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Explorers Club

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Explorers Club Raising the Mammoth album cover
3.34 | 65 ratings | 8 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Raising the Mammoth 1
- i. Passage to Paralysis (15:03)
- ii. Broad Decay (11:43)
- iii. Vertebrates (11:17)
2. Raising the Mammoth 2: AKA Prog-o-matic - Gigantipithicus (21:18)

Total Time 59:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Terry Bozzio / drums
- John Myung / bass
- Kerry Livgren / guitar
- Marty Friedman / guitar
- Gary Wehrkamp / guitar
- Trent Gardner / keyboards
- Mark Robertson / keyboards
- Steve Walsh / vocals
- James LaBrie / vocals

- Jeff Curtis / additional guitar
- Hal 'Stringfellow' Imbrie / additional bass

Releases information

Magna Carta # MA-9046-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy EXPLORERS CLUB Raising the Mammoth Music

EXPLORERS CLUB Raising the Mammoth ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

EXPLORERS CLUB Raising the Mammoth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
5 stars The wait was far too long for me for another EXPLORER'S CLUB album I loved the first one and "Raising The Mammoth" is unquestionably a serious prog-rock opus from some of the best performers in the genus. It never ceases to amaze me how these wonderful artists consider all this prolific and thought provoking work as side projects. That is an indication of the level of professionalism and talent that we are dealing with here. Lord knows how they all find the time to juggle their busy schedules to contribute to these projects. Just look at the names involved in Trent Gardner's newest onslaught for your ears ... Steve Walsh, Kerry Livgren, James LaBrie, John Myung, Terry Bozzio, Gary Wehrkamp, and a host of others that are very recognizable names in the industry today.

Note that there are 44 tracks listed, do not let that be a misunderstanding; it still manages to clock in just under an hour. This is your representative progressive rock format with explicitly long and drawn out soloing, and one song lasting nearly half the album. It's overkill, overindulgence, whatever you want to call it, it is the way it should be. It all works like a charm thank you very much. It turns out sounding like one big jam session that never ends, it's great and I loved every minute of it. This CD is leans heavily on the instrumental continuum, and rightfully so. Everyone needs to strut their stuff, and they do it in a big way. This is a decidedly keyboard oriented recording, which comes as no surprise, after all its Trent's gig. It sounds like everyone is having the time of their lives on this session, even though the intensity level is so high. You can tell that the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Walsh and LaBrie sound great, former Megadeth lead guitar slinger Marty Friedman is allowed to go nuts; he is all over the musical map from beginning to end. It seems as though Marty was able to purge his soul after the untimely break up of his legendary group.

I am just beside myself every time I listen to music like this. It sucks me right in and mesmerizes me. I always find myself craving for more once the CD stops. That is what the entire purpose of music is, to sweep you away to some far away place where nobody can see you or communicate with you, it's just you and the music. I don't know about you, but prog-rock like this always does it for me. I never feel like I can do the music enough justice with my words on an emotional level. It always moves me so, at times beyond any words that I could possibly express. If all of that is not enough motivation for you to check this CD out then I think its time to put your stereo in the attic. Now with that, I bid you farewell until the next prog-rock masterpiece comes out that I can gush about.

Review by hdfisch
3 stars Edited 09/28/05

Second output of this supergroup is in some way better than "Age Of Impact", because it's not based mainly on "technicality for technicality's sake", but therefore it has its weak point in the second track "Broad Decay" which is too much in a R&B vein, at least for my taste. But the rest of the album is quite well done and certainly more versatile than the first one. There are again excellent musicians involved, instead of Derek Sherinian we have here the pleasure to listen to Mark Robertson of the great band CAIRO, Petrucci found a really good replacement in Marty Friedman and bass is now in good hands by John Myung known from his activities with PLATYPUS, KING'S X and THE JELLY JAM. And besides Friedman we have two more excellent guitarists with Kerry Livgren from KANSAS and Gary Wehrkamp who played already for AYREON and SHADOW GALLERY. Plus two great vocalists provided by KANSAS and DREAM THEATER. MAGELLAN's input on this release is reduced to only one of the Gardner brothers, but since there are already three great guitarists, Wayne is not really missed. Keyboards (I think Robertson's) remind me sometimes very much to that ones of Keith Emerson. A very good record and I'd rate it as well with 3,5 stars!

Review by b_olariu
2 stars Sad, but this album for me is totaly aimless. When i saw the musicians of the highest calibre on this second effort i said to myself. wow is gonna be a great one. But what a lack of everything on this album. Boring, without head or tail, totaly diseppointment to me. Nothing to add but once again it's clear that you don't have to be only a very good musician as individual, but you have to be good in a team, and the team here simply don't work together. What is on Raising the mammoth is only 2 stars, sad because the musicians are among the best in prog music.
Review by progrules
3 stars So that's what happens if a successfull project is urged to get a follow-up. Obviously Explorer's Club was mainly founded for the Age of Impact concept because that was a terrific thought out and worked out idea but it lasted 4 years before the successor arrived. I had been waiting anxiously for this successor and hoped it would be a match for the great debut.

But eventhough it has become a highly original concept album which is also loved by quite a number of people (or at least appreciated) I can't help being disappointed about it but that has also to do with the inevitable comparison with its predecessor. I mean there are no high quality mindblowing guitar solos on this one and also hardly any brilliant instrumental passages like on Age of Impact. The vocals are more dominant on this album than on Age of Impact. And a genuine piece of criticism I have is the in some cases repetitive passages that are annoying to me really.

This is more like a piece of art to me. And you know what it is with art. You have to feel the idea of its creator and if you don't it mostly doesn't mean anything for you. That's exactly the case for me here. I have no connection with this album, I can detect a lot of original music but nothing for my personal taste. Then again, I'm a Philistine so that probably explains.

So I wouldn't be too disappointed with this review if I was Explorer's club or a great fan of this album. It's (like always) just an opinion. I still give it 3 stars because I know it's something special.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars A Prog-mammoth

Explores Club is obviously a project strongly inspired by the classic Prog bands of the 70's. But they are not only inspired by these 'Prog-mammoths', they include some of them within their ranks. On the first Explorers Club album, Age Of Impact, we could hear Steve Howe and on this second album we can hear Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren from Kansas. The presence of these two gentlemen together with the fact that I very much liked Age Of Impact made me very interested in Raising The Mammoth. While I think that it is not up to par with the first, I was not disappointed by this album.

Steve Walsh sings lead on major parts of the album and he is in good form here. Other parts are handled by James LaBrie and some by project leader and producer Trent Gardner himself. Like on Age Of Impact we also hear contributions from some other members of Dream Theater (but not John Petrucci this time). Guitar duties are taken over by Marty Friedman which is not a bad replacement. Still, Raising The Mammoth is a bit more keyboard oriented compared to Age Of Impact. Terry Bozzio of UK fame (among other bands) is also once again aboard. The presence of Prog legends like Bozzio, Livgren and Walsh really lends this project some classic credibility that often lacking in most new Prog bands.

Explorers Club manages to create something interesting of their own; heavily informed by the classics, and sometimes by them, but not copying them. So while Explorers Club clearly belongs to a genre and a tradition, I do not find them derivative. At least not in the blatant sense of so many Neo-Prog and Prog Metal bands trying to sound exactly like their older heroes without having the direct relation to them like in Explorer's Club.

There is a slight Metal sound and feeling on several passages but much less so than in Dream Theater, for example. As I said, Raising The Mammoth is slightly more keyboard dominated reminding of Emerson Lake & Palmer. But there is even a slight New Age/World Music influence in this music but not as much as on Age Of Impact.

The album is divided into two main parts called Raising The Mammoth 1 and Raising The Mammoth 2 (AKA Prog-O-Matic) Gigantipithicus. Raising The Mammoth 1 is in turn divided into three parts. Somewhat confusingly the tracks on the CD do not follow this division, however. The albums having as many as 44 tracks! This makes it the case that hearing this album is mp3 format becomes tedious with a slight glitch between every track. You therefore really need the CD. Might this be the motivation behind having so many tracks?

Raising The Mammoth 1 very good and is up to par with the material on Age Of Impact. Raising The Mammoth 2 (AKA Prog-O-Matic) Gigantipithicus, however, does not only have a very silly title but it is a 28 minute long instrumental that I feel lacks any clear direction. It is not awful by any means but it is not very memorable. This brings this album down a bit.

Still, this is recommended for those who liked Age Of Impact and for those who follow the careers of the individual musicians involved. For the average Prog fan, however, this is a good, but non-essential album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars The second and final release (possibly) from the EXPLORERS CLUB is once again led by keyboardist Trent Gardner. Mark Robertson helps him out on keys while John Myung (bass),Terry Bozzio (drums),Wehrkamp, Friedman and Livgren (guitars) , LaBrie and Walsh (vocals) fill out the lineup. So once again a steller lineup with KANSAS and DREAM THEATER well represented.

The suite Raising The Mammoth is divided into three sections. What's a little confusing is that both my stereo and computer show 44 tracks for this album instead of the four long ones that are shown on the back of the cd cover.Yup something like this drives me crazy. It is interesting though as you listen to the music there are distinct changes after each part, so the 44 songs or sections are warranted I suppose. Instrumentally this album is impressive much of the time. I can't say the two vocalists are my favourites by any means but they are both fine. I like when the sound finally settles down on the 13th part and we get some atmosphere. From here on out the tempo and mood shifts quite a bit. Not a fan of the backing vocals that are prevelant. Lots of synths too. Love the guitar opening the 27th section though.

I think I like this a little more than the debut but it's still a 3 star album at best.

Latest members reviews

3 stars REVIEW #15 - "Raising the Mammoth" by Explorer's Club (2002). 08/19/2018 I was surprised to see that Explorer's Club, a prog side project supergroup headed by the late Magellan keyboardist Trent Gardner, operated out of nearby Vacaville, California in Solano County. Being just about thirty mile ... (read more)

Report this review (#1988482) | Posted by SonomaComa1999 | Saturday, August 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Man thank god for side projects lol Dang i will say i thought this album was going to be dissappointing since certain members aren't in this album like Petrucci and Sheehan. But with a few new guys like how about Steve Walsh, Kerry Livegren, Gary Werhkamp, Marty Friedman, and John Myung man h ... (read more)

Report this review (#84981) | Posted by Progdrummer05 | Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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