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Mongol - Doppler 444 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.54 | 35 ratings

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2 stars With a HUGE, shameless nod to U.K., Mongol offers a hectic, sometimes enjoyable, but utlimately flawed album full of heavy jazz-rock ideas. I am not one who is impressed by technicality for technicality's sake: it is not enough to be able to PLAY this stuff; one has to be able to WRITE it - with originality and direction - as well. In this regard, Mongol largely fails, though with some notable exceptions. The first two tracks are largely "mindless" prog-jazz-rock-fusion; it apparently never occurred to the band that they have to state a theme FIRST, and THEN riff around it; instead, they simply play and play and play and play, with no stated theme and little sense of direction. Sure, the musicianship is excellent. But, as stated, that's not enough. With "Driller" and "Merazoma," the band "discovers" the value of an initially stated theme. These two are the best tracks on the album because they "make sense" - i.e., they have an inner logic and a clear sense of direction. Given this, I had high hopes for the final, extended composition. Oh well. "Greatful Paradise" is a let-down for the opposite reason: the band simply doesn't do ENOUGH with all that time. They state a theme (a pretty good one, with a neat straight-ahead Bonham-type beat under some heavy jazz-rock playing) - and then play it over and over for almost 10 minutes. They then state another theme (also fairly interesting). However, not only do they play THAT one for 5-6 minutes, but the two themes have no connection to each other: the band doesn't even pretend to segue from one to the other. The third and final theme is similarly unconnected, and only lasts for a minute or two. / As noted, this is not a BAD album, especially in its genre - the musicianship is superb, and many of the ideas are good - and is certainly worth a listen or two and, if you really like U.K.-type prog (even if it is highly derivative), worthy of having in your collection.
maani | 2/5 |


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