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I Am The Manic Whale - Everything Beautiful In Time CD (album) cover

EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN TIME

I Am The Manic Whale

 

Crossover Prog

4.01 | 76 ratings

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PH
5 stars I AM THE MANIC WHALE is a fairly enigmatic moniker for the new British quintet comprising of Michael Whiteman (lead vocals, bass duties, keyboards, guitars, drums), John Murphy (keyboards & vocals), David Addis (guitars, b/vox), Ben Hartley (drums, percussion, b/vox), Ella Lloyd (flute). Their self-produced platter 'Everything Beautiful In Time' is BIG in every sense. The trademarks are apparent: intelligently written compositions, melodic beauty in abundance, a variety of tempos, grandiose panorama of sounds, changing intonations, astounding guitar performance, a wealth of excellent keyboards, versatile rhythm section, lush harmonies and exciting chant with emotional impact. The arrangements are full of diversity and skill. If I need to define such a luxurious debut, let's say: old-school progressive rock with a touch of modern ingredients. This amalgam works perfectly. Each track exudes high class to satisfy even demanding connoisseurs... After just a few seconds on 'Open Your Eyes' you start to realize that you will listen to a captivating release which has very much to offer. Creating a superior symphonic rock paradigm, IATMW conjures some memories of mighty Spock's Beard and 70's Queen. The type of singing is well suited to the repertoire here. Michael Whiteman demonstrates his heartfelt voice, subtly reminding of other persons but never seeking to copy anyone. The affair continues by 'Pages'. Half this song is pulsating, with a vague hint to Salem Hill. Midway through the track features a beautiful instrumental bridge, akin to Steve Hackett or Andy Latimer. The addition of acoustic guitar, calm piano and flute gives a pleasant pastoral feel, which then gradually leads to a powerful completion. Its follower, 'Princess Strange', goes for the uncomplicated form. As opposed to that, the multi-layered 16+ min. 'Circles (Show Love)' moves through quirky segments, resembling Transatlantic and ACT. Still, there's a bit of early Queen' undercurrent going on. The changeovers happen ever and anon. To my mind, it's the most daunting pageant on the disc. Well, now you can try to guess: what's round the bend? A treasure! Rising up in a cappella, 'Clock Of The Long Now' grabs the essence of Moon Safari interspersed with a nod to TFK. The stellar orchestrations unite with the regal harmonies. All in its place, in flawless sonic order. On this piece, both Michael Whiteman and John Murphy handle the lead vocals. I found myself totally immersed in the swapping lines between two chaps. Next up, 'The Mess', where the group leans to almost classical guitar sound. In terms of allusions, you can expect a dose of Styx / Kansas. Again, lots of harmony filled chorus. Bringing CD to a close, the 21+ min. 'Derelict' wraps things up in epic fashion. This is the longest composition on the release and certainly a magnificent opus. Primarily, a gentle piano accompaniment and the soaring guitar support the impassioned vocal line. There's a tension waiting to grow in power and intensity. As the song progresses, consistent changes in mood and direction serve to keep the interest throughout the content. Besides, Ella Lloyd presents her wondrous flute. More than once, the specific echoes of Genesis can be heard, without being a dominant factor. 'Derelict' never gets boring, which is an accomplishment for a piece of such length. The time passes by insensibly. And before you discover this, it's all over. What a great debut! Hopefully, splendid CD 'Everything Beautiful In Time' will make IATMW a force to be reckoned with on contemporary progressive rock scene. That day is not far off.
PH | 5/5 |

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