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It Bites - Map Of The Past CD (album) cover

MAP OF THE PAST

It Bites

 

Crossover Prog

3.63 | 111 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
5 stars Neo prog bands from the 80s. Some are still talked about even today. There definitely has been a resurgent among the nostalgic prog scene in the past few years. With bands like Twelfth Night, IQ and even the head of the neo prog movement, Marillion being stronger than ever, one of the oddest bands to appear back was It Bites.

Now these guys had success with a song in the 80s called Calling All Heroes. They faded away and had moments, but with there last album, The Tall Ships, they really made a statement, cause the album is amazing.

I really loved the last album and this one needed to be really amazing to have me favour this album over the last. And yea, this is probably going to beat it. But just by a fraction.

I mean it, this album is basically perfect. These guys are spectacular song writers. Also, this being a concept album, makes the songs even more impressive.

The concept of the album is mainly based around nostalgia, with lyrics dealing with childhood, war, death, family and even some simple fanatical stories. The concept really gives the album a magical skin around the surface, and only makes the album more enjoyable. Lyrically, the album is just amazing and very impressive. John Mitchell's lyrics, and his vocals are just spectacular. I would even like to admit that John Mitchell is one of the best vocalists out at the moment.

The album also sounds very modern. I know this band have been around for a bit, but it sounds like these dudes are only in there 20's, yet they all are in there 30's-50's. For a band to sound so youthful...now that's impressive.

The song arrangements also differ to the songs found on The Tall Ships. The songs are a lot more shorter and compact. Sadly I would have liked to have seen one or 2 epics on the album, but the 2 longest songs (being only 6 minutes) are pretty cool short epics.

Instrumentally, the band is flawless. The songs are pop songs at heart, but have smart intricate moments and some very impressive almost virtuostic moments. The band may be a pack of ugly old todgers, but they really can play and sing their hearts out.

The production of the album is as usual, spectacular. John Mitchell is a producer in his own right, and most albums I've heard him produce have been top notch.

There really isn't a bad moment on this album. Some songs are stronger than others yes, but there really isn't any weak moments. The songwriting on this album is top notch.

1. Man In The Photograph - A beautiful almost harmonium sounding intro. Great start to the album. The radio sounds give the song the added nostalgia. 9/10

2. Wallflower - Can't think of a better way to kick off the album. Definitely one of the catchiest songs on the album. The song also has one of the most mental keyboard solos I've heard in a long time. 10/10

3. Map Of The Past - A great chorus and some amazing songwriting. The song has a very Biffy Clyro feel about it, mixed with some Rush sounding intricacies. 9/10

4. Clocks - A beautiful ballad on the album. Great arrangement and some great vocals on the song. 10/10

5. Flag - One of those songs where the verses have more of an impact than the chorus' do. A very cheerful song. 9/10

6. The Big Machine - One of the most kick ass songs on the album. Has quite a dark tone to it, but still has that It Bites melodic cheeriness. 9/10

7. Cartoon Graveyard - The intro of this song is so suspenseful, with the use of a music box sound (I'm a sucker for music boxes). The rest is really an epic build up of a song. Short and sweet, and amazing. 10/10

8. Send No Flowers - Ok...this song has one of the most epic intros I have heard in a song. The song reminds me of early Genesis, being quite a dramatic song, with build ups and some cool vocal moments. 10/10

9. Meadow & The Stream - The lyrics of this song make me laugh. The song itself is pretty cool, and the instrumental work is pretty impressive. 10/10

10. The Last Song - A beautiful ballad. The vocal arrangements in the song really is amazing, and the song itself is just a very beautiful and moving songs. 10/10

11. Exit Song - A nice little ending to the album. 7/10

CONCLUSION: It's pretty much a flawless album. I knew this was going to be good, and when this album finished, I was surprised at how good it actually was. These songs are now gonna be stuck in my head for a long time, and now these guys have made 2 superb masterpieces, I'm looking forward to whatever they are going to throw at me next.

9.2/10

arcane-beautiful | 5/5 |

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