Concept albums have been around as long as "long players" have existed. Everyone from Queensryche to The Who to Willie Nelson have tried their hand at them. The idea of telling this sequential story through your art is a tempting idea. Just ask CT's own 1974 who once again deliver an ambitious concept album with A Soldier's Tale.
Roughly two years ago 1974 gave us the epic full-length concept album, The Battle For the Lazer Fortress. That album not only raised the bar, at least locally, for what a band could do with concept albums but also introduced all of us to one of the most talented bands in the state. Fast forward to December 2012 and 1974 again explore the concept album, this time in a more condensed, but no less powerful way with A Soldier's Tale. Anytime a band explores themes of war, lost love, and death it's got the potential to be a commanding musical experience, as it is here.
1974 once again explore their entire combined musical collection on this album. There's an old saying in the music industry that if you steal from one artist you're a thief...but if you can steal from a hundred, you're a genius. They've once again given us the prog rock treatment with heavy doses of blistering guitar solos, 70's influenced keys, and their always amazing harmonized vocals. But they've also given us the curve balls that 1974 fans have come to expect. While "Gently Shaken" is as poppy as this band has ever gotten, they follow it up with "March of Men" which starts off as one of the heaviest songs they've ever written. Then again when you have a story to tell, it helps to be unpredictable.
You can listen to A Soldier's Tale in its entirety over at their Bandcamp page. If you haven't already, I highly suggest you do so.