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Men Of Lake

Eclectic Prog

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Men Of Lake Men of Lake album cover
3.32 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Walking along the Rhine (7:32)
2. I don't want to know (5:19)
3. The Traveller (7:08)
4. October Night (7:27)
5. Rolling Globe (4:33)
6. Abele's Garden (5:44)
Bonus track on CD RI
7. Any Place Any Time
8. Immigrant's Complaint

Line-up / Musicians

- Maurizio Poli / keyboard
- Marco Gadolti / bass guitar
- Claudio Oberti / drums
- Mauro Borgogno / lead guitar

Releases information

LP Musea Records FGBG 2037.AR (1991) France
LP Hee Gee HJLR 1019 (1992) Korea

CD Musea Records FGBG 4047.AR (1992) France
+ 2 Bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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MEN OF LAKE Men of Lake ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

MEN OF LAKE Men of Lake reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars This album I recently dusted off the shelf and re-listened to and realized it was missing from my list. The MEN OF LAKE are a newer Italian band who at least on this album play in the spirit of their 70's ancestors. Vocals are sung in English and are quite well done (a bit of an accent but works well for me) with the watermark of this band being their strong Hammond driven melodies. Songs are highly symphonic and carry traces of that 70's magical romanticism that I love. Songs are very well written and performed in grand style. If you love the ol' winding organ prog then you need to hear this album.
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This eponymous debut-album by the Italian four-piece band Men Of Lake is still my favorite one from them. The structure of the eight compositions (running time ranging from 4.26 to 8.40) is simple but very tasteful, you will be carried away by the warm atmosphere featuring a lush organ sound (lots of Hammond and Farfisa) and pleasant vocals. The guitarplay is subdued but fits perfect to the often romantic and melancholic climates. Some songs are mellow, other contain bombastic eruptions delivering majestic floods of organ, very compelling. If you like the melodic organ-driven progrock in the vein of Procol Harum and Rare Bird, this CD is a delight.
Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Lush organ (and other keyboard) driven prog in an old majestic style reminiscent at times of Procol Harum, King Crimson, and even VDGG and the Moody Blues, the music of Men at Lake matches all of the above when at its best. Even though that is only for about half of their debut, you may agree that this is more than most groups can muster. My review is based on the CD reissue.

The first highlight is track 3, "The Traveller", which does not let up for 7 minutes. Apart from Men of Lake's skills with the basic song structure, it features both keyboard and guitar solos of pure joy. They are also masters at mixing in the vocals in an appealing way, so that they really are more of an additional instrument. Then we have Rolling Globe, the shortest track on the album at 4:35, that features more grinding organ, a Moody Blues-ish middle 8, and an emotional chorus. "Any Place any Time" and "Immigrant's Complaint" are both bonus tracks on the CD but are both among the highlights. In particular, "Immigrant's Complaint", as the longest on the CD, is like a song within a song, and that middle section is the best on the entire disk, the lead guitar over the rich keyboard backing and drums being simply spellbinding. So, although Men of Lake is definitely keyboard oriented, they would not be nearly as good without their guitars.

Then you have the flipside, that very harsh psychedelic style with limited melodic value, exemplified by the darker side of the album, proof positive that some styles are best left in the late 1960s, as shown on "Abele's Garden". "Walking Along the Rhine" has its moments but plods along a bit too much, admittedly bursting into a great chorus, something at which MOL have tended to excel. "I don't want to know" and "October Night" round out the filler, if you will.

If you want to explore the full evolution of this group over 3 albums, start here. Otherwise I would recommend the follow up, "Out of the Water", for its more fluid approach.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Besides your familiar symphonic and jazzy bands coming from Italy,there were and still are a small amount of bands looking to explore the more eclectic and psychedelic side of progressive rock.One of these acts were MEN OF LAKE,formed in 1987 and starting as a quintet.They recorded their first demo in February of the next year and in 1989 it was the time for a second one,entitled ''Looking for the sun'',consisting of four tracks ,one of them being nearly 20 minutes.Finally,in 1991 MEN OF LAKE released their first official and eponymous full-length work on Musea Records.

''Men of lake'' is filled with a vintage atmosphere due to the heavy use of keyboards and especially the Hammond organ.All tracks follow a slow- or mid-tempo,characterized by the intense vocals of Maurizio Poli (in English and non-accented),the psych 70's sounding guitars of Rene Modena (of Runaway Totem fame) and the swirling sounds of the Hammond organ.Actually the album is definitely song-based with no room for really complex musicianship,though its dark atmosphere is superb and thrilling and that's the real talent of the band.However,there are some moments with beatiful organ/synth/guitar interplays and good breaks,which make the listening even more interesting.No more or less,I find this album to be weirdly attractive and every fan of vintage progressive rock and especially VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR,would propably have the same opinion with me.Among my best discoveries ever regarding the lesser-known prog rock bands!

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