Carl Tafel : Electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass, glockenspiel, marimba, vocals
Darryl Flint : Bass
Gary Flint : Drums
Simon Jacobs : Violin
Mark McLay : Guitar solos on tracks 5 & 10
Sharon Bieck : Backing voice on 2,8,9
John Doheny : Sax on 7
Terraced Garden were a Canadian group founded by multi-instrumentalist Carl Tafel in the early 80's. Their final album, Within, was released in 1988 and in my opinion is the most complete example of their style. Influenced heavily by Jethro Tull, Steve Hackett (especially the guitar work) and Gentle Giant, the band display a fine sense of songwriting, and successfully integrate their progressive style into a short song format.
“Sheltered”, the album's opener, is a nice mid-paced romp with piano & bass picking up the main melody lines, with violin & keys counter-pinning the melody. “Sense of Wonder”, track two, is my personal favourite: A good, fuzzbox guitar riff to open, followed by gentle, undulating basslines and muted mellotron. Vocals on this are very reminiscent of GG's almost mediaeval close harmonies, but then the middle section kicks in with an absolute peach of a bassline matching the guitar lines, then overlapping and weaving between glockenspiel and keys. Although the album is meant to showcase Tafel's multi-tasking, it is Darryl Flint, the bassist, who steals the show at almost every turn.
“Forty Days” is an introspective, semi -acoustic piece with more nice harmonies. “Holding A Torch” is very Tull-like: a great violin line to start, moving gracefully into a bass-fed canter, before kicking into the middle section with some Hackett inspired guitar driving the meter changes. Again, the bass and Violin on this track interplay beautifully. “Moron Children” blasts off with an energetic guitar/bass/keys/drums thrash, before sliding into a gentle middle eight where the vocals come in.
“Walking Wounded” is another fast-paced guitar chug featuring more Hackett noodlings and THAT bass again! “Patience” begins quietly, with nice muted keys overlapping the main voice. A Zeuhl-inspired bass underpinning the verse before kicking in to a mid-paced, sax-led charge. “Departure” is in similar style to “Patience”: a familiar, almost flowing guitar/bass/violin which is almost reminiscent of Hoelderlin. “Quiet Desperation” starts with guitar chops before moving into another faster -paced section, with the bass again fuelling the rhythm. The final track, “Apparatus” is an instrumental workout, highlighting each of the players’ skills, producing another Hackett/Tull-inspired, cyclical tune with the bass and guitar at the forefront.
This album, and the two previous, are soon to be reissued through Musea for the first time on CD. I would thoroughly recommend them to any fan of Hackett, Tull or Giant, but also to those who like their prog served in shorter bursts rather than epics.