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Mirthrandir - For You The Old Women CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.88 | 103 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mirthrandir is one of those forgotten and overlooked USA's prog rock bands that reveales themselves as real 'lost gems' of the genre. Not unlike their compatriots Lift, Quill and Cathedral, this band sets the foundations for their sound with a close inspiration from the archetype of British symphonic rock, but definitely this one surpasses the aforesaid illustrious examples by delivering a robust sound and a clear musical scheme more successfully, always in control of the complex arrangements, always creating well structured melodies and solos, always keeping things tight at both a compositional and a performative level. While not matching the peculiar genius of Yezda Urfa (who really were a world of their own) nor the exquisiteness of Happy the Man, Mirthrandir manages to create real interesting music in the repertoire of their sole album "For You the Old Women". Early Genesis, early Yes and quintet-era Gentle Giant are the main Britsh influences, but it would also be fair to notice the clever use of dual guitars and the energetic display of power by the rhythm section as two harmonized complements to the majestic keyboard inputs: the former are elements taken from the American dazzling tradition in order to make something special and peculiar within the parameters of symphonic prog. The namesake opener bears a dynamic vibe right from the starting point, long enough to stick catchily in the listener's mind before things shift to a languid interlude and end with a powerful symphonic theme. The presence of trumpet and flute add color to the overall sonic landscape - a very good opener, indeed. 'Conversation with Personality Giver' is a bit shorter but equally complex, including tempo and mood changes, as well as effective duels between the two guitars or one guitar and a keyboard. The general result bears a somewhat more cohesive feel to it, in comparison to the first track. Track 3 'Light of the Candle' sets a vibrating mixture of Kaye-era Yes and "Power & Glory" Gentle Giant, making thing a bit more accessible than usual with its light touch of funk-rock added in between the more obviously symphonic passages. Track 4 is titled 'Number Six' and track 5 has the number four in its title... Well... The instrumental 'Number Six' opens with a bucolic flute melody soon joined by the trumpet and the dual guitar arpeggios, with the full ensemble gradually building up a powerful symphonic intro. The momentum gets an interesting set of variations with the emergence of all diverse motifs successfully linked to each other: great compositional work, equalling the complex dynamics of track 2. 'For Four' occupies the album's last 14 4/5 minutes. It kind of encapsulates a recapitulation of all moods displayed in the previous tracks (including a pounding martial bolero), although there's preferent room for introspective ambiences similar to those comprised in the opening song's second half. Although this numbers fails at becoming as cohesive as the preceding ones, it sure makes a very good ending for an excellent album. Mirthrandir's "For You the Old Women" reemerges in the age of digital industry waiting to be properly appreciated by prog fans all over the world for what it is, a great prog item.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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