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Vangough - Manikin Parade CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.50 | 50 ratings

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4 stars I only know that this is actually a one-man band after I had been listening this album quite a number of spins already. If I knew that actually this is a one-man band I would not want to spin it at all. That's actually a bad habit of me. It has already embedded in my head since I knew rock music the first time that any instrument produced in the recording must be dedicated to a certain musician. I did not like with the idea of having one man playing many instruments in a record. Despite, I enjoy listening to this album. I believe Clay Withrow is an excellent multi-instrumentalist who can make this good album.

Listening to this album as it sounds reminds me to the elements of Dream Theater, Kamelot and Pain of Salvation. The music is very good in terms of compositions as well as performance by Clay and his drummer Brandon Lopez. On composition this album marks relatively high on harmonies and melody, i.e. the music is basically a song-orientated approach with catchy melodies in almost all of the tracks this album contains plus harmonies in music and vocal work. In terms of complexity, actually I find none with this album as they sound quite simple, musically. It's probably the performance of one-man band becomes capped with his limitations. The guitar solo is not that extensive, predominantly occupied by heavy riffs. The changes in style are not happening frequently as the music contains more power metal than progressive metal.

Removing the mellow track like "Dance of The Summer Mind" (track 9) will enhance the structural integrity of the album. "Danceof The Summer Mind" seems misplaced in this album because the style is not in-line with the music of Vangough. Look at "Christmas Scars" that combines nicely the music of Dream Theater / Kamelot with Pain of Salvation's singing style. The result is a very good composition. The music in general sounds not cohesive, actually.

The opening track "Estranger" (6:13) is an excellent composition combining dynamic metal music, followed with "Manikin Parade" (7:57) and "Christmas Scars" (7:37) that make the opening part of the album sounds good. "Disorder Quotient" (4:42) is also a nice composition with good melody, soft guitar riffs and excellent vocal line.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I believe if you like prog met, you will love this one. Keep on proggin' ...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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