Mandrake Project - A Miraculous Container

Year of Release: 2009
Label: Blistering Records
Catalog Number: BR021DP
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:25:00

This isn't Kevin Costner's Message In A Bottle. However, the output is on the lighter end of the spectrum. To a degree, it's reminiscent of Coheed & Cambria. Still, it's even easier on the ears than those genre-crossing geniuses. Actually, Mandrake Project has already been assessed by knowledgeable others. The wisest of the erudites have compared them to Jeff Buckley, and that's right on the button. So, why try to one-up proper conjectures or put a chink in a well-soldered link. While the concept of A Miraculous Container is less convoluted than the Dharma Initiative, the lyrics and corresponding themes may lose its listeners. Likewise, the pastels used to sketch this lithograph may put the neediest of people to sleep. Fortunately, the instrumental minutia overlaying the emotive vocals is agreeably dreamy. It's something you'd sooner expect from Kevin Moore, or better yet; a side-project from Steven Wilson. It features creatures both great and small in the same way that Pink Floyd and King Crimson use repetition, sound bites, and minimalism amidst a sea of psychedelic riptides. They also incorporate various string instruments, a sax, a Moog, and the Chapman Stick. Never are they used for the sake of it. To the contrary, the strength of the album is in its systematic chaos since clever integration tethers disparate parts together. Ultimately, what this goes to prove is that ? while the pen is mightier than the sword ? there is little to grind without the axe. That's also to say that cinematic scores, sequencers and keyboards, when done just right can put its subjects in a euphoric trance. By the way, there is a guitar, but it's scantily used; leaving impressionable vassals wanting more.

The Favor Returned (1:01) / A Miraculous Container (6:08) / And Five Make Twenty (6:24) / Auquarelle (7:47) / Beauxsong (5:32) / Percussion III (4:19) / Quintet Harmonique (4:22) / Movement (3:33) / The Crest (3:21) / Through Lights (5:40) / La Luna (7:23) / Living Room Piano Suite (3:32)

Rick Nelson - violin, viola, cello, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, bass instrument
Anthony Pecora - bass guitar
Benjamin Zerbe - drums, percussion
David Chapman Jamison - piano, synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, drums, percussion, sampler
Kirk Salopek - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion
Ryan Meals - electric guitar, piano

A Favor To The Muse (2006)
A Miraculous Container (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 27th 2009
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 1535
Language: english


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