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Nathan Mahl - The Clever Use of Shadows  CD (album) cover


Nathan Mahl


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 47 ratings

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4 stars In 1984 Nathan Mahl disbanded for the first time due to Guy LeBlanc's personal issues.From that point begins a long period of revival's and demises of the group, always headed by Guy LeBlanc, with an extreme number of line-up changes.During this period Leblanc and Nathan Mahl recorded several tracks, never published, and he even gave birth to the short-lived project Mahl Dynasty.Around this time, mid-90's, he also met drummer Alain Bergeron.In 1997 LeBlanc established his own label Mahl Productions in order to promote Nathan Mahl's first album and discussed another comeback of the group.He was joined by guitarist Jose Bergeron and original bassist Donald Prince, along with Alain Bergeron, eventually putting up the band's sophomore album ''The Clever Use of Shadows'' after some fifteen years of silence and eight hard months of recording.

It is a great delight to see such a talented composer as LeBlanc finally returning with Nathan Mahl, as the group had a ton of talent to just fall into obscurity.The new album is a beautiful Symphonic/Fusion affair along the lines of HAPPY THE MAN with also heavy inspirations from ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, UK and GENTLE GIANT.Virtuosic and highly technical musicianship is combined with striking melodies and smoother solos to result a work of sheer beauty for the most of its part.LeBlanc's talent is evident all the way, from the intelligent use of clavinet to the superb organ moves and the Fusion-inclined use of synths.The rest of the crew is also impressive.Among the tightest rhythm sections you will hear, Alain Bergeron and Don Prince give rise to some powerful grooves, while Jose Bergeron is an absolute monster, torturing his guitar.From swirling solos to captivating melodies, it is a real pitty he did not move on with the band for some further releases.''The Clever Use of Shadows'' is filled with long tracks with both refined and bombastic moments, characterized by skillful performances, powerful time changes and mindblowing breaks of first class.And despite the overall quite modern production, there is still a strong 70's feeling to be found in these very good arrangements.

If you are talking about top-notch Prog/Fusion albums, Nathan Mahl's second offering should be among your main priorities.Adventurous, challenging yet memorable music with lots of different styles blended in a strongly consistent mix.Highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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