Martigan - Man Of The Moment

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Flor Dur
Catalog Number: 2 4939 8
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:16:00

Martigan's style of prog owes quite a bit to early Marillion, solo Fish, early Genesis, though more Phil Collins than Peter Gabriel. From that, you can surmise that the vocalist, Kai Marckwordt, sounds like an amalgam of Fish, Gabriel and Collins and you'd be right. Oh, I suppose the Collins aspect is the strongest of the three. Or you might surmise that there are Hackett / Rothery like guitar phrases here ? and you'd be right again, though not quite as right. Guitarist Bj?rn Bisch's style is more along the lines of Jadis' Gary Chandler, the same could be said of co-lead vocalist Mirko B?umer, who also sounds like Chandler ? that's Chandler as vocalist, of course. It's B?umer who sings solo lead on "7th Floor" and does so wonderfully, having a terrific voice, very expressive. The closest comparison is to Chandler, as said, but with very faint hints of Steve Hogarth. Really not enough like either, really. This doesn't mean that Marckwordt is a bad vocalist, but those who don't like the "whinyness" of Collins will prefer B?umer. Having heard snippets of Collins' latest single, "Wake Up Call," on ? I think -- a car commercial, I frankly find Collins' whine has gotten very annoying as he's gotten older? Marckwordt sounds more like Collins' pre-80s Genesis self, thankfully.* Of course, I like his tone best when he sings with Fish like cadences (closer to Fish's more natural post-Marillion style).

Musically, I'd say Man Of The Moment, Martigan's third, is closest to Trick Of The Tail-period Genesis and Fugazi-period Marillion, what with widdly keyboard bits from Oliver Strahl. "The Pride" and "Images & Tales" are where the band sounds the most like Fish and Fish led-Marillion, respectfully. With the latter, you'll think of "Watcher Of The Skies" at first, and later, a bit of "Garden Party" all amongst something that sounds like neither, but is clearly "neo-prog."

While I like all the tracks on the album, "7th Floor," is by far my favourite. This mixes into the Genarillion soup the warm accent of saxophone (Marckwardt again) and a brief "circus" phrase. This is an emotionally satisfying track, containing all those cathartic epic and expansive tones that drew me to the very best that both Genesis and Marillion ever offered. "Closer Contact" is one of those emotion fueled pieces like Marillion's "Easter," for example ? though it doesn't in way sound like it. But like Rothery, like Floyd's Gilmour Mackwordt's solo guitar spot here is one of those of few, very expressive notes. These reappear again on "Images & Tales," as you might expect.

The closing track, "The Mask & The Raven" is another highlight piece of the album, containing all those elements that I like ? the guitar solo; the languid, unhurried evolution of the arrangements? but there does come a darker point (the "circus" theme returns briefly) where the lyrics are half-sung/half spoken, leading into a hurried, more chaotic passage. At 14-plus minutes, it is the longest track on the album, though most exceed 5 minutes. This is subtitled "Part II," and follows on from "Part I" that appeared on 1996's Ciel Ouvert album ("The Pride" and "Scarecrow ? Scapegoat" originally appeared on their 1995 debut Stolzenbach).

Marckwordt is a multi-instrumentalist, playing, in addition to that already mentioned, flute on "The Feast." He's joined by founding member Oliver Strahl on keyboards, Alex Bisch on drums, as mentioned Bj?rn Bisch on guitars, (new member) Peter Kindler on bass for a few tracks with guest (and former member) Axel Schütze on bass for the rest of the album (with one exception).

The cynic's view is that Martigan are just another prog band trying resurrect the ghosts of the now very dead Genesis and the otherwise focused Marillion, and can easily be lumped in with the Pendragon's (whose vibe actually is more Floyd than Genesis), Jadis, IQ, et al. But since you cannot say "oh, here's their version of [insert classic track here]" -- but for some casual references -- I say "so what." It's done well, recorded well, and enjoyable to listen to. The band's initial goal was not for commercial success, but to create music that they enjoyed, and in the process make music that others could enjoy.

* I have liked Collins solo up to about?But Seriously? but, uh?'that's all.' And, it was a Toyota commercial ?

The Pride (10:00) / Out Of Sight (5:48) / Closer Contact (8:39) / 7th Floor (8:36) / Scapegoat ? Scarecrow (4:54) / Feast ? Intro (2:24) / The Feast (6:16) / Images & Tales (9:15) / Permission (5:20) / The Mask & The Raven II (14:24)

Kai Marckwordt ? lead vocals; guitar solo and Rickenbacher (3), extro guitar (10), flute (7), sax (4)
Oliver Strahl ? keyboards; backing vocals (5, 6)
Alex Bisch ? drums, backing vocals
Bj?rn Bisch ? guitars
Peter Kindler ? bass (4, 9, 10)


Axel Sch?tze ? bass (-5)
Mirko B?umer ? lead vocals (2, 3, 4, 9) and backing vocals (-5, -10)

Stolzenbach (1995)
Ciel Ouvert (1996)
Simplicis (ep) (1997)
Man Of The Moment (2002)
Vision (2009)

Martigan Live (DVD) (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: February 23rd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1617
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]