Between Cages

A Triggering Myth Album Reviews

Gibraltar Encyclopedia Of Progressive Rock, 1996
Authur Unknown

Between Cages is the third solid effort from this American duo of Tim Drumheller and Rick Eddy. No significant style changes are heard on these six songs; their strength continues to be the interplay between Drumheller and Eddy's keyboards. One significant improvement is drummer Moe Vfushateel. Though not an official member of the band -- Ken Golden tells me the pair would love to have a full-time drummer -- real drums played by a live drummer add a new dimension that a drum machine can't provide: feel. Vfushateel's jazzy snare work compliments the often jazzy comping of the keyboards. The opening "Habile" is a jazzy but perfunctory tune showcasing the band's style but it doesn't stand out from their better efforts. Two songs that do stand are "Deftly Dodging" and the ten minute "Squdge." An Arabesque figure leads off "Deftly Dodging," upon which Drumheller and Eddy build up contrapuntal layers of synths and guitars. Vfushateel's brush work really helps set the mood of the quiet middle section. "Squdge" once again brings out the dark, brooding side of ATM, beginning with clanking percussion sounds and other dissonance, then a somber section, then a jazzy solo that reminds me of Gilgamesh or the like, and still more follows. Opening and closing with a paraphrase of "L'elefante bianco," "Il Voce" is a "live in the studio" recorded tribute to Demetrio Stratos, the extraordinary vocalist of Area. Not the band's best effort but their intention is admirable. "Midiots, Vidiots and the Digitally Delayed" could have come from Djam Karet's Reflections From the Firepool and introduces the 21 minute "Between Cages" suite which is the album's highlight. Moody, jazzy, dark, classical, playful...all the hallmarks of A Triggering Myth can be heard in this suite. Because Between Cages is quite similar to Twice Bitten, the band is in danger of stagnation creeping in on future releases. I hope ATM find a new challenge to stimulate their compositional creativity, but Between Cages is still an excellent effort from this duo.