The Tirith: Tales From The Tower

The band’s debut – only 44 years in the making.

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The Tirith’s motto is plainly, if at first you don’t succeed, wait 40-odd years and try again.

Minas Tirith were around from the early 70s and failed to make their mark, but guitarist Tim Cox and bass guitarist and vocalist Dick Cory reformed to play gigs in 2010, and have finally released some music, a mix of old and new. Far from being a stroll back through their youth, this is powerful, high quality material played with the energy of men half their age, with guitar sounds running from pastoral picking to almost metal heaviness. Pioneers Of The Outer Arm is a mix of hard rock, psychedelia and prog, which finds them as intergalactic time travellers. Given the genesis of Tales Of The Tower, that feels particularly appropriate. The 10-minute Lost hinges on a lovely yearning chord sequence, played with behemothic power and cut with silvery picked lines and high-velocity instrumental passages. For those who like epic endings, that chord pattern is repeated over and over, augmented with even more guitars and celestial keyboards, and once they have finally punched a hole in the sky, Cox’s solo spirals out into the ether. A tale that is well worth the wait.

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.