Tao Of The Dead is the new record from ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (who have expressed their hatred of their name being shortened so vehemently that I wouldn't dare), the Texan Noise-Rockers that sound like every prog-rock band you've ever heard kicking the shit out of each other.

No need to worry though, there are no references to slaying dragons, no cheesy 17-part harmonies and certainly no Rick Wakeman-style keyboard solos.

Opening with a sonic cacophony that sounds like the perfect soundtrack to taking off in a space shuttle, you might as well be off to the moon - you're just as likely to find something that sounds like Tao of The Dead as you are anywhere on Earth.

That's not to say that there aren't parts that will sound familiar; the album contains echoes (pun fully intended...guffaw!) of Pink Floyd in their more self-indulgent 'just try and play us on the radio' Meddle period, some Muse space synths, and several deliberately messy smatterings of twisted Mars Volta guitar.

With Tao Of The Dead, however, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have created an LP that is more than the sum of its parts. It's not a recycled prog montage, it feels urgent and, dare I say it, even important in places. Tracks like 'The Wasteland' stand out as instant anthems, but it's the complete feeling of the record that makes it so great.

Fortunately, there seems to have been a recent rock backlash against the single-dominated iTunes culture of releasing (and re-releasing 2 months later with extra 'bonus' tracks that you thought were going to be on the original album) a collection of unconnected songs that might as well be a greatest hits. Tao Of The Dead is a great example of why this trend should be eradicated - it feels like a complete piece of work, a finished thought, if you like. Down to the 16-minute closer 'Strange News From Another Planet...' (the full title of which will take you as long to say as to listen to the track) each track bleeds into the next with a sense that it belongs.

Tao Of The Dead is a fantastic album, and another shining example of the way that rock music should be going to conquer all these ridiculous rumours of it being dead and buried.

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