THEO - Figureheads

(CD 2020, 52:24, Generation Prog Records)

The tracks:
  1- Pathology(10:24)
  2- Man Of Action(15:17)
  3- The Garden(9:56)
  4- Portents & Providence(16:47)

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THEO is a so-called band project from the American keyboard player Jim Alfredson and Figureheads is THEO's second album after The Game Of Ouroboros (see review) released in 2015. Besides Alfredson, THEO consists of Gary Davenport (bass guitar), Kevin Depree (drums) and Jake Reichbart (guitars), the latter only plays guitar on Man Of Action and The Garden, while Tom McLean does the guitar work on Pathology and Portents & Providence.

There are “just” four songs on this new album, but they are all rather long tracks, clocking over ten or fifteen minutes; the shortest one, The Garden, lasts just four seconds under ten minutes. The music of THEO is dominated by keys and it is a rather nice blend of music from prog dinosaurs like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Gentle Giant and most of all Genesis. Especially Alfredson's keyboards melodies and solos truly remind me of good old Genesis (read Tony Banks) and this really comes to light in the last track called Portents & Providence; by the way that song also features one of the best guitar solos on the entire album! The opening track Pathology then again features the “heaviest” guitar riff, which almost sounds rather bluesy, while the rest of this track has some really quiet passages and of course lots of keyboards. Man Of Action shows the jazz rock side of THEO, while The Garden is filled with epic keyboard melodies galore.

Figureheads is an album featuring excellent symphonic prog music, brilliantly performed by great musicians, but do not expect musical surprises! The music of THEO of course faces very tough and keen competition, and I am afraid that therefore it will be very hard for this excellent band to get airplay and /or an audience, I guess, hopefully I am wrong about that. Listen and enjoy!!

***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Dave Smith)

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