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Manticore - Time to Fly CD (album) cover



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4 stars Now here is a great recording which will appeal to many of the selective listeners out there. This Swedish symphonic act play a richly landscaped style of music and in some ways remind me of a mix of the work of The FLOWER KINGS and JADIS. MANTOCORE's songs are very well written and played with great instrumentation. Their clever choice of instrumentation enables a very full and warm sound with Hammond, Mellotron and magestic Richenbacker accents throughout. Vocals are very well done and are sung effortlessly in English with conviction. This is a wonderfully original sounding album which I would fully recommend.
Report this review (#18173)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not my cup of tea even when I really like many NeoProg music... This album has many great ideas but the music doesn't sound good IMO... Just Manticore Theme and Time to Fly reaches high levels of emotion and very nice prog moments but the other songs sounds... weak.

Maybe it's because the poor work on lyrics; maybe the keys/synths/mellotron solos doesn't work; maybe the lack of guitar solos... I really don't know but the whole album doesn't seems to work. I don't want to dissapoint you, future listenres of this album, but it's not the best way to get into NeoProg...

Report this review (#100775)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Actually, the truth lies in between. I enjoy the songs, indeed we find some great ideas here, the good english accent doesn't impress me, and if you listen to this album in ignorance -comparing with the great 70's scene- you could say: "Well, it's a nice effort." But since i have listened to all the GREAT acts that renewed the prog scene in the 90's, i realized this album is mediocre actually. I've got many many objections: some keyboards sounds sound poor and ...too much 80's for my taste; the drummer seems to have come out of a power metal band; the first vocalist sings bellow par -indifferent i would say- but the second -excuse me, i don't know which is which- is magnificent, but why didn't they stick to one vocalist? The guitar solos are there, (in "Running with the stars" the guitarist even incorporates a Steve Howe [from Yours Is No Disgrace] solo!) but they luck strength.. To conclude, think of Van Halen (don't like them) going prog... It's true, the whole album doesn't seem to work. It's true, it's not the best way to get into NeoProg (misleading album!) But it is a quite enjoyful album, all songs have good moments, and it it's really worth more tham one listenings, even for historical reasons alone!
Report this review (#134788)
Posted Saturday, August 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars With such a name, I would have expected some more keyboards fantasy than the one delivered in this album. Actually, the whole is a pure neo-prog affair (most reviews mentioned this), so I don't know why it sits in the symph category.

Sounds remind us of course of the great trio, but without too much enthusiasm I would say ("New Foundation"). This is a true dull opening number: flat and unemotional vocals (but this is consistent throughout the album, unfortunately), average keyboards, weak melody?

But in terms of melody, the listener is not really rewarded while listening to this long album (over sixty minutes). There will be no follow-up to this debut work and I won't complain. This is just basic neo-prog with sub-par vocals; but still some fine keyboard work ("Running With The Stars").

Vocals are dragging the whole down. If only instrumental a track as "Is It All Too Late" would have been quite acceptable, but as it is?gosh!

As one could have expected, "Manticore Theme" is one of the most ELP-ish track from this album. Excellent keys and rhythmic; this track is bombastic (would you believe) and it is by far my fave. It is also all instrumental which is probably the reason I like it better.

Big hopes could be expected with the soft acoustic guitar intro of the epic "The Maiden", but this is really too much cliché for my ears after that. "Manticore" reminds me of a sub- par "Neuschwanstein" (a German band from the seventies who only released one album).

This is not a very intersting work. Just average. Since the half star rating is not available, I'll just downgrade "Time To Fly" to two stars.

Report this review (#243662)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Very interesting swedish band from the early 90´s who released only an album before breaking up. I can understand the low ratings their solo CD Time To Fly got from some reviewers. After all, with such name, everybody (including me) expected some fiery symphonic keyboardss and a sound much closer to ELP then it turned out to be. Ok, the keys are definitly influenced by Keith Emerson, the timbres are amazingly close to what we are used to hear from him. The bassist singing style also reminds me of Greg Lake in some parts. However, that´s as far as similarities go. Manticore´s music is much more ´song´ oriented than ELP, and they are mucfh more rooted on the melodic tradition of Sweden´s musical scene.

Like so many new bands at the time, this CD was very promising. The band shows they had both the chops and the songwriting skills to go very far. They only needed to mature a little to overcome some cliches and develop their obvious talents. Traces of influences of ELP, Yes and Genesis abound, with a more than a nod to Jon Anderson´s band on Running With The Stars (just listen to the guitar solo). Sometimes they remind of another swedish band that did made it, Galleon (fans of that band should check this album). The production is very good for the time and the tracklist is very regular, with no real highlights but also with no fillers either.

It´s a shame they did not have the opportunity to release a follow up and show what they could do with a little more experience.

Rating: 3 stars. Good, but not essential in any way.

Report this review (#552152)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars for sure

Manticore, this obscure prog band from Sweden with one album released in 1993, got little recognition , and I don't understand the low ratings either, really. Time to fly is the name of the album from 1993 is a symphonic prog album with all the ingredients to be a good one from start to finish. I like it , without any complains. Imagine a combination of The Flower Kings, Kalaban, IQ or with even Camel or Rick Wakeman here and there. The instrumentation is great, lots of great keyboards, hammond , nice guitars, the bass is aswell present at high level, so why these low ratings, never get it. The vocals are more then ok, not a dull moment. The pieces are long enough and have enough variation to keep the listner conected, lots of instrumental passages, that are sounding really intresting, like Running With The Stars, The maiden, etc. Above all, a very nice gate fold cover that is fiting perfectly in the overall symphonic prog sound. Definetly a keeper for me and easy 3.5 stars, that is meaning above good towards great. Unfairly unnoticed prog album from early '90s prog scene.

Report this review (#1726696)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2017 | Review Permalink

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