Various - Mellotron CD Sampler 29

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Mellotron
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:26:00

Mellotron Magazine, published in Argentina, included a CD with issue #29 (a CD I intended to review much sooner). This CD contains 13 tracks from artists such as Isildurs Bane, Pär Lindh, Rockenfield/Speer, and Fruitcake. There are artists here that will appeal to most tastes, making this a fairly rounded sampler disc, though its intent isn't to sample prog in its broadest context. I was impressed by pretty much everything on this sampler with the exception of Fruitcake, which didn't do anything for me at all. I don't know if it's just this track, which unfolds at a sluggish pace, or if this will apply to the band's output as a whole. Listening to the lyrics, I'm sure this arrangement was written to reinforce the oppressed, weary feeling, and in that, it is successful. Musically, they're quite good...this song may yet grow on me. Also, I know that the vocalist with the Pär Lindh Project is quite popular, but I have to admit that I'm not quite as taken with her voice as some are. But musically, PLP are powerhouse band, driven, of course by Pär Lindh and his Emersonian keys. I was expecting something different from Isildurs Bane, something more avant-garde and experimental, though I am in no way disappointed that, at least on this particular track, they aren't. Here we get some parping keys and driving percussion that wouldn't seem out of place on an IQ track, at least to my ears. It's a little more arty than I think of IQ as being...and certainly saying this track is any one thing is quite difficult as it shifts with different textures. But, they have a very nice sound. I suspect that, from what I've read, this isn't necessarily representative of their sound...further exploration is required.

These artists have been reviewed here, though elsewhere, so I'll talk about the artists that haven't yet been reviewed in full.

While to look at Janos Varga you might expect him to be the fourth member of ZZ Top, playing bluesy, Southern Rock. However, instead we get Pink Floyd-inspired guitar based rock, as this reminds me of Gilmore's solo bits on Momentary Lapse Of Reason, all played against a bed of smooth symphonics. Guillermo Cides' contribution "Concerto for 2 Violins and Strings In D Minor (Vivace)" is from his album Bach Tribute...this is a very warm piece that, at three and half minutes seems, to go by too fast. Ergo Sum's "Nuevas Tiempas" is a track that contains xylophone (or what sounds like) and flute -- um, yes, there are some Tull like moments -- and goes from gentle to rocker quite smoothly. Subterra will appeal to fans of IQ, Pendragon and Marillion...more so the latter, as I hear a lot of Marillion's dynamics at play here (stuff we haven't heard since Strange Engine), including vocals with a great deal of emotion. In fact, but for the fact that he doesn't sound like either of Marillion's vocalists, this very well could be Marillion. And yet, despite that, or probably because of it, I quite like it. In their epic sound, keys swirl, guitars keen and cry, drums pound... all Marillionisms. Contraluz and Bran fill the last two tracks, the first sounding at times to me a lot like The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes," where the phrasing of the chorus is concerned, at least. But it is mainly a warm, intimate, acoustic based piece that will appeal to your mellower moods. The latter is also an acoustic track this is a demo that is a bit like the folkier aspects of Jethro Tull, even before flute makes an appearance...and, in fact, but for a few notes, doesn't sound Andersonian at all.

However, the one track that made me say "cool" out loud was the You And I contribution "Matrix." I just love the opening percussion to this track; it's not anything too complicated, mind you, and it does sound like they might be electric drums, but there is something very aggressive and assured about them, energetic, rhythmic...and catchy. It remains interesting through out, but less so once the drums give way to guitar. And yes, I'm cheating a bit, since Bobo has reviewed Exit, from which this track was taken.

Speaking of Bobo, one track I must note is "Lovely (For Simon Jay)" which was written and sung by our own John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg, who, along with Bjorn Johansson, form the Bollenberg Johansson Experience, naturally. "Lovely" was written for John's son, and it is obvious to hear the joy John has in having a son ... though I did find myself wondering if wrote something for each of his daughters as well. As an all-acoustic track, one might find it a little sparse compared with most of the other artists here, who can be bombastic and large, but it is by no means a weak track. Only those with the hardest of hearts will find "Lovely" to be a bit syrupy ... and while I'm not among that group, objectively I can see how those who do would. But, I do think John does a very nice singing voice, and it does make me anxious to hear the full Bollenberg Johansson Experience's album, though this track doesn't appear on it. I'm not just saying that because John writes for the site, of course.

Lovely (For Simon Jay) (Bollenberg Johansson Experience) / I Must Be Going ( Janos Varga Project) / Cheval-Initiation (Isildurs Bane) / The Premonition (Pär Lindh Project) / Concerto For 2 Violins And Strings In D Minor (Vivace) (Guillermo Cides) / Thundercloud (Fruitcake) / Senkan (Odyssice) / Prometeo (Subterra) / Matrix (You And I) / Nuevos Tiempos (Ergo Sum) / Carved In Stone (Rockenfield/Speer) / Hay Una Voz (Contraluz) / The Chosen One (Bran)



Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VA

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 741
Language: english


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