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Martigan Vision album cover
3.86 | 145 ratings | 16 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Boatmans Vision (23:12)
2. Craze This Town (6:46)
3. Snapshots (2:22)
4. Touch In Time (7:57)
5. A Great Concern (1:03)
6. Much More (6:51)
7. Red & Green (10:56)
8. The Contract (20:11)

Total Time: 79:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Kai Markwordt / lead vocals, electric (3) & 12-string guitars
- Björn Bisch / electric & acoustic guitars
- Oliver Strahl (Rebhan) / keyboards
- Peter Kindler / bass
- Alex Bisch / drums, backing vocals

- Mirko Bäumer / lead & backing vocals
- Florian Saupp / kids voice (1)

Releases information

CD Floh Dur ‎- 2 4941 5 (2009, Germany)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MARTIGAN Vision ratings distribution

(145 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MARTIGAN Vision reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The greatest asset emanating from membership in Progarchives is the free-willed sharing of information and how some members smartly interact by sending suggestions and reading relevant and often revealing reviews that can engender some amazing discoveries. Often we thank some colleague for a recommendation that turns out to be a godsend. So I thank synthphony who hinted that this album may be down my alley. We had already conversed about how tough "neo-prog" can be, with a lot of mediocre stuff sprinkled with a few unknown jewels. I had no clue about German band Martigan, so I accessed the video on PA and I liked that a lot, went out to purchase it! Wow, what a ride this is , a colossal nearly 80 minute musical fest that is drenched in so may delectable moments that I will probably need a few dozen spins to absorb it all (now that doesn't sound like your pedestrian neo album, huh?) . First the boys in the band, led by the ultra-talented Kai Marckwordt who was correctly identified by our "hibou" as owning a voice eerily close to David Cousins' and Uncle Phil Collins, the dense and ably concocted keyboard weavings of Oliver Rebhan , the Bisch brothers Björn on scintillating lead guitar and Alex on power drums , all ably supported by the fluid bass prompting of Peter Kindler. The disc disrobes with the mammoth marathon "Boatman's Vision", a 23 minute journey into the deepest progressive expanses, undistilled expressions of groove heavy space-rock flavored with classic neo ornamentations but also possessing constant tempo changes just to keep the mood challenging. This is truly a musical voyage, a blissful evasion into some personal heaven that permits and in fact even perpetuates a world of fantasy and abandon, highlighted by some incredibly sharp timbres, sketching fickle themes and raunchy dynamics. The rude guitar likes to spice up the proceedings with unfettered gusto, aided and abetted by some colossal synthesizer/mellotron waves while the bass & drum unit keep everything tight and concise. "Craze This Town" is a more concise affair with innovative effects, breezy modern keyboard frazzle and impeccable sonic dazzle. A remarkable guitar solo seals the deal, as Björn has really mastered his hold over the finicky neo-prog guitar seat. "Snapshots" is a succinct interlude that winks to the celestial expanse of the galaxy, slow strung guitar notes over a cosmic keyboard shower while Kai comments on the routine of life. "Touch in Time" is fascinatingly modern and a tad melancholic piece where pinging synths tick and gentle piano tock as Kai muses effusively a la Fish/Gabriel (actually closer to Adam Lassa of Polish band Abraxas), the brutish guitar paints delicate swaths of emotion, raging with bluster then swooning in pain, all coated in lush symphonic layers. There is an overpowering bombastic feel that is close to Collage -period Moonshine, (a huge compliment by the way!) that exudes a deep charm. "Much More" broods deeply with extensive orchestrations when the guitar just turbo-charges ahead, taking the piece into rhythmic overdrive, slowed only by the brief vocal storyline and evolves into a masterful instrumental foray that renders speechless! If this is neo, it ain't wimpy! The final 2 epic tracks are really the proverbial cherry on the cake, the groovy 10 minute "Red & Green" is a wondrous escape into spacey prog (great modern beat with Spanish guitar and fabulous singing by Kai), certainly a favorite track with an incredible solo guitar that rekindles the emotional spirit of the classic master craftsmen (Gilmour, Latimer and Hackett), bubbling bass and thumping drums give this piece an almost funky feel as it explodes into expansive creativity. This is my fave track here, without a doubt. As for the 20 minute finale "The Contract", hold onto your hats Progboys, we have a classic here to sink those hungry ears into, a whirlwind track that will satiate those inner cravings! Delicate piano introduces the orchestral plaint, an elegant theme that will fascinate the Wakeman fans. The bass pops in to fling this puppy into proggier orbits, the guitar shoving it along but they all fail to dim the piano's plight, Kai singing his heart out with obvious glee . Observably, the tempo changes constantly by introducing new fundamentals, assorted vocal effects and stretchy bass lines cannot deviate the magical piano from conducting this baby toward the upper reaches of Prog bliss. Scratch organ solos, riveting guitar explosions, wispy synth intricacies, the bass holding it all down and a drummer who can actually drum! The musicians are first rate instrumentalists. Somehow, this amazing band may go unnoticed which would be a crying shame as the material here is on par with the previously mentioned Moonshine or IQ's Dark Matter, ICU's Now & Here and a few other "neo"gems. Please check this band out . You won't believe this but we are talking 5 Cologne hallucinations! Thanks keith!
Review by progrules
5 stars On one of the traditional progevenings here in Holland I heard this terrific album for the first time when it was released in february. My instinctive reaction was to get it as soon as possible and so I did. With the next few spins it became obvious that I hadn't been mistaken in my first conviction. I'm proud to announce to you a new masterpiece !

First and longest track of this very long album is immediately one of the very highlights although this album contains a lot of those. Boatman's Vision is an incredible epic and if my gut feeling is right here it will be in my top 10 of all time best songs ever. The reason is simple. This long song contains at least four amazing guitar solos of the highest melodic quality living up to my taste for 100%. Sometimes I can't believe what I'm hearing, it's simply that good. But besides these solos the rest of the epic, like the composition and build up is superb as well. This song is still growing on me and that is only logical because it's very long and complex. 5 stars.

Next song, Craze this Town is much shorter but apart from that of the same quality as previous. Also here tremendous guitar, where do they come from all these solos, I mean from what genius brain ? It's simply too good to be true. 4,75*.

After the short interlude Snapshots we get to a different kind of track called Touch in Time. The vein of this track is different from the first two. Suddenly the style gets much heavier, more emotional, majestic and all in all it sounds very impressive. Also here a great guitar solo at the end. 4,5*.

Much More is the next and it's a well chosen title as we get much more of the previous with this one, again impressive with this time a large contribution by the keyboards. It's fantastic this album keeps reaching this huge level of quality ! 4,75-5*.

Red & Green again shows that Martigan is not a simple band floating on one special feature because once again we are treated with a totally different style, much more quiet this one with instrumental contributions by several instruments amongst which the flute. Long instrumental passages and great variation. 5*.

Last track is the second very long epic and starts with quiet piano, after that organ and vocals followed bij another variegated piece of art. With many instruments doing great jobs, also an interesting atmosphere created here contributes to the extremely high level. What a worthy closer of one of the best albums ever made, I'm convinced. 5*.

The only thing that can go wrong for me with this one is that I'm so much into it right now that I have gone blind for the faults and weaknesses. I'm blown away at this point but who knows how it feels after 100 times listening ? I have no idea but right now is what we are talking about and right now it's 5 stars without any doubt.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Martigan is one of those new bands that make keep the faith in this kind of music. Vision is their latest release and is surely a masterpiece of prog music. I´ve always thought that a good, original and powerful symphonic prog could be done without losing sight for the simple, sing a long tune and the great hook (think of classic Yes, Genesis and Renaissance). And Martigan does just that. Their music is intricated, the musicians are skillful and the arrangements are very elaborated. And still, Vision is melodic, accessible and catchy. What a feat!

The CD impressed me quite a bit. If their previous efford (Man Of The Moment) was already excellent, this one is simply brilliant. Vision sounds like a long, well crafted suite, every song merging with the other in a seemless tapestry of sounds. And yet, at almost 80 minutes, the album does not have a single boring moment. Their songwriting abilities are as good as their talent to play their instruments. Their inspiration seems to be endless. And it´s been such a long time I´ve seen such bunch of fine artists play for the band, with no apparent ego battles. Bass and drums swirl like they were born playing together, the keyboards are varied and tasteful, guitar plays short, but inspired, emotional solos and vocalist Kai Markwordt has a pleasant, dramatic, voice to match (a bit like Peter Gabriel´s, but not much).

It´s hard to describe their sound: it´s all their own, yet familar. There are echoes of early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, Saga, Moody Blues, Beatles and many others great ones, but so well developed into the Martigan way I can´t really pinpoint them. It´s just great music. There are no highlights in this CD, since the music flows evenly, without a single bad moment or even a small filler. As I said before, you dont´t really notice when a song starts and the other finishes. For such a long record it always sound to me quite short in the end. The production also helps, top notch.

Vision needs some good few spins to fully appreciate their sound, but once you do, you´re hooked. Martigan is surely a band to keep na eye on. They succeed in something most groups try and fail: to make a kind of music that is appealling to many different audiences and still produce something unique. Warning: highly addictive!.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars I'm kinda lost the art of writing long wordy reviews, so I'll be as short and informative as possible. MARTIGAN's "Visions" is indeed an amazing album. It's a bit too long (since it contains songs from previous albums, I'd rather regard it as a compilation) and sometimes a bit TOO deja-vu-like (solos and singleads sound sooo familiar, you know), but the main thing about it is true: this is the best Neo-Prog release this year, very MARILLION/GENESIS/etc- inspired, with that special keyboard choises like mellotron/moog/hammond and Hackettish guitarwork. Vocals are even too much Gabrielesque/Fishy for the genre, and some parts are inevitably cheesy, but c'mon, have you been hoping for a clasy Neo-Prog album in times when Porcupine Theater occupies the Progthrone? Highly recommended!
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. There's been quite a buzz surrounding this album in Prog circles and for good reason. This Neo-Prog band from Germany aren't new but many like myself really didn't know who they were when we heard the name MARTIGAN. They've been making albums since 1995 but this is only their fourth studio album. It seems like they got it right this time (haha). I'm a big fan of this genre and MARTIGAN push all the right buttons for me, although an over 79 minute album is a mistake in my books. Heck the opening and closing tracks alone make up over 43 minutes by themselves. And those two tracks impress me the most. I would have been happy with just those two. The rest is good but it does keep me from giving this 4 stars.Vocals are in English and they have that Gabriel / Fish sort of style and are well done. Lots of keyboards and guitar, and the bass is quite chunky for the most part. And yes the drumming might be the best attribute of this band. So lots to like here.

"Boatman's Vision" opens with the sound of someone changing stations on the radio before the synths and bass come in, then a full sound after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals a minute later. Some spoken words here too, both male and female. I like when it kicks back in at 6 minutes and the guitar that follows. Check out the drumming and organ after 9 minutes. More great drum work 11 minutes in and the guitar is ripping it up after 14 1/2 minutes.The tempo continues to shift. I like when the chorus is reprised late "Guardian angels drift out of the screen". "Craze" has some enjoyable synths and bass in the intro. Vocals and atmosphere come in as the bass continues. Some soaring guitar on this one especially 4 1/2 minutes in and to end it.

"Snapshots" has some atmosphere as synths wash in and we get some sparse bass and guitar. Spoken words end it. "Touch In Time" opens fairly calmly but both the vocals and instrumental work begin to get passionate. Contrasts continue. Some beauiful guitar 6 1/2 minutes in. "A Giant Concern" is a short pastoral tune with vocals. "Much More" has some orchestration in the intro and throughout. Lots of synths around 5 minutes. "Red & Green" is a cool tune with a catchy beat. "The Contract" is the over 20 minute closer. Piano to open before pulsating synths come in around 1 1/2 minutes. Some heaviness too. Solo piano again after 2 minutes before the vocals and a fuller sound take over. Great guitar sound 4 1/2 minutes and a minute later. It settles 7 minutes in with piano and bass, drums join in. The tempo continues to change back and forth. I like the guitar 16 1/2 minutes in. Piano ends it.

For me this is a feel good album that is well done but way too long. A good album regardless.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of these albums, where after listening it, you decide whether to give 4, or 5 (and anything lesser than these two seemed irrational). First important thing, it's packed to maximum extent, lasting 79 minutes of genre, that is gaining a lot of popularity today, Neo- prog. After first listen, I would give 5 star instantly, with clear conscience. But now, I hesitate.

It's like Arena (but don't worry, a lot of musical acts from Neo genre reminds me Arena), but I have one problem here. When guitar solos are on, I feel that the chords and melody is repeating. There's also one similarity, first track, Boatman's Vision reminds me "Red Sand" in certain parts (such as first quarter and last two minutes). But even during this song, my enthusiasm dropped to minimum, because this just didn't fit in for me. I don't know if it's this German accent that is clearly to hear (I don't like "rrr"), or that all elements are in place, it should work and it normally works (in other Neo-bands), but not here. Because something is bad here, I don't have so good feeling from this. So

3(+) for good album, but not so good (for me at least)

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Chock full of colorful music, Martigan's Vision is a grand affair, with a fair bit to like, and at the same time, a fair bit to not like. Each instrument wields tones that find favor with me, especially during instrumental sections- in lead roles, the guitarist and keyboardist are astonishing. There are several memorable passages (the refrain of "Boatman's Vision" is remarkable), and the rhythm section does a fine job holding things together. However, much of the album is droningly cheesy, almost embarrassing at times. The "Slipperman" vocals wear out their welcome quickly, and, aside from the grossly generic neo-progressive arrangements and sound, ultimately serve to drag the whole album down.

"Boatman's Vision" Two stately epics appear on this album. The first one properly begins with bright, almost frosty tones, and a majestic chord progression. The refrain is highly enjoyable, as the lead singer's voice (which sounds like a cross between Cat Stevens and Peter Gabriel with a cold) is suited to the majestic melody. Some portions of the piece drag badly, particularly those theatric, Genesis-like segments, and there's nothing groundbreaking with regard to the lengthy instrumental passages. However, none of that keeps this from being one of the best pieces on the album.

"Craze This Town" A slow, synthetic song, this rather sounds like the opening theme tune to a prime time police drama back in the 1980s. Otherwise, it's closer to a Bruce Hornsby number.

"Snapshots" Open synthesizer and clean guitar, coupled with dark vocals, make this short snippet similar to something from 1980s Pink Floyd.

"Touch In Time" Electronic tones pepper this piano-led piece. As it grows darker and heavier, the singer migrates quickly between hideous growls and high-pitched falsettos. Largely, the song is very similar to early Marillion.

"A Great Concern" Piano, acoustic guitar, and husky vocals make up this 63-second bit.

"Much More" The almost orchestral beginning is the harbinger of even more exciting music, with lovely lead guitar and a fabulous synthesizer solo.

"Red & Green" After a lush introduction, the music takes on electronic and exotic layers that make it a wee bit cheesy. That said, this, like the first track, turns out to be quite a memorable ride, despite sounding like a shameless mid-tempo dance track.

"The Contract" Airy synthesizer and light piano drip onto the blank canvas of the second large piece. After the introduction, a bubby bass and trembling organ bounce in, followed by crunchy guitar and heavy drums. That too, ends inexplicably, to allow for a piano segment By this point, things really become cliché, not just in terms of sound, but with respect to the lyrics. As a consolation, there's some fabulous lead guitar work. Halfway through, the song resumes its piecemeal tedium, never to divest itself of it again.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars Vision by Martigan is typical example of contemporary neo-prog. This band from Germany makes real breakthrough on prog scene with the release of Vision. It contains some good ideas and interesting way of playing of instruments. Especially guitar player, who's highly influenced by Steve Hackett's style of playing. As many of neo prog albums, it concentrate our attention on first track - Boatmans Vision. It's indisputably innovative, full of fresh tempo changes and well-constructed tunes. After this wonderful song the album turn aside to an unvaried rhythm and continues like that to the end of the album. There are some pleasant (Genesis-like) sounds, but nothing more unexpected and provoking, than good radio mainstream songs you won't get here. 3 stars.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have been conditioned to like this album by some of my progmates who regularly visit my blog. They said that this album by Martigan will remind me to Marillion's Fish era. Well, I was not interested at all, actually, with that kind of statement because I thought Fish' voice is so unique (I disagree that Fish is emulating Peter Gabriel exactly) so I did not really believe that there would be band(s) that is similar with Fish era of Marillion. Finally I got the album and I conclude that ...

Quality does not correspond directly to outcome

Well, yeah ...I believe you would say that the musical quality of Martigan in this album is good or in fact excellent and in some ways I agree and some other ways I don't. Let me elaborate my reasoning, in particular with this album.

It does not sound original in terms of music style as the first time I listened to this album I did not find something unique delivered by this band. The style is totally copy cat to any bands in neo progressive bands - mellow and keyboard based with some efforts to make the tagline melody is going to sound in memorable way. To put it in simple way, I was not impressed with the opening track as it demonstrates more on its mellow style and is trying to make the song melodious but it sounds like being forced to become melodious. What makes me feel something like bored is when there is part where it copies the style that Pallas made in its "The Cross and The Crucible" album. Oh man .. it bores me... Why these gentlemen copy the style very easily from Pallas? It scores the music down - in my view. So the epic "Boatman's Vision" which consumes 23 minutes in duration does not stir my emotion at all and I really get bored.

Nice music segments. Despite its lacking on creating good nuances due to its copy cat to previous bands (Pallas), I have to admit there are excellent segments throughout the music especially those with electric guitar or keyboard solo. The music segments that in some way to another make them associated with the kinds of neo prog music are the things that I can enjoy the music. I have seen the guitarist plays good parts in providing his solo shot in some important segments of the music. The instrumental segments in "Much More" is quite good, really.

Melody is quite melodious in a away but it does not sound quite natural to my ears. It's probably the vocal quality is not something that I expect from neo prog music like this. I can imagine if the vocal is something like in Arena, it would sound excellent to me my ears. In my opinion the vocal part does not sound blended with the music and in some segments the vocal sounds awkward like those parts in second track "Craze This Town".

In conclusion, musically this is a good album as you would find in nice segments where it has solo guitar. But unfortunately the music fails to stir my emotion it sounds just flat to me. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Warthur
3 stars Martigan's Vision might be shamelessly Genesis-mimicing neo-prog, but - as I always find myself saying about The Watch - at least they're interesting about it. With vocal performances drawing mainly on Peter Gabriel's style (with a touch of Dave Cousins and Phil Collins sprinkled in, as others have preserved) and a musical approach which takes an unusually forceful and strident approach to the classic 80s neo-prog sound, it's not anything prog veterans haven't heard before, but it's nice to hear bands doing it so well. Shave a star off if you really can't stand Genesis imitation, but otherwise I think most neo-prog fans will think this is a reasonably exciting and entertaining second tier effort.

For me, though, the vocals slightly spoil it; they're prominent enough to be hard to ignore, and it's a little too obvious that Kai Markwordt is trying to imitate Peter Gabriel and not quite pulling it off.

Review by friso
5 stars Martigan is a German heavy neo-prog group in the vain of Arena, IQ and Pallas. This album, 'Vision', is their most well-known record and though not without its controversy, it is seen as a classic of the genre. Well, this is basically so deeply neo-prog that its probably impossible to get into for outsiders of the genre. The implied sophistication, the scif-fi atmospheres, the bombastic symphonic arrangements and vocal theatrics are all over the place here. Furthermore, the record runs for almost 80 minutes and has two tracks clocking over 20 minutes long. The heavy guitars by Bj'rn Bisch remind me of John Mitchell's style on Arena's 'Contagion' and his great solo's are among the best the genre has to offer. His leads on the opening track 'Boatmans Vision' are very exciting and cast that perfect neo-prog mystique. The songwriting reminds me a bit of Pallas. A great eye for what is really catchy and works, but also that slightly unfinished feel and lack of sense about how to keep things approachable - which as a fan of the genre I myself really like (after four spins anyway). When all is said and done Martigan has one major flaw; the German accent of vocalist Kai Markwordt is so bad you don't even recognize most English words. I simply don't understand why a band, a producer or a record company would even accept this, whereas such a problem can easily be fixed by taking lessons. The seemingly shameless attitude of Markwordt is however also his biggest attribute; his variety in using his voice in different ways and enthusiasm for the music is quite special. He is obviously inspired by early Fish. The album its first halve is perhaps the better halve (I would rate it five stars) and I would approach this album as a double record. The second halve doesn't have any weak moment as well, but it lacks the excellence and on point songwriting of a track like 'Boatmans Vision'. It does offer some variety in sound pallet with 'Red & Green' having a jungle vibe and 'The Contract' with its lighter and more contemplative atmosphere. 'Much More' is a nice up tempo rocker as well. Together they make up for this very worthwhile release that fans of neo-prog should listen to. I would love to be able to get a 2lp of Martigan's 'Vision', but I doubt there will ever be such a re-release.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is my favorite album of all times with Genesis's Gabriel years!!! Why did I never hear of German band Martigan before? I asked myself that question many times while listening to Vision. Let me first say something about the band's history. In 1994, keyboardist Oliver Rebhan founded Martig ... (read more)

Report this review (#821383) | Posted by mbzr48 | Saturday, September 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 al ... (read more)

Report this review (#465384) | Posted by Brendan | Monday, June 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Vision is bringing nothing new compared to the previous album. Where I hoped that Martigan could become one of my favorite bands, again this album is dissapointing to me. The band misses orginality and creativity. I get the feeling that they listened very good to other bands in the same style ... (read more)

Report this review (#247150) | Posted by mscbox | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Martigan delivers a very convincing and strong neo prog album. In this busy corner of progressive music competition is tough. This may be the reason why this album did not received the attention it deserves. This album will definitely be part of my ten most favourite albums of 2009. Most striking is ... (read more)

Report this review (#229414) | Posted by Keet | Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A very complex album of this neo prog band. It is complex because here we find not only neo prog rock music.The main building is neo prog,but in the rooms we find symphonic prog and psychedelic space rock. Nevertheless the classic neo prog bands inffluences, this one has some simmilarities t ... (read more)

Report this review (#210742) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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