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Nathan Mahl - Heretik Volume I: Body of Accusations CD (album) cover

HERETIK VOLUME I: BODY OF ACCUSATIONS

Nathan Mahl

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.41 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

slipperman
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 2.5 stars.

I can't help but come away with respect for Nathan Mahl after laying ears on this album. But I can't say they've got another fan either. I purchased this album blind, liking some of the descriptions and reviews I'd read. But it's a letdown, as I was expecting something different.

The major flaw here is not the playing, as that is clearly of a high standard. It's the production that I can hardly get past. Guitars are thin and powerless, and the drums sound like "drums" (ie. stiff and artificial, like a drum machine). Even the keyboards, which take most of the main melodies, sound more Casio than Korg. Despite a good degree of influence from '70s jazzrock/prog, there's also too much neo-prog here, a sub-genre I can do without (the beginning of "Heretik Part II" is but one sour spot). More '80s Camel than '70s Camel, if you know what I mean. I also hear some late '80s era Rush (more in sonic terms than performance, as Nahan Mahl are much more into noodling than Rush were then). Of note are the vocals in the middle of "Heretik Part I", uncannily like '90s era Peter Hammill...almost cloned even, but who better to emulate?

Plenty of good playing, great ambition too (songs are lengthy) but nothing sticks very well and the recording is simply awful. Those dirty, "imperfect" early '70s recordings all sound better than this. When it comes to mostly-instrumental jazz-rock, look toward Mahavishnu Orchestra, Secret Oyster, Brand X, Return To Forever and Bruford. Against those, Nathan Mahl, at least this album, may be disappointing to you too.

slipperman | 2/5 |

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