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Midnight Masses: Departures

A departure indeed for these Trail Of Dead members.

While the pun is there for the taking, it really is a break from the day job for Jason Reece of …Trail Of Dead.

Taking their cues from 70s psych and krautrock, their tunes fall predominantly in the camp of the former, all glittering phased guitars and spectral vocals. Opener Golden Age offers the merest hint of the Dead’s more indie‑rock efforts on Worlds Apart, while tracks like Am I A Nomad? take a different tack, having more in common with French psych-prog revivalists Yeti Lane. The groove and momentum that this implies is felt throughout, and while Trail Of Dead have toyed with similar stylings before – on Fairlight Pendant from Tao Of The Dead, for example – this is a more cerebral effort than a noisy pastiche of genre norms. Album centrepiece Everywhere Is NowHere is reminiscent of Secret Machines’ seminal debut Now Here Is Nowhere, no less (that name’s no accident). For, like the latter album (and though they may bear a passing resemblance to Tame Impala at times), Departures is the sound of a band axiomatically divided; both paying loving homage to the past, and throwing in the experimentation befitting this new century. AL ** **

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.