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M-Opus - At the Mercy of Manannán CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 18 ratings

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4 stars Third album for M - OPUS at the start of spring 2023 and this time it's "Back in 1972" with the name "At The Mercy of Manannan"; a little reminder Jonathan CASEY and Colin SULLIVAN have made it their mission to rehabilitate rock symphonic progressive of the seventies, about half a century later, Jonathan being better known as a full member of the David CROSS BAND in which he provides guitar and vocals.

The story of the album (conceptual obviously) is that of a crew of sailors who embark on a dangerous mission and encounter ancient Celtic gods on their journey. In Irish mythology, Manannán was a king of the afterlife and a god of the sea; it should be noted that a song "Na Brúidaí" is completely in the Irish language of Gaëlite, moreover difficult to access for the uninitiated (including myself) embellished, moreover, with a small technoid part... still, this piece has its place in the concept itself.

This album is as short (40 minutes) as the previous one was long (96 minutes and double) but much more digestible for the basic music lover, which means that you can listen to it two or even three in a row without any real mental effort.

I particularly enjoyed the second track "Riverflow" which is easy to memorize with Jonathan's drawling vocals and a haunting bass guitar riff, the long "On the Other Side" with its beatless approach in its opening before mutating towards a symphony more in phase with the year 1972 (beautiful organ and guitar score in the finale), the sixth title "Valley of Elah" with its popizing chalalas crossed with a catchy final beat as well as the seventh and very progressive "Sealing Novas" unfortunately far too short (just over three minutes).

I would mainly remember from this album that Jonathan and Colin composed it from the heart, which remains the most important thing. The question that remains, is it still possible to go back before the year 1972 ?

KansasForEver | 4/5 |


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