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MANIKIN PARADE

Vangough

Progressive Metal


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Vangough Manikin Parade album cover
3.49 | 45 ratings | 17 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Estranger (6:13)
2. Manikin Parade (7:57)
3. Christmas Scars (7:37)
4. Handful Of Dreams (5:37)
5. Disorder Quotient (4:42)
6. Bricolage Theater (1:24)
7. Paradise For The Lost (The Twilight Part I: Deception) (9:21)
8. Gabrielle (The Twilight Part II: Love) (6:19)
9. Dance Of The Summer Mind (5:41)
10. One Dark Birthday (6:59)
11. Etude Of Sorrow (The Twilight Part III: Oblivion) (8:44)
12. Halcyon Days (1:46)
13. The Cosmic Bus Stop (2:44)

Total time 75:04

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Clay Withrow / guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass
- Brandon Lopez / drums

Releases information

Self Released

Thanks to Plankowner for the addition
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Buy VANGOUGH Manikin Parade Music


Between the MadnessBetween the Madness
CD Baby 2013
Audio CD$10.38
$15.41 (used)
Manikin ParadeManikin Parade
Dissonance Rising Publishing 2009
Audio CD$4.48
$7.99 (used)
Kingdom of RuinKingdom of Ruin
Nightmare Records 2011
Audio CD$7.47
$7.75 (used)
Game On!Game On!
Dissonance Rising Publishing 2010
Audio CD$27.10
$17.98 (used)
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VANGOUGH Manikin Parade ratings distribution


3.49
(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

VANGOUGH Manikin Parade reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Man Overboard
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Being familiar with American prog upstart Clay Withrow's previous album Dissonance Rising, it was with high expectations that I entered into the month-long journey of reviewing this album. Long nights with lyrics and headphones, warm blankets, hot herbal tea, and a low-wattage bare bulb... It's been an adventure, for sure.

I don't know any other way to put this: buy this record. Every once in a while, a genre will produce a record that stands tall and proud in a sea of copycats and wannabes. Progressive metal has taken many shapes over the years, with quite a few standard-breaking gems. A.C.T's Last Epic comes to mind, with its schizophrenically bouncy, driven music and vocals painting a disturbing backdrop as contrast to the dark, cynical lyrics. Evergrey's Recreation Day, or Monday Morning Apocalypse. Dream Theater's Images and Words. Pain Of Salvation's Remedy Lane. Some set the standard, others break it to pieces. Add to that list: Manikin Parade.

It doesn't take long to begin to see this album's genius. Break out your best headphones, your old $4000 hi-fi you built piece by piece in the 70's, your car radio. This album is a treat to the ears, and it would be a shame to miss out experiencing everything this album offers. Like so precious few albums, great love and care was put into the production, from beginning to end. After time negotiating with The Flower Kings' Roine Stolt, Withrow finally decided upon Sterling Winfield (Pantera, Damageplan, Hellyeah) to mix the record, with Brandon Lopez, the drummer on the most recent Becoming The Archetype, filling in on percussion.

The end result is a spectacular treat to the ears. I can't stress enough how incredible this record sounds on capable audio equipment, something the majority of albums just don't do. Considering the complexity and depth of the music contained within, the beautiful production acts as a tool to serve the music, and nothing less would've been satisfactory.

The music is initially challenging in its own way. The dense layering throughout may remind some of The Flower Kings, Devin Townsend, or even Andrew WK in terms of the amount of musical elements presented, but it knows exactly when to clear the forest away and reveal something beautiful and delicate, powerful and moving. Seemingly all over the place, multiple listens find the highly-varied pieces falling into position, the hidden and subtle recurring themes revealing themselves with every new listen.

This album takes some time to fully appreciate. However, once that hurdle is cleared, a beautiful gem is revealed to the listener. The album is a non-stop roller-coaster of melodic joy, harmonic pleasure, driving, sometimes manic energy, with a sense of rhythm and flow that many established bands could certainly learn from. Even amidst the most shocking of transitions, the sense of continued groove never dies down from start to finish. The music is never overdone or out of place, yet often quite sophisticated and clever. While each instrument stands out as very well-written and well-played, it is their interactions with each other that truly drive this monster of a record. Have I mentioned that you're left wanting more? Despite a hefty 75-minute running time, nothing stagnates, and no riff, melody, or theme overstays its welcome, a common pratfall in our beloved progressive rock genre.

This versatility continues in the vocals and lyrics, with Withrow himself putting his shape-shifting, highly capable voice to use. Seemingly possessing an infinite number of voices for any need, you'll at times recall shades of some of the greats. The lyrics are well-written and just as multi-colored as the music, subtle changing styles and presentation to evoke different emotions like fear, betrayal, confidence, and naivety. Without spoiling the concept, it brilliantly takes a different approach than many, incorporating a dark, sometimes satirical metaphor that allows it to discuss some very serious and difficult topics without an air of pretention.

With many, many focused listens under my belt, I say with confidence that this album receives my highest honors. Manikin Parade is a true masterpiece of the genre, a standout record that will surely be recognized for exactly what it is, its head held high next to our other precious progressive rock records as a modern-day classic, a beautiful anomaly. Five stars.

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Send comments to Man Overboard (BETA) | Report this review (#209764) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Moderator / Psych Team
3 stars Wow, I felt this album be made by DEADREAM THEATRE...isn't this phrase so bad?

Basically, ballads by heavy metal bands can be beautifully heavy or heavily beautiful, I think. Of course, this VANGOUGH should not be exceptional. Especially, the intermezzi of this album, Bricolage Theater's keyboard solo and Halcyon Days' synth sound and clear voice, are so much glassy and fragile. Furthermore, Gabrielle (The Twilight Part II: Love) is very lovely and attractive. Terrific string sounds in Dance Of The Summer Mind can move our hearts. There is another reason I've said DEADREAM THEATRE, naturally. This VANGOUGH is progressive metal band with heavy riff and dark and depressive voice. (Otherwise, this would be a symphonic progressive band ha-haa!) Manikin Parade is exactly one of the heaviest tracks in the album and we can understand what they would really do from the track's title same as album's one. This track is a mixture of heaviness, darkness, melancholy, and DISTORTION - all they might want to do and all we would want to hear. Listening through the whole album, we can imagine that VANGOUGH would imitate or follow works by DREAM THEATER, who has absolutely mixed some elements as above mentioned. Yes, one of VANGOUGH's characteristics is, I consider, Clay's voice should sometimes be distorted as a death metal vocalist. His distorted voice can remind me NAPALM DEATH or PANTERA(the work was mixed by Sterling Winfield) ...impressing and fresh for me. :-) Although sadly they might be prone to be realized as a second brew of pioneers of progressive metal, Clay could play multiple instruments wonderfully! Great I feel!

This album is so much emotional, sharp-edged and metallic with distortion. Interesting one.

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#216442) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 18, 2009

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars *Sigh*

Is it me or the 'I'll-do-what-I-want-first-album' that caracterized so many progressive rock bands is not a personnal target anymore? You know, the first album that defines your sound and your path as a musician? Where is that now?

Vangough as one quality: they apply themselves. From the art cover to the playing, you can see they want to be noticed. I like the Rob Sowden alike voice and the Linkin Park rapping style, especially in the Manikin Parade song. Like I said, they aim on being noticed. But as what? Another Images and Words attempt? Because if it the case, well bravo, you got it. Again another band wanting to climb the stairs quickly by inspiring themselves of an epic band. Dream Theater worked really hard to polish a personnal sound and a musical trademark; Vangough seems to surf on that work already copied a gazilliion time.

The songs are there; you listen, you make your own opinion.

Some people liked re-heated casserole, see if you do.

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Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars I don't understand it. First I though that this is another example of hype-hype, to the Uber hype, few early 4-5 star ratings, but result, after wave of unreasonable overlooking of mistakes, sober ones will come and give 2-3 star rating, which this album deserves.

But that's incorrect.

It's not good to do what I described (using extreme terms), but it's also not good to give bad ratings just to counterweight the good ones. That's one of the worst things you can do. But there's another bad one. To see only how this album steals from others, or how pretentious it wants to be. People say about me that I'm paranoid a lot. But isn't this another example of this bad habit, to see mistakes, where there aren't any (at least this type of mistake). I'm not talking to any of previous reviewers, speaking about 2/3 of them, I mostly comply with their opinions (I have almost same with Menswear), but there, I'm not standing against them. I just don't see this grave-robbing thing here. And there are few options now, either there aren't any, there are few of them (sometimes called inspiration), or I hear and understand badly and they're right (little bit of Pulp Fiction inspiration, scene with Jules pedantically teaching Pumpkin).

I like variety here. Indeed, it's prog metal, so it has sticker on it saying "I'm prog metal, but I'm trying to differ as much as possible" and that's perhaps true. Sometimes harder, but mostly running into acoustic field with prominent piano. There are of course worse parts, where it sounds like cliché. But that's inevitable I think. After all, it's 2009 and prog metal is here for years. And you know the saying, that everything was already used in classical music, so rock/metal is just discovering buried and reanimate them again. I don't believe it, nor I believe that this is copy of other's work.

3(+), not strong enough to earn better.

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Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I only know that this is actually a one-man band after I had been listening this album quite a number of spins already. If I knew that actually this is a one-man band I would not want to spin it at all. That's actually a bad habit of me. It has already embedded in my head since I knew rock music the first time that any instrument produced in the recording must be dedicated to a certain musician. I did not like with the idea of having one man playing many instruments in a record. Despite, I enjoy listening to this album. I believe Clay Withrow is an excellent multi-instrumentalist who can make this good album.

Listening to this album as it sounds reminds me to the elements of Dream Theater, Kamelot and Pain of Salvation. The music is very good in terms of compositions as well as performance by Clay and his drummer Brandon Lopez. On composition this album marks relatively high on harmonies and melody, i.e. the music is basically a song-orientated approach with catchy melodies in almost all of the tracks this album contains plus harmonies in music and vocal work. In terms of complexity, actually I find none with this album as they sound quite simple, musically. It's probably the performance of one-man band becomes capped with his limitations. The guitar solo is not that extensive, predominantly occupied by heavy riffs. The changes in style are not happening frequently as the music contains more power metal than progressive metal.

Removing the mellow track like "Dance of The Summer Mind" (track 9) will enhance the structural integrity of the album. "Danceof The Summer Mind" seems misplaced in this album because the style is not in-line with the music of Vangough. Look at "Christmas Scars" that combines nicely the music of Dream Theater / Kamelot with Pain of Salvation's singing style. The result is a very good composition. The music in general sounds not cohesive, actually.

The opening track "Estranger" (6:13) is an excellent composition combining dynamic metal music, followed with "Manikin Parade" (7:57) and "Christmas Scars" (7:37) that make the opening part of the album sounds good. "Disorder Quotient" (4:42) is also a nice composition with good melody, soft guitar riffs and excellent vocal line.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I believe if you like prog met, you will love this one. Keep on proggin' ...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A worthy entry into a rapidly redundant genre, "Manikin Parade" breaks the mold of many other progressive metal bands by doing the impossible: simultaneously mimicking all of them. The end result is a familiar blend of sounds performed with enough energy and class to acheive its own voice.

The thing which first struck me, and after many listens impresses me the most, is the album's ambitious song writing. There is a ton of variety and complexity here, and almost all of it is good. The listener can expect the standard metal-crunch paired with the occasional high- flying melody or hook, but for the most part "Manikin Parade" commits radio suicie with every song due to its unconventional structures. In my book, this is great, and makes for an iteresting, energetic listen.

The next, is Clay Winthrop's voice, which dominates the album. His is one very much of the genre, but feels more genuine to me than others because he sticks to a register which feels comfortable and passionate. The listener will immediately be reminded of Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow, who is the obvious inspiration for Winthrop. Winthrop uses lyrically-dense verse and the occasional (and effective) use of aggressive spoken word, similar to many PoS albums. Gildenlow is, honestly, superior, but that's kind of a given; Winthrop is still great, and his voice carries much of the melodies and energy behind the tunes. Even his lyrics mirror the social/dogma criticism found through Gildenlow's work, and will sometimes leave the listener scoffing/grinning at the pretension of some of his statements, but overall they're quite good.

The band itself is pretty much par for the course in terms of technical ability, but the credits list everyone else as... Withrop. He plays guitar, bass, and keys! Once I found that out I was very impressed. His playing is energetic and versatile, but lacks the virtuosity one expects/demands in a crowded genre known for its skilled musicianship. The guitar especially is somewhat dissapointing, as it is mostly rhythm-based with few effective solos. More up-front is his keyboard playing, which uses a piano throughout most of the album. It and the synth sound is very reminescent of Symphony X. Overall, pretty good-- especially given its all from the same person, but it falls short of the "wow" moments seen in other group's musicianship; I would enjoy more depth in timbre. Instrumental performance is probably the biggest thing holding "Manikin Parade" back.

The album is exceptional, especially given that it's an independantly produced/released debut, and I can easily see Vangough becoming a much bigger band in the future (maybe with dedicated instrument players). Its ambition and enjoyability almost make it a 4 star, but it lacks the "oomph" to be as dynamic as its more veteren peers. Recommended to all fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars An unexpected treat

Being randomly selected for a PA gift, owing gratitude both to the site and the artist, I promised to myself to write a review of this VANGOUGH debut when I would have formed a rounded opinion about Manikin Parade. The time has come to repay the favour so in the next few lines I will try to present my views as honestly as I can.

Bearing in mind that this is virtually a one-man band and self-produced album, the first impression is more than positive, listening to well-structured compositions, a decent production and a set of diverse musical ideas. The 75 minutes of running time also render this release a risky experiment, considering that it is only the debut album. What is dominant even from the first few minutes is the fresh and dynamic vocal style of Clay Withrow that, as other reviewers have mentioned, can not escape the strong influence of Daniel Gildenlow... However, this is the strongest element of the album and the fact that he can use his voice in several different ways creates an interest by itself.

In terms of composition, there were a few albums of progressive metal that came in mind when listening to this debut: Pain of Salvation's Remedy Lane, (vocal melodies and pianos) Dream Theater's Awake (particularly the keyboard lines) and Evergrey's The Dark Discovery (guitar riffs and sound). As can be clearly understood, the album is based on modern American-style progressive metal while retaining an enthusiastic approach throughout. The way the lyrics are sung (ranging between mellow and aggressive) and the compositional approach strongly remind again of Pain of Salvation; this is mainly apparent in the album's numerous mellow tracks (Handful of Dreams and virtually the entire second half of the album). What I see as a positive element is that there is a consistent degree of complexity and odd time signatures but nothing that would make this album an extremely technical prog metal release.

Obviously, there is a reasonable degree of musicianship which is evident from the first few tunes of Estranger and the title track. The ideas in the album generally evolve and do not remain static and at no point repetitive; usually they are dressed with melodic vocals and short clever guitar phrases (as in Christmas Scars). I personally prefer the more adventurous and powerful songs in the first half of the record (e.g. Disorder Quotient, Paradise for the Lost) but that is not to say that the rest of the compositions are weak, as the album can be enjoyed as a whole. Last but not least, Manikin Parade stands very strong lyrically most of the time with passionate lines.

Overall, a professional, solid debut with great vocals (the standout) and mature modern prog-metal compositions that are more than interesting but often lack originality; saying that, there is a great potential for an excellent release in the future and I will be looking forward to that. Recommended to fans of American-style prog metal and listeners of the above-mentioned bands.

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#254349) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 05, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars First of all, I'd like to thank Progarchives and Vangough for providing this CD (and some other stuff) in the monthly giveaway. Free stuff is always a treat.

Secondly, my disclaimer: I'm not much of a metal fan, but I do enjoy heavy prog moments.

For a first release from a band (or a one man show, as would mostly describe this CD), this is not bad. Clay Withrow does all of the singing, and plays everything but the drums, and does a fine job. The music is mostly metal, with some (not quite enough for me) prog sensibilities mixed in. Withrow's melodic sense is extremely good, making his songs quite listenable, despite some occasionally clumsy lyrics. And the drums often sound programmed.

I'd like to hear Withrow playing these songs with a full band.

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Posted Friday, January 08, 2010

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars PoS fans listen up!

By now I'm guessing Clay Withrow is a bit tired of the Pain of Salvation comparisons, and yet I really have to say that's the sound that most came to mind playing Manikan Parade the last few weeks. This is an ambitious and well executed self-release from the multi-instrumentalist Withrow who hails from Oklahoma. He is backed only by drummer Lopez according to the credits, although there are four guys in the photos so I'm not sure. The tracks are fairly complex and reasonably varied, and they feature that tight, jerky, hard-edged rhythm guitar style which brings me to Remedy Lane-era PoS, along with Withrow's naturally Gildenlow-ish sounding pipes and flowing lead guitar work. My constructive (hopefully) criticisms would be that he use a more organic, less-busy drum sound in the future as I found the drumming too distracting at times. I would also like to hear him work with a more accomplished keyboardist, both for ideas about keys and about the overall density of the sound. But as a songwriter and guitarist Clay has a bright future ahead of him. I don't have much to say about individual tracks as I'm admittedly not much of a metal-head outside of atmospheric-doom stuff, but I do believe PoS fans should make an effort to pick up this disc. The job he did with his presentation is also very notable. The CD comes in a highly professional tri-fold digipak, as good or better than any large label would provide. The artwork is quite lovely and it comes with a booklet of lyrics and photo. A solid effort from Mr. Withrow and Vangough, showing again what some self-released artist are capable of.

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Posted Saturday, May 08, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Manikin Parade' - Vangough (7/10)

The brainchild of American musician Clay Withrow, progressive metal band Vangough's debut album 'Manikin Parade' is certainly one that begs to be listened to by fans of the genre. As professional a recording as any other you're likely to find in progressive metal, the album was released independently by Withrow, and it is clear from the first track onwards that the creation of this album was made with blood and sweat. While by all means a very good progressive metal album however, each song makes it quite clear that Vangough is plagued by a lack of originality in their music that detracts from the enjoyment of the music. Had I never listened to Pain of Salvation before though, I have no doubt that I would love this album dearly.

Passing the seventy-five minute mark, 'Manikin Parade' is a very complex first album, filled with leitmotifs and themes that recur throughout the course of the album. It does feel as if some of the ideas drag on long past their prime, but the songwriting is generally very good on its own. Dark guitar lines, synthesized ambiance and powerful vocal melodies are the order of the day, although 'Manikin' is certain to throw a couple of less heavy tracks in for good measure. The album begins with what is possibly my favourite offering on the record; 'Estranger'. A non-conventional time signature leads a surprisingly melodic foray into the world of Vangough, led by the ever-powerful vocals of Withrow. Everything here is played with precision and a degree of emotional power to it, but Clay's vocals here are arguably the best part of the sound here. A singer who can effortlessly switch between a dark lower register to showcasing a falsetto wail is great to have in a progressive metal band's arsenal.

Where the issues in 'Manikin Parade' start arising is that while listening, I never feel as if I'm listening to a fresh new band. Instead (and perhaps to Vangough's credit), it feels as if I'm listening to an unreleased Pain of Salvation album, maybe circa their 'Remedy Lane' period. Everything from the vocals to the melodic guitars and even slight nu-metal rap moments gives me the impression from 'Estranger' onwards that Vangough seeks to be little more than a Pain of Salvation clone. While the band is certainly not alone in the genre infamous for having legions of groups trying to recreate the magic of a few giants, the Pain of Salvation tribute runs deep through everything the band does, to the point where I wonder if Withrow was consciously trying to do this.

Don't get the wrong impression; 'Manikin Parade' is a great album. Although a bit long for its own good, Vangough creates a very dynamic and engaging piece of material here, that may have been a contender for consideration as a masterpiece, were it not so derivative. Based on their artistic potential, I can only hope that Withrow takes the talent that he so evidently has, and crafts something more distinctive with the next album.

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Posted Friday, March 25, 2011

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I just don't connect with this album on any level, which is a little surprising since I consider myself a big Prog-Metal fan. I don't like the lyrics and the vocals do little for me either, but mostly i'm just not digging the songs at all. I've tried and tried but no dice. I much prefer the instrumental follow-up "Game On !".

"Estranger" opens with piano and synths then it turns heavier and the guitar starts to solo. Piano and vocals before a minute as it settles back. Double bass drumming 2 minutes in as the song continues to change. "Manikin Parade" has some nice bass to start then keys and drums kick in. Piano only before 1 1/2 minutes then reserved vocals join in. It picks up before 3 minutes and we get some heavy guitar too.Themes are repeated. I like when it settles before 5 minutes. "Christmas Scars" is fairly heavy and we get some growly spoken words then spoken vocals. Not a fan of this one. "Handful Of Dreams" opens with what sounds like strings as reserved vocals join in. Intricate guitar and bass help out. It turns heavy before 3 1/2 minutes before turning mellow a minute later. "Disorder Quotient" is heavy a minute in with keys. "Bricolage Theater" is a short piano piece.

"Paradise For The Lost" sounds good early on with the guitar leading.Vocals before a minute then it settles after 2 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in as the tempo and mood continues to change. "Gabrielle" is ballad-like early then it gets fuller. "Dance Of The Summer Mind" features intricate guitar with bass then drums. A good instrumental. "One Dark Birthday" has almost spoken vocals to open then it picks up 2 minutes in before settling again as contrasts continue. "Etude Of Sorrow" settles with vocals a minute in. It kicks back in before 2 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. Piano only after 5 minutes. "Halcyon Days" is a short piece with piano and synths as reserved vocals join in. "The Cosmic Bus Stop" opens with keys and reserved vocals. It kicks in before a minute. A calm then percussion arrives.

Barely 3 stars for me, in fact i'm being generous with this rating.

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Posted Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Let's talk a little bit about Vangough!

Well, to tell you the truth I know very little about this band outside what little I could get from their biography on the artist page. I know that they're from Oklahoma and are fronted by Clay Withrow who is a multi-intrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter for the band. What I do know is that I've had Manikin Parade in my music collection for almost two years and I honestly have no memory of how I got this album. Another thing that I clearly remember is that completely dismissed the band for being a Pain Of Salvation clone, at a time when Daniel Gildenlöw had already started to drift away from the approach that's so prominently is featured on this album's title track, Estranger and Paradise For The Lost.

Manikin Parade can be dismissed for many number of reasons. The compositions and performance are far from original, featuring emotional progressive metal style that has been done to death by 2009, but the biggest problem for me is the album's 75 minute length. It's honorable for a band to release such an ambitious album, but I just can't help but think that this ambition is getting in the way of making the final product a worthy experience.

Some of these compositions could have easily been removed while most others could have been shortened down by a whole minute or two. Unfortunately even some of the album's strongest moments lose some of their momentum for sounding too much like tributes to other artist and not as original piece that could stand on their own. Outside the obvious Pain Of Salvation references, Gabrielle also features an entire section the sounds like Pink Floyd's Brain Damage and a few instances that make me think of '80s albums by Saga!

All in all, Manikin Parade is a very ambitious debut album from Vangough that clearly shows that this band, especially Clay Withrow, have some really great things ahead of them. Unfortunately, this album is only the beginning of this journey, but I will make sure to keep an eye on this band from now on since they clearly have a potential of making it big in the progressive rock genre!

**** star songs: Estranger (6:13) Manikin Parade (7:57) Handful Of Dreams (5:37) Disorder Quotient (4:42) Bricolage Theater (1:24) Paradise For The Lost (The Twilight Part I: Deception) (9:21) Gabrielle (The Twilight Part II: Love) (6:19) One Dark Birthday (6:59) Halcyon Days (1:46) The Cosmic Bus Stop (2:44)

*** star songs: Christmas Scars (7:37) Dance Of The Summer Mind (5:41) Etude Of Sorrow (The Twilight Part III: Oblivion) (8:44)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#585626) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars I originally wrote this review in 2009 and have just realised that I hadn't posted it here.

Well, like many other progheads, one of the many prog sites that I visit fairly regularly is Sea of Tranquility. While I may not always agree with everything that they write it gives me an additional insight into the scene, and I know that they are not prone to hysterical outbursts. But when they start an interview with the comment "Vangough is probably the best Progressive Metal band you'll discover in 2009" one has to wonder on what basis do they make that comment? Well, I am currently listening again to the evidence and in all fairness I have to agree with them. This is prog metal of the highest quality; it certainly doesn't sound like a debut as this is melody, musicianship and class all rolled into one ? the end result of which the only thing that the listener can do when it finishes is to hit the play button yet again.

Only one song can remotely be said to be lengthy, and that is not even ten minutes so in terms of the genre what we have here is short and punchy. The vocals are strong and the production clean with the music twisting and melding its' way through gentle piano balladry and harmonies while they can suddenly go into full on metal with the guitar riffing and the band in full flight. I have had this CD for a while and each time I play it I find something new here to enjoy. It is of no surprise to me that it is rated so extremely highly by sites such as Amazon, yet this isn't the latest release from ProgRock Records or InsideOut, but rather is an independent release. Singer and guitarist Clay Withrow has a strong vision that drives the band far beyond one would normally expect from a debut. They claim that they "spit fiery madness by drenching your ears with a purple sunrise of melodic cocaine and a not-so-subtle approach to reading you the story behind today's headlines."

And do you know what? They do all that and more. If you enjoy prog metal then you need to have this CD. Nuff said

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#904372) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 01, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars At the begining I was a bit confused. OK, this is too PoS, but they have their hooks. Forget about any resemblances, there are so many emotions here, this album can kill you. Now how can you rate this? From the prog side, ok the music is complete with complexity in every sense, more crossover th ... (read more)

Report this review (#287868) | Posted by Sophocles | Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Music is Music, so it dosen't matter who plays the instrumments, so we have a multinstrummentalist called Clay withrow and A excelent drummer: Brandon Lopez, and they made this good album with band influences like Dream Theater, Pain of salvation and of course their own style. I have to admmit t ... (read more)

Report this review (#269452) | Posted by JgX 5 | Wednesday, March 03, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I heard of this album via PA. There was a big fuss around Vangough, interviews, high ratings... Comparisons with PoS (which I still don't get...). I found Manikin Parade to be all but a modern album, lacking originality, and quite cheesy. Main influences are 80's hard rock and heavy metal, some Dr ... (read more)

Report this review (#231081) | Posted by mono | Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent album but a little bit short. I don't know you guys but I like some epicness with my music, mostly when I'm drinking coffee, this album is a little bit short, I was listening to it this morning and it suddenly started all over again, then my expression was something like WTHeck!, I wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#223996) | Posted by Galm1 | Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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