Ten Jinn

As on a Darkling Plain

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As on a Darkling Plain Review

by Gary Hill

Progressive rock is an unusual animal. Although many of the style's fans try to pin it into a nice, tidy little box, due to the experimental nature inherent, it often pushes its way out of that cage. This disc by Tenn Jinn (John Paul Strauss, Mark Wickliffe, Mark Overhalser, Bob Niemeyer, and Michael Mattier) is a good example of that principle. Indeed, including an epic-length number and influences that include such prog mainstays as Genesis, ELP, and Tull would seem to make this pretty standard prog rock fare. However, that epic is a story of vampirism, making for a definite departure from "typical" prog lyrics. The dark edge that is apparent on some songs also moves the album out of the mainstream progressive rock zone. The group not only transcends limitations of genre, but also does it with extreme class. The vocal arrangements are among the disc's strong points, but the music is certainly not found to be lacking. Other than a few moments when it leans almost toward the cheesy, the material presented here is quite potent progressive rock. So, for those who want their prog kept in a nice, tidy little box, this is probably not the album to buy. However, if you have a spirit of adventure and like something a bit different from time to time, you will most likely enjoy this release.

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