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Mangrove - Beyond Reality CD (album) cover

BEYOND REALITY

Mangrove

 

Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 42 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars For the most part, this group sounds like a generic neo-progressive band. Worse than being generic, this album seems to be downright derivative in many places. On the upside, the lead guitar is wonderful and by far the best thing this album has to offer. However, the vocals are horrendous- not due to the singer's natural voice, but due to how he uses it. He tries to evoke a snarling, angst-ridden character, like blending Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters and cranking up the theatrics. When they are quiet, they are barely audible; when they are loud, they are atrocious. The rest of the band is decent, but do nothing remarkable throughout the duration of the record.

"Daydreamer's Nightmare" Delicate, dreamy classical guitar, sitar, and synthesizer drift into more explosive music that remains steady, introducing a thick guitar solo. A soft verse brings in heavier music and sounds quite like early Marillion without the pizzazz. Although this song has an exceptional vocal melody, it isn't excellently executed (though it isn't done poorly); still, this is easily the strongest composition, with several great instrumental moments- the main guitar solo really shines.

"Time Will Tell" Ninety seconds in is a segment that is almost a carbon copy of the beginning of the verse of "Machine Messiah" by Yes, right down to the bass run. This lengthy piece relies heavily on various keyboard solos, including synthesizer and electric piano. I think the guitar solo is expertly crafted and works extremely well over the music. With a rather shoddy transition, the music turns into something right out of the notebook of 1973 Pink Floyd, which dully drags on until an upbeat synthesizer-led conclusion takes over.

"Love And Beyond" Simple piano and soft vocals make up this slow-dance prom song, which is interrupted by a decent guitar solo.

"Reality Fades" This is a fairly lackluster instrument with some enjoyable guitar lead, but not much else.

"Beyond Reality" Gorgeous piano opens this track, which includes some tasty electric guitar. The intro drops off, bringing in acoustic guitar and singing. Otherwise, the song is several minutes of utter cheese. The singer even adopts this Roger Daultry-like grit in his voice, and his singing "I will survive" makes me chuckle.

"Voyager" Relying heavily on synthesizers, the final track has a Supertramp-like sound, with a keyboard hammering out the chords and a quirky lead vocal, but does develop into something heavier, with Uriah Heep-like shrieks. The track is mostly one extended guitar solo, however, with some uninteresting music backing it. The guitar itself is great though- the player really channels Steve Hackett. Still, the overall piece borders on monotony.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

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