Greg joined the band as bassist and the hard work of finishing their debut album kicked into full gear.
On the first CD of this debut album, entitled Abandoned, it features studio recordings of previously unreleased material. Whereas the second CD, entitled The Stranger’s Room features live versions of songs from Abandoned as well as material that appeared on previously released demos.
CD 1: Abandoned
1. 'Don't Bother … '
4. 'Fables Of Fortune'
5. 'Outside The Wire'
6. 'Into The Clutch'
7. 'Letting Go'
8. 'False Idols'
9. 'A Howling'
The first disc opens with an achingly industrial curve before 'Don't Bother … ' reveals itself as a prog rock beauty, and that's backed by the gentle acoustic guitar work of 'Unfold,' the early Metallica feel of 'Accessory,' and then a rousing rock one-two on 'Fables Of Fortune' and 'Outside The Wire.'
The short, building piece 'Into The Clutch' enables you to catch your breath, before we're told not to take it personally from the start of the mid-tempo brilliance of 'Letting Go.'
A quite magnificent, soaring work is then brought forth in 'False Idols' which is backed by more proof that Epic Tantrum have the goods to succeed on 'A Howling' and then the pulsating rock prog blues of 'Abandoned.'
CD 2: In the Stranger’s Room (Live)
11. 'Baillee's Gone Again'
12. 'Franklin Park Blues'
13. 'Letting Go'
14. 'Now I Know'
16. 'Fables Of Fortune'
17. 'The Artist'
18. 'Don't Bother …'
This live second disc opens with the drum-led 'Baillee's Gone Again' and follows that up seamlessly with the deep prog funk of 'Franklin Park Blues' and then another version of 'Letting Go.'
One of my own personal favorites here is the foot-tappin' R&B prog rock brilliance of 'Now I Know' which is followed by another shot of 'Accessory' and another hit of 'Fables Of Fortune.'
The second disc then rounds out with the cultured prog meets Steely Danesque 'The Artist,' another burst of 'Don't Bother …' and then the album comes to a close with the subtle thunder of 'Drown.'
The album also features a cover design by Ioaniss of DangerousAge Graphics, who has designed covers for King Crimson, Dream Theater, Sepultura and many more.
Official 'Letting Go' Lyric Video
Official CD Purchase Link
Epic Tantrum Merch Purchase Link