Threnodic Introspections in Neverland: The Reasoning

Call me a total nerd (and it would be true, for better or worse), but I experience a thrill every time I meet a new word.  Hello new word, I’m Brad.  Well, ok, I’m generally not quite this formal, especially with vocabulary.

With The Reasoning’s newest masterpiece, Adventures in Neverland, I had to look up the word, “Threnody.”  A funeral dirge.  For the previous EP, And Another Thing, I had to look up “Apophenia.”  A false perception of patterns.

Nice.

From the first moments I can remember listening to Progressive Rock, I have always appreciated not only the intelligence and creativity espoused by the artists themselves, but I’ve also loved the ways in which prog artists demand a certain intelligence and creativity on the part of the listener.

If I’m going to spend any where from thirty minutes to 120 minutes listening to something, I want full immersion.

Every The Reasoning album is a full immersion into the wonderful and meaningful ream of art–by design and certainly without apology.  “Here we are,” Matt, Rachel, and the gang seem to be proclaiming.  “We’ve given you everything we have, and we very much hope you enjoy it as well.  Regardless, we’re having a blast.”

And enjoy it I do, Matt and Rachel.  Every album, every song, every time.

I first encountered their music in 2008 with the release of their second album, Dark Angel.  No mediocre band would give themselves such a lofty name, I correctly assumed.  I was equally intrigued by the title and cover of that album.

The cover itself is worth describing (and I’ll paste a picture of it here, I hope–please wordpress, please!).  A gorgeous, leather-clad, barefooted, winged woman walks across black and white tile (my first thought is a chessboard) in the ruins of a castle or cathedral, with a full moon and ravens above her.  A few planets hover in the background, as does a small glimpse of a renaissance village, and the floor decays as the angel moves forward, away from the village.

Since that moment four years ago, I’ve purchased everything The Reasoning has recorded in the studio, including their haunting cover of Duran Duran’s best song, “The Chauffeur.”

The first album, Awakening, appeared in 2006.  Dark Angel came out in 2008, and the Duran Duran cover in 2009.  In 2010, The Reasoning released Adverse Camber.  This year, The Reasoning released the EP, And Another Thing, in the spring, and Adventures in Neverland just about a month ago.  These guys are unstoppable.  And, we’re all the better for it.

The newest album, Adventures in Neverland, lives up to every one of my very high expectations.  From the opening moment–guitar, keyboards, and a countdown–until the last note, Adventures in Neverland drives and rocks.  It is a truly great album.  Superb in every way.

As it does move, it moves almost relentlessly, driving the listener toward the Apocalypse.  Most of the music has been written by the bassist, Matt Cohen, and the lyrics have been penned by his wife, Rachel Cohen.

He’s clearly a perfectionist, one of the best bassists in rock, and a man driven.  Rachel’s clearly a brilliant and poetic wordsmith, possessed of a voice equal to her imagination.  I could listen to her sing me into the gates of heaven itself.

As with other The Reasoning releases, the cover of the new CD is inviting, if a bit ominous.  It appears, visually, to be a sequel to Dark Angel.  Rather than seeing the angel cross the ruins from inside of the ruins, the viewer sees the ruins (most likely) from a great distance, with birds still hovering but an omniscient eye overseeing it all, including what appears to be the Dark Angel atop the ruins themselves.  Fading at each end, the title: “Adventures in Neverland” hangs at the bottom.

Every song on Adventures in Neverland is a gem:

1. HYPERDRIVE

2. THE OMEGA POINT

3. THE GLASS HALF

4. STOP THE CLOCK

5. OTHERWORLD

6. END OF DAYS

7. NO FRIEND OF MINE

8. THRENODY

9. FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH

10. ADVENTURES IN NEVERLAND

If you’re happy with this new wave of progressive rock (Brian Watson of DPRP fame called it the “third wave”), you’ll be especially happy with The Reasoning.  For me, they’re an intimate part of the revival.  They’re leading, and they’re leading very well.

Every reader of Progarchy should support The Reasoning.  Here’s the official website (click here).

As a sidenote, I have also followed Matt Cohen (@thereasoning) on Twitter and Facebook for quite some time.  The guy is absolutely hilarious, down to earth, and extremely talented.  He also calls things as he sees them.  In other words, he’s not just a great artist, he’s a real person.

7 thoughts on “Threnodic Introspections in Neverland: The Reasoning

  1. Nice words dude. I bought two copies of Awakening and then found out I was on the same (well almost the same) bill as them at a festival. Got a copy signed and had a bit of a chat.
    Been a fan ever since.

    Like

  2. eheter

    Brad, given the way you promote these bands, you must be the envy of advertising execs everywhere – eat your heart out, Don Draper! You’ve just added another one to my list of bands I’ve got to check out 🙂

    Like

  3. Nick

    Nice one Brad.

    I enjoyed reading about your discovery of a new word – I would have been in the same boat as you, I think, but for encountering ‘threnody’ when reading Stephen Donaldson’s “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” fantasy series many years ago. Donaldson had a penchant for unusual words, so reading his stuff was a definite vocabulary-expanding experience!

    The Reasoning are a great band who have suffered more trials and tribulations than most, what with line-up changes and the sad disappearance of former guitarist Owain Roberts, still missing after nearly 8 months. That they’ve come up with such a strong album now is a testament to their drive and determination.

    They are excellent live, as well 🙂

    Like

  4. Pingback: Nick’s Best of 2012 (Part 1) « Progarchy: A Celebration of Music

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