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Mechanical Poet - Woodland Prattlers CD (album) cover


Mechanical Poet


Progressive Metal

3.83 | 47 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Russians are Coming

I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later I would find a nifty Russian band or they would find me. Well folks whichever it is, let's talk about Mechanical Poet. That's what I said, Mechanical Poet. The name may be funny but these guys play some great music. 2005 has not been a banner year so far, for music in my book and the Woodland Pratters may be the best if not the most interesting album I've heard up until now. What can I say I'm breathless. Imagination just exudes from these guys. I've got imagination all over me, I can't get the imagination off of me. Excuse my while I go take a shower.

Phew, that's better. Sorry but I can't stand to have so much imagination on me. It's stifling. I wish I could tell you more about these three guys, yeah, there's only three but I can't even find out their last names. Anyway I did find a bio on their web site : , so If you're interested you can look it up there.. MECHANICAL POET, Woodland Pratters

Yeah I know, they have a funny name but trust me, the music is special and some mention of the CD booklet is in order. Ahaaa, I did find their last names, well two anyway, Lex Plotnikoff and Tom Tokmakoff, and there's Max, his last name is Samovar (not as bad as I suspected). My God looking for their names was like looking for Waldo. Getting back to the booklet, it's done in cartoon strip form, you know with the lyrics in clouds, and for you out their that don't read or speak Russian, the Mechanical Poets were thinking of you because the lyrics are in English.

So what kind of music is Woodland Pratters? Well I find it incredibly hard to describe. I guess you could say it's basis is traditional, symphonic progressive, with theatrical overtones, combined with an occasional dose of medium to hard rocking segments and full songs. An example is the captivating, instrumental movie score style introduction, which suddenly segues into a solid aggressive metal number - "Storm Child". All of the songs that have vocals are sung by woodland creatures (real or imaginary). "Storm Child" is performed by Harpies, with lyrics like these; "Lightnings! The flaring claws, Tight strings, Of typhoon's bows. Whiz, rave, howl, The insatiable storm! Shrill, laugh, growl, Like demoniac swarm!" Another energetic rock song is track 6 - "Strayed Moppet", sung by a little Zombie. The song does slow down a bit in the middle but it's mostly well done grinding rock. Here is part of the catchy chorus: "Strayed! I'm lost again inside the Backwoods of the sylvan maze " I failed! It's all in vain." "Swamp-Swamp Polka", is also an upbeat rock piece, though in a humorous vein, sung by Swamp Trolls.

Tracks 5 & 11 "Will O' the Wisp" and "End Credits", are also instrumentals not unlike the opening track, Danny Elfman style, score like pieces.

Of varying degrees, the remaining songs follow the orchestra backed Symphonic/Progressive format, featuring several different vocalists and a wide assortment of instruments. "Boogie In a Coal-Hole", is a dramatic, harmonious varied pace number, sung by a Bogie. "Sirens From the Underland" is a solemn, almost dirge like piece with pleasant lyrics sung by the Earth folk "Lay your head on a feathery moss. Freeze your mind and drown in doss. See the places you have never been. Let the magic begin" "Old Year's Merry Funeral", my favorite, starts out as a plucky rocker but swiftly diverges to lush symphonic elements and varies style and tempo throughout. This is the most eclectic number and resembles Trans Siberian Orchestra on the choruses: "Needless, outdated, feckless, antiquated. I was welcomed like a King and left as a broken thing. Dying, hopeless, desolated, crying, doomed, alienated". It is sung by A Dying Year. "Natural Quaternion", at over eleven minutes, is the longest song on the album. It is however, divided into four parts, for four different woodland creatures - Sylphs, Gnomes, Undines and Salamanders. It is like "Old Year's Merry Funeral" Melodic/Progressive with orchestral and choir backing and different lead singers. "Shades on a Casement" is an easy going but elegantly captive Art/Rock ballad sung by the Foresters Cadet.

Song/Track List

[.1.] Main Titles ***** [.2.] Storm child ***** (Performed by the Harpies) [.3.] Bogie In A Coal-Hole **** (Performed by a Bogie) [.4.] Sirens From The Underland **** (Performed by the Earthfolk) [.5.] Will O' The Wisp **** [.6.] Strayed Moppet **** (Performed by a Little Zombie) [.7.] Old Year's Merry Funeral ***** (Performed by a Dying Year) [.8.] Natural Quaternion ***** (Performed by the Elements) [.9.] Shades On A Casement ***** (Performed by a Forester's Cadet) [10] Swamp-Stamp-Polka ***** (Performed by the Swamp Trolls) [11] End Credits *****


I Like these guys. Not just for their music but for their attitude. These guys want to make music their way but they want to have fun doing it and by God everything about this album, screams FUN.

Just listen to the very last thing written in the album booklet, in insurance company small print I might add. "And many many thanks to all those strange beautiful people who found our demo CD somewhere and listened to it gladly, sent us all these touching emails, wrote all these great comments in our guest book and praised an absolutely unknown weird Russian band on the discussion boards. Perhaps you don't even know how needful and inspiring it was for us. we've done our best composing, arranging, recording, mixing, and producing this album - mostly because of you. "

Yes these are my kind of guys and this is a most enjoyable album.

Bottom line is this is a feel good album.


This review is only for the single disc version of Woodland Pratters.

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semismart | 5/5 |


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