Tammatoys - Conflicts

(CD 2020, 44:21, Apollon Records)

The tracks:
  1- I Will Follow(5:36)
  2- Downfall(10:55)
  3- Politics(5:07)
  4- The Conflict (part 1)(14:37)
  5- Time(8:03)

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Tammatoys is a Norwegian progressive band that was founded in 1999, in the same year they released the EP Circles, in 2004 followed up by another EP entitled Within A Dream. Then a 10 year hiatus, finally Tammatoys recorded new material and released their first full-length album Conflicts, in 2020. “The idea behind Tammatoys is to make prog rock with inspiration from bands such as Porcupine Tree, The Church, Genesis and Pink Floyd, interspersed with a dose of pop with the melodies at the forefront.”

From the very first moment I like this blend of many different styles, from pop to rock, and from psychedelia to electronic. The five tracks contain lots of interesting and surprising musical twist and turns, embellished with wonderful work on keyboards, Floydian guitar, and pleasant vocals.

I Will Follow starts with a slow rhythm, tight beat, spacey guitar sound, and soft vocals. Gradually the sound turns more lush, the Mellotron choir sound is awesome, it reminds me of the psychedelic side of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree.

Downfall firstly delivers soaring keyboards, then a propulsive mid-tempo beat, and again that wonderful Mellotron choir sound, blended with mellow vocals, pop meets prog, it sounds pretty catchy. But the music also features flowing changing atmospheres with Floydian guitar, and varied samples, from a bombastic eruption to mellow with soaring strings. Finally dreamy with twanging guitars, then a howling guitar solo, with the use of the tremolo arm, beautiful.

Politics is a dynamic and powerful track in a fluent mid-tempo, with fiery rock guitar play, powerful drums, sound effects, the climate alternates between aggressive and ominous, matching with the tile. In the end sensational synthesizer flights with use of the pitchbend button, I love it!

Now the varied and captivating epic The Conflict - Part 1, close to 15 minutes. First a
spacy keyboard sound, blended with sound effects and voices. Then a slow beat featuring twanging guitar, flute-like keyboard runs, and melancholy vocals, the atmosphere is hypnotizing. Halfway a short bombastic eruption, followed by a powerful accellaration with propulsive drum beats, Middle-Eastern sounding keyboards, this is very interesting and compelling music, it showcases the potential of Tammatoys. Then fiery guitar leads, again with the use of the tremolo arm, and in the end a mellow atmosphere with sound effects, and the return of the flute-like keyboard sound.

Finally the song Time with soaring strings sound and mellow vocals, then a slow rhythm with tight beat, fragile guitar runs, gradually the music shifts, becoming more powerful, strongly evoking early Porcupine Tree.

A very promising debut album, I am looking forward to the next one.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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