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Colin Masson - The Mad Monk And The Mountain CD (album) cover

THE MAD MONK AND THE MOUNTAIN

Colin Masson

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 57 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A wonderful album!

Colin Masson's music was unknown to me until he entered to the "Review our Music" section and kindly offered his latest album. Now, I can say I am more than pleased. His inclusion in the progressive rock scene was several years ago with a band called "The Morrigan" (still unknown to me, but that must change) whose debut album was released in 1985, so here we have a full-time talented musician, without a doubt. Besides the Morrigan's albums, he released his first solo album in 2001, and until now (2010) he fortunately created and released this record entitled "The Mad Monk and the Mountain".

This album features six complex and intelligent compositions that complete 52 minutes of music. The first song is "Two Lighthouse Keepers" which has a dark and in moments tense atmosphere, the vocals together with the keyboard effects create a strong song that is completed by a well placed guitar work. It is also important to say, that Colin Masson is a musician who can play several instruments, in other words, he could be labeled as a one- man-band. This album was composed by him, only with the help of Cathy Alexander who shared her vocals and keyboard abilities.

"Tilting at Windmills" has acoustic guitar as foreground, with electric one as foreground, however when the electric is quiet Spanish-like acoustic guitar takes its moment and creates a nice atmosphere. However, the electric guitar that reminds me to Mike Oldfield, predominates during almost the whole song, with an intense, deep and heartrending sound. I really like the way he alternates the leadership until he cannot help but sharing his awesome skills with the electric guitar. Here we can notice that he is really talented, believe me.

"The Ends of the Earth" features sweet female vocals that can be better perceived if you close your eyes, because the soft acoustic guitar, together with a delicate keyboard ambient sound and the voice can tranquilize you and put images on your mind, it can take you to another world, if you allow the music. Despite it is slow and calm, once you are inside the song you will not leave it, I mean, I catches you until the very end. If I had to use a couple of adjectives to describe this song, I would say magical and beautiful.

"The Mad Monk and the Mountain" is an excellent, challenging and well composed track that offers good expectations since the first minutes. The female voice appears again, but the instrumentation and in particular the always good use of guitars, with a well placed keyboard sound, create extraordinary atmospheres, full of colors and textures that once again, catch the listener and maintains them wondering what's next, until the very end.

"Caradon's Surprise" is the shortest track, an acoustic guitar from beginning to end creating a calm and relaxing mood. Two minutes that work as the interlude of what will be the last, and longest song of the album.

So there it is "The House on the Rock" a sixteen-minute track that gathers all the elements that Colin offers: creativity, high quality composition, complex music, and emotion. This song comprises a division of passages where one can imagine in different places, with different stories, nuances and environments, there are moments where you can let the music take you and feel part of it, that's a thing I believe Colin aimed, so he succeeded.

I really love the way he broke the horizons, I mean where you are in a moment of calm and stillness, the music changes dramatically into a faster, aggressive but charming sound at the same time, so the song does not stay in one place, in one world, it covers several worlds. So there are various mini-songs inside this great body, and each one of them are essential, so the song reaches a point in which I thought: this is perfect, beautiful, magical, intriguing and wonderful.

Since the first time I listened to this album I was caught by its beauty and charming sound, now I can say once more that there are lots of talented and creative musicians all over the world, we have to search for them, and we won't regret. My final grade for this album is four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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