Thirteen of Everything - 2023 - Time and Other Delusions
(68:22; Basement Avatar Records)
1. Timeline 8:57
2. Alternate Life 12:02
3. Where the Time Goes 5:32
4. The Penultimate Flight of Armando the Pigeon 7:11
5. The King of Istanbul 10:35
6. Warmth and Darkness 7:32
7. Count All the Days 16.33
Brett Cosby - guitars
Mick Peters - Chapman stick, bass, pedals, vocals
Ted Thomas - drums, percussion, vocals
Bob Villwock - keyboards
Thad Miller - keyboards
US band Thirteen of Everything has been a going concern for a bit over 20 years, releasing their initial demo back in 2002 with official albums following in 2005 and 2019 respectively. Following what has been a brief pause between albums for this band they are now preparing to launch their third studio album "Time and Other Delusions", which will be released on US label Basement Avatar Records.
In terms of the different variations one can find in the progressive rock universe, Thirteen of Everything resides safely inside the symphonic progressive rock tradition. While this is a band that has a bit of a retro-oriented approach they aren't a band that as of 2023 comes across as trying to explore the legacy of any one given band or any very specific subsection within this framework, but that being said this is also a band that create music that stays within a retro-oriented context all along too.
One of the core traits of the band is to explore landscapes driven by atmospheric laden guitar overlays combined with playful organ textures, resulting in a sound that is strikingly similar to classic era Genesis in places. Combined with vocals in the Gabriel and Fish tradition this results in some striking references created automatically. That a just about as vital a component is the use of floating, melancholic guitar textures combined with various forms of atmospheric laden backing instruments that are closely related to Fish-era Marillion does add a distinct neo-progressive touch to the proceedings as well. In some instances supplementing with keyboards or the Mellotron to craft richer and more majestic landscapes that perhaps are a bit closer to what a band like IQ tend to be associated with.
Where Thirteen of Everything separate themselves from many other bands exploring similar territories are the inclusion of a few additional elements to their compositions. We do get a fair few expressive solo sections with more sophisticated arrangements for starters, and the band aren't afraid to add in some quirky movements either, and with both more dramatic and more atmospheric laden ventures into those territories coming with associations to a few different generations of a band such as King Crimson. That we get a few side steps into landscapes with a bit more of a jazz-tinged undercurrent further expands the boundaries of the territories explored.
In addition this is a band that tends to include all the different variations of their sound and orientation into each of their compositions, and that is especially the case for the songs that clock in beyond the ten minute mark. Hence these are creations that come with a liberal amount of development and alterations along the way too, which obviously is a positive attribute for many progressive rock fans out there. This is an album that will take a few listens to get familiar with, and an album that will yield an increasing amount of rewarding details the more you listen to it. Which obviously is a positive attribute as well, and then especially for progressive rock fans with an old school approach to the art of enjoying music.
While how much you enjoy the music here will be a matter of subjective taste, just about the sole objective aspect of the album that is a little bit on the weaker side are the lead vocals. Not to a detrimental effect by any means, but more a classic case of the vocal performance not being of quite the same quality as the instrument performance. A matter that isn't unheard of in progressive rock circles of course.
Thirteen of Everything are often defined as a symphonic progressive rock band, and that is the style of music we get on this album. It is a retro-oriented variety of the form, with 70's Genesis as well as 70's and 80's King Crimson as the primary references, with a liberal influx of 80's and occasional addition of 90's neo-progressive rock expanding the size of the landscapes explored and to good effect at that. A solid production that should find favor among many fans of both symphonic progressive rock and neo-progressive rock.
Olav "Progmessor" Björnsen, March 2023