Hands down one of finest releases in progressive rock this year.
Review by Raymond Westland
Release date: 22 September 2014
After an absence lasting over a decade, Canadian progressive rock outfit The Tea Party is finally back with a brand new studio album, entitled The Ocean At The End. Jeff Martin and co. managed to resolve their differences which resulted in a very successful comeback tour in Australia and their native country of Canada.
The band’s two previous releases, namely The Interzone Mantras and Seven Circles, weren’t well received by longtime The Tea Party fans. Seen in that light it doesn’t come as a surprise that The Ocean At The End has more in common with Splendor Solis and The Edges Of Twilight, both in spirit and intention. Yet the new album is very much a release of this day and age, mainly thanks to its modern sounding production.
The material on The Ocean At The End is also wonderfully cohesive. Each song has its own flavour and atmosphere, yet despite the myriad of different influences they feel like a single unit. The world music influences are very much intact, but they’re there to spice things up, most notably on tracks like “The Black Sea”, “Brazil” and the blues/country influences on “The Cass Corridor”. A special mention should go the title track, which features Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson on flute and features two very memorable guitar solos by Jeff Martin himself.
If anything, The Ocean At The End is a very welcome return to form by Canada’s finest. Every song is spot on and as a whole the album is great in both its refined simplicity and rich tapestry. Hands down one of finest releases in progressive rock this year. Welcome back, gentlemen!
9 out of 10
- The L.O.C
- The Black Sea
- The Maker
- Black Roses
- The 11th Hour
- The Cass Corridor
- Waters On Fire
- The Ocean At The End
- Into The Unknown