Nathan Mahl - Heretik: Volume 2: The Trial

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Mahl Productions
Catalog Number: NMA007
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:34:00

"All rise for the entrance of the judges." That's how the second part of the Heretik trilogy starts. "Malleus Maleficarum" is a strong orchestral and cinematographic piece longing for a real orchestra as no sample can do this composition the justice (!) it deserves. It's almost like a piece that could have been written by the Pär Lindh Project, also sporting some wonderful piano and church organ. In this song it's mainly drums and bass which set the tone for the other instruments. Again some typical Kit Watkins sounds sneak in so the Happy the Man adoration is never far away. However also the late Alan Gowen is almost present by means of that typical synth sound. A lot of attention goes to the bass, delivering awesome sounds together with the organ.

The intro for "De Praestigiis Daemonum" shows some nice interplay between keyboards and drums. This time around it's more the guitar that slightly introduces a bit of fusion as LeBlanc's synths remind us of Wakeman during his Journey period here. Fretless bass is weaving its way through fingerpicking guitar and a Hammill soundalike during "Heretik Part IV." I quite like the part where the organ forms the backbone for the guitar solo. After yet another vocal injection another stunning organ solo is waiting in the bends, serving as an introduction for some more guitar fireworks. In fact it's like a question and answer thing going on between organ and guitar. The trial? "Ad Judicium" steps on the gas pedal to deliver a nice contrast between the "older" sounds of the clavinet and the shredding of the guitar. This certainly has the adrenalin pumpin' with the slapping of the bass as the regular heartbeat.

The album closes with the more intimate nature of "Moral Values Part II" which sees guitar and synth climb the scales together in the intro. Then all space is given to the organ, sounding as if it's lifted from the genuine Canterbury scene. The intimacy of the intro now makes way for a storm of guitar work. The song once again turns towards intimacy when a child sings a great melody only backed by piano and strings. Pity there isn't a real orchestra here as this is the absolute highlight making your hair stand up on your back !

The second CD of the Heretik trilogy to me sounds more mature, letting you hear more of a band effort enabling all of the musicians to shine in their own right. The power of the final melody is so strong it should have been used throughout the three albums as the main theme, the 'Heretik' melody. The final part of the trilogy The Sentence is scheduled for late 2001 and if Nathan Mahl can continue in the same way then it surely will be a corker of an album. You may be seated!

Entrance Of The Judges / Malleus Maleficarum / De Praestigiis Daemonum / Heretik Part IV / Ad Judicium / Moral Values Part II

Guy LeBlanc - keyboards, vocals, drums, recorder
Claude Prince - bass
Marc Spénard - guitars
Danie Lacasse - drums, percussion

Parallel Eccentricities (1983/1997)
The Clever Use Of Shadow (1998)
Heretik Volume I: Body Of Accusations (2000)
Heretik Volume II: The Trial (2001)
Heretik Volume III: The Sentence (2002)
Shadows Unbound (2003)
Live At NEARFest '99 (2004)
Exodus (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: August 16th 2001
Reviewer: John Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 798
Language: english


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