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Old May 3rd, 2003, 08:19 AM
WendellM WendellM is offline
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I'm truly surprised at how much I've come to like (The Lord Weird) Slough Feg's "Traveller" album. It's rather overblown in its concept - I'd think that it should properly be like an adventure, but instead it's more a semi-restatement of the milieu (in rock-opera form) - still, I like it. It's *very* 80s metal in sound according to critics and to a metal-loving friend whom I know. I'm not knowledgeable on such subjects, being more of a techno-music type.

However, I find this a compelling album. The music is deep and dark, but with a power. It's minor-key, which I enjoy in any setting. The Traveller elements certainly give it an edge, I won't deny that (and I certainly enjoy them), but (TM)-ed words are perhaps 1% of the effort. The rest is original poetry in a heavy metal setting.

Really, if all words were summed up, Traveller-specific terms would be perhaps 1% of this album, but the feel is that of a significant work of Science Fiction, which is a compliment to me, not a rip-off. It uses Classic Traveller (and never mentions anything Traveller-related that isn't Classic Traveller related, though the feel carries the best of Traveller). I can understand earlier reservations, when the details were unknown, but this is clearly a work *based* on an *appreciation* of what makes Classic Traveller great, not an 'unlicensed' rip-off of any form of Traveller. The only way to view it as such would be to maintain that the Madrid tourist bureau should have sued Hemingway for For Whom the Bell Tolls, or that all the people of planet Earth should file a class-action suit against anyone who writes a World History book. Perhaps this is a bit overstated, but hopefully you see my point.

There's never been any music associated with Traveller, and now there is, if The Powers That Be are willing to allow it. While metal wouldn't have been my first choice (I don't own a single metal album besides this one) - this CD is indeed quite good. The fact that it touches on Traveller at points just adds to both it and to (Classic) Traveller itself.
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