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Flamborough Head - Looking For John Maddock CD (album) cover

LOOKING FOR JOHN MADDOCK

Flamborough Head

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 89 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Holland is a small european country with a big (and well deserved) reputation concerning rock bands in general and prog groups in particular. Flamborough Head nowadays is one of the most interesting and powerful dutch essembles that carry the prog torch with pride. Although they face quite a big competition in their homeland, their music is still going strong and ever developing since their excellent debut in the mid 90īs. No two two FH sound too much alike and Looking For John Maddock is no exception.

As soon as I heard their new CD I knew it would take some spins to get used to it. The bandīs sound is becoming more and more complex since the new millenium started. It is still quite melodic and accessible to many ears, I guess, but their elaborated, subtle arrangements show a fine tapestry of intricated, well crafted tunes that grow on you with each listening. Edo Spanningaīs keyboards lines and the band in general seem to be influenced by his side project Trion: half of the tracklist is composed solely by instrumentals. The strong use of the Hammond organ, Margriet Boomsmaīs flute (more proeminent than ever) and the very fine guitar solos often reminded me of Focus in their 70īs heyday. Margrietīs slightly jazzy vocals are a bit underused but are highly effective when they do appear.

As usual Flamborough Head keeps the high standards: there are no fillers, each track a gem on itself, but the album highlight is doubtless the epic, 19 minute, title track. Never have they sounded so symphonic, elaborated and bold: starting with a unsual keyboard line, followed by a slow section with recorder and mellotron, it goes through many intrumental moods and changes, giving us some of the CDs bestīand most emotional vocals and finishes with climatic guitar and keys interplay. After all those years the band shows what a tigh group of skilled musicians can do when faced with some strong songwriting. They make complex music disguised as simple, like only the great ones know how to deliver in the right doses.

My final rating was something very difficult to decide: it is hard to label it as a classic or essential masterpiece in such a short time after its release, especially when compared to the bandīs already brilliant discography. On the other hand I cannot close my eyes (or ears) to its sheer quality. Between a 4,5 and 5 star rating, Iīll round it up to 5. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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