Deadwood Forest - Mellodramatic

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Shroom Productions
Catalog Number: SP-2009
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:51:00

Deadwood Forest is a four-piece band that hails from Texas, and although it's said that everything is big in Texas, this great new band seems to have escaped the attention of the music world -- even lovers of progressive rock -- which is a pity because this album is, in many ways, an extraordinary and auspicious debut. Deadwood Forest's biggest claim to fame is that Anglagard's former drummer, Mattias Olsson, produced the album. Unfortunately, outside of the notoriety this relationship may bring to Deadwood Forest in the prog community, Olsson as producer was not, in this reviewer's opinion, a wise choice. But more about that later. First the music.

Given their producer, it's not surprising that chunks of Deadwood Forest's music sounds like long-lost Anglagard. But this talented group draws from many other influences, as well, not the least of which are King Crimson, Anekdoten, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, and even Gentle Giant. For the most part, each song's verses and choruses owe a great deal to Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues, being mostly melodious, laid back, and even a bit folky at times. Roaring King Crimson/Anekdoten angularity, however, often offsets these softer moments, bursting from the folky themes like a revelation.

Now the bad news: This album's production is generally poor. The majority of the songs are mixed with all instruments panned to the center of the stereo spectrum, yielding a mostly monophonic mix. Worse, some of these monophonic mixes get so crowded -- what with instruments that share the same sonic spectrum stepping all over each other -- that in the louder, more complex passages, it's often hard to distinguish one instrument from another. Some of the mixes are even pushed into distortion. It amazes me that, in all the other reviews I've read of this album, no one has commented on these curious and annoying production choices. Maybe that's because this album is so good musically, reviewers don't want to chase listeners away. I sure don't. Despite its "unusual" production, this album is a must-have. I'm anxiously looking forward to what Deadwood Forest has to offer in the future.

[Now the good news, the band have fixed the production problems that plagued early pressings of this album - CW]

Pioneer (6:49) / ------ (1:40) / OCD (2:48) / King of the Skies (7:32) / City in the Sea (6:27) / Dry (7:02) / Stolen Smile (5:30) / ------ (0:52) / Ultraviolence (6:29) / Departure (2:35)

Ryan Guidry - vocals, guitar
Andy McWilliams - drums
Kurt Coburn - bass
Mitch Mignano - keyboards

Mellodramatic (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: January 30th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 1101
Language: english


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