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Martigan - Vision CD (album) cover





3.85 | 138 ratings

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2 stars Oww, I felt squeezed rating this. It REALLY IS 2.5 stars, OK! Ok, good you understand now. Anyway, I'm not an honourary collaborator, I'm a commoner, so my rating doesn't have that much of a weighting on the whole issue.

So, what is there to know about Martigan? Well, this is their fourth album, many years since their first etc. And, yeah, they're another one of those 'neo-prog' bands, and ya know what that means?? That's right, you guessed it, lots of Peter Gabriel vocal imitations, guitars that try and mimic Steve Hackett and other 70's prog heroes, etc. And some much-needed 'long- songs'.

Okay I had a short-atention span. I admit it, I'm the guilty party. But more my problem with these long songs by these modern prog bands is they feel, I dunno... kinda obligatory, perhaps? Dare I say it, forced! do I really think that they went into the studio and one them said 'Hey! lets do a 20-minute song... No Wait! lets do TWO of them' and the others were like 'that's a great idea!'

Actually, you get the feel it was more like 'Okay guys, we're a prog band, we better sit down and write a 20+ minute song, you know, so we're PROG man!' And WHILE we're at it, let's not let this album end after a miserable 40 or 50 minutes, NO! let's use up the whole 79 Minutes and 59 seconds at our disposal.

Well try sitting through it for a shy little amount off 80 minutes! Yikes! If it's going to be THAT long, for a single album, it'd wanna be good! Otherwise, it might just end up being a 'chore' to listen to, rather than the listener having a 'ball'.

Well, the first half an hour is the best. The close-minded pop-music fans of this world, BEWARE! Some of those REALLY long ones, like 23 minutes, they good. They're MORE than good. 'The Vision' is a thoroughly enjoyable song, for most of it's duration, even if there's a bit of 'padding out'. I'm sure there's a rough demo somewhere of it at 18 minutes long, and the guys looked at 17 minutes and were like 'you know, it really should be longer' oh yes! We wouldn't be PROG if it weren't over 20 minutes. But anyway, a bit of padding is forgivable, but "Close to the Edge" wasn't padded out to over 20 minutes, yet it's still a classic. And this song might just be as catchy as some of the best pop hits. Rally exciting stuff, actually.

And then there's "Craze this town" a genuine, concerted effort at writing an excellent pop song. A lot of these prog bands whose main attraction is the long song, have fairly disposable short songs, but this one is just as impressive as the opener. And to be fair, Martigan are one of the better 'neo' bands I have come across. They sound 'under the influence' of Genesis, and other classic prog, without being a carbon copy. And they perform with some emotional OOMPH, one thing they got from Gabriel a lot of others' didn't. (How come a review about a neo-prog band always comes back to Gabriel?)

Anyway, after that the album goes to almost 80 minutes, and is never as interesting as those first tow songs, which amass about half an hour, so the remaining FIFTY minutes (over ten minute longer than the original Close to the Edge album) isn't that an enjoyable listen.

The REAL drawback is probably the vocals. While they have passion, the singer doesn't always pronounce his words that well, and (this applies to a lot of prog, even revered classic stuff as well) the vocals aren't always fit into the album well. Oh well, we aren't all perfect. But we all can try to improve. ** 1/2

Brendan | 2/5 |


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