The Tear Garden

The Last Man To Fly

The Tear Garden - The Last Man To Fly ©1992 Nettwerk
1. Hyperform
2. The Running Man
3. Turn Me On Dead Man
4. Romulus And Remus
5. The Great Lie
6. Empathy With The Devil
7. Circles In The Sand
8. Love Notes & Carnations
9. A Ship Named Despair
10. White Coats & Haloes
11. Isis Veiled
12. Last Post
13. 3-D Technicolour Scrambled Egg Trip Down The Hell-hole (with Canary)

Out of all the various releases and side projects revolving around Skinny Puppy and the Legendary Pink Dots, the Tear Garden's The Last Man to Fly rates as one of my all time, most precious favorites. Lush and vibrant do not even begin to describe this musical landscape that harnessed all the best talents of the involved parties. The Last Man to Fly is a moving and timeless piece of work that will capture the listener's attention for years to come.

The first half of the album tends to be a bit more difficult to get into, especially in the blatant weirdness of tracks like "Empathy With the Devil" or the slow moving album opener "Hyperform". But as the album moves along, the quality and depth does as well. By the time you reach "Circles in the Sand", it's a guarantee that you will be very much in rapture with the music. Some of the songs are extremely stark and lonely, such as the echoing piano of "A Ship Named Despair". "Isis Veiled" features an exceptionally sad acoustic guitar riff. The last two tracks on the album let the band revert to total bizarre soundscapes and lose the song quality of the rest of the album. But overall, the lush and wide open production, the ability for the somewhat jam-oriented songs to coalesce into incredibly moving pieces, and the excellent performances from the entire cast make The Last Man to Fly a treasure to behold.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2000

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To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide

The Tear Garden - To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide ©1996 Nettwerk
1. Ascension Day
2. We The People
3. In Search Of My Rose
4. Crying From Outside
5. Psycho 9
6. With Wings
7. Judgement Hour
8. New Eden
9. Tasteless
10. Cyberspider
11. Malice Through The Looking Glass
12. Phoenix
13. The Habit

For the unknowing, The Tear Garden is a combination of the talents of Skinny Puppy and the Legendary Pink Dots. On this, their fifth release (not bad for a side project), leaders Cevin Key and Edward Ka-Spell create possibly their most lush musical landscape yet.

Whereas Skinny Puppy tends to be harsh and mechanical, T.G. leans towards a somber organic feel. Past releases had more keyboard and noise but with the passing of T.G./Skinny Puppy member Dwayne Goettel, the remaining members have mellowed out. There is more guitar work, especially in the beautiful acoustic riff of "New Eden". Edward Ka-Spel's dryly rich voice still directs the band into its somber reverie. His wry judgements alone make this album worthwhile.

For anyone looking for a mellow outing, The Tear Garden has more to offer than hundreds of other gothic bands. While I wouldn't rush to put T.G. into a gothic category, the mood they create will captivate the listener. Highly recommended.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1997

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