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Flaming Row - Mirage - A Portrayal Of Figures CD (album) cover


Flaming Row


Progressive Metal

3.96 | 128 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars So, what we have here is the second album from German quartet Flaming Row, but is it? While Martin Schnella (guitars, keyboards, vocals) provided all of the music, based on a story written by Kiri Geile (vocals) and then arranged by Martin with Niklas Kahl (drums) and Marek Arnold (keyboards, saxophone), this is way more than ''just'' a band album. To be able to do justice to the story of the Third World War they have brought in a couple of guest musicians and the odd singer. Okay, to possibly put that more into perspective, the total singer and musician count on here is more than 30, and with the likes of Dave Meros, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Jimmy Keegan and Arjen Anthony Lucassen helping out on the music, and the likes of Ted Leonard, Magali Luyten, Simon Moskon and many others on the vocals, perhaps it isn't surprising that this is something a little special.

This is an over the top, multi-layered incredibly strongly produced album which sometimes stays in control as although each musician adds his piece it still somehow manages to remain a bombastic masterpiece instead of disappearing up an ego of its' own making. I challenge any lover of prog metal not to fall in love with this at the very first hearing, and just sit with the booklet and listen to the narration and singers telling the story while marveling at the melodic complexity that is displayed in front of your very ears. Although sounding nothing like Spock's Beard, it is almost as if they have captured the sheer brilliance of albums such as 'Snow', have then brought in some American melodic metal, combined it with the symphonic power of Nightwish while also ensuring that fans of the dexterity (both musically and lyrically) of Clive Nolan are well catered for.

Simply put, this is one of the most exciting and interesting albums that I have heard so far this year. I fell in love with it just a few bars into the first song and I kept hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed with the rest of the album while actually I just found more to savour. Each time I have played this new depths have come to light, and this has become for me one of those albums that actually prevents me writing about anything else as I just want to play it so much! It may be over the top, yet somehow there is enough restraint to ensure that it never really falls totally out of control, but rather shows that sometimes music needs to be more than just a couple of guys in a studio, and by adding so many others with their own techniques and styles it has allowed Flaming Row to create something very special indeed. The only question in my mind, is how on earth do they follow this? I note that in the booklet they state that this is to be continued, so that is something to look forward to indeed.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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