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Martin Orford - The Old Road CD (album) cover

THE OLD ROAD

Martin Orford

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 113 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars In the booklet Martin Orford writes about his second solo album (2008) that "this is not a progressive rock album", "it's unashamedly retro" and "you may think that world has gone forever, but it's still there if you know where to find it. And I have ? I am on the old road".

As a huge fan of Martin Orford his keyboard sound (I have seen him many times with IQ and also in the John Wetton band) I was looking forward to my first listening session. Well, I am very pleased with this very tastefully arranged solo album. It hosts a wide range of known progrock musicans, like Nick D'Virgilio, Dave Meros, Gary Chandler, John Wetton and IQ vereran Mike Holmes. The sound on The Old Road is melodic, harmonic and varied.

Melodic rock in Take It To The Sun and Out In The Darkness.

A warm solo piece on piano and keyboards in the beautiful classically inspired Prelude.

And dreamy climates with acoustic guitars and soaring keyboards in Ray Of Hope and Endgame.

But most compositions are drenched into the compelling IQ sound featuring intense Mellotron waves, howling electric guitar runs, deep sounding Moog Taurus bass pedals and flashy synthesizer flights, especially Grand Designs and The Time And The Season, what a joy! Guitarplayer John Mitchell does a very good job, often in the vein of Mike Holmes with many powerful and moving solos and great interplay with the keyboards. Like in Power And Speed delivering mighty Hammond organ and propulsive guitar riffs (along an outstanding jazzrock-oriented synthesizer solo).

My highlight on this album is the alternating titletrack: from a dreamy intro with twanging acoustic guitar and warm vocals to slow rhythms and bombastic eruptions with majestic Mellotron violin and choir eruptions. The interplay between Hammond organ and the dynamic drums is outstanding.

What a varied solo album, pleasantly layered with wonderful work on keyboards and guitars.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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