Puppet Show — The Tale of Woe
(ProgRock PRR370, 2007, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01
Puppet Show’s long awaited second studio album has finally made it out the door. Squashing any blatant anticipation, the quintet jumps right to it on the opening cut, “Seasons,” with strong unison electric guitar and synthesizer riffs. Vocalist Sean Frazier has surely come into his own on the recording with his confident lead vocal a prominent feature across the disc. He can convincingly belt it out or croon an insightful melody line as heard on “The Seven Gentle Spirits.” Band compositions are still firmly entrenched in the neo-progressive niche but Americans tend to take a different slant with their rock and roll versus their UK counterparts. The band throws in a couple of juicy curves into the mix with “Harold Cain” and “God’s Angry Man.” The former piece is a righteous single worthy of FM airplay – if the format still existed – while the latter track is a syncopated nod to both the Kevin Moore era of Dream Theater and even King Crimson. New drummer Chris Mack (Illivutar, Whitaker/Wyatt) is a welcome addition on the traps, as his playing style fits the compositions, adding needed fills and dynamics. Terry Brown’s (Rush) sound mix has surely put a professional spin on the band’s sound with clear separation between instruments and no strain for the ears. Overall it’s a tour de force follow-up for the band and is clearly one of the five best new progressive rock albums of the year.
Related artist(s): Puppet Show
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