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Mandrake Project

Crossover Prog

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Mandrake Project Transitions album cover
3.90 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Transitions (3:48)
2. We Are You (3:23)
3. In Love (3:13)
4. Black Bag (3:42)
5. Dry In The Quarter (3:47)
6. Temptress (4:02)
7. The Old Is New (5:12)
8. Diabolique (4:31)
9. Wide Open (4:49)
10. Given Away (3:30)
11. Sang For Min Fru (3:48)
12. Providence (5:19)
13. Rain (2:20)

Total Time 50:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Kirk Salopek / Guitars
- John Schisler / Vocals
- David Chapman Jamison / Drums
- Rick Nelson / Violin, Alto, Violoncello
- Ryan Meals / Guitars
- Anthony Pecora / Bass guitars
- Denny Karl / Keyboards
- Benjamin Zerbe / Percussions

Thanks to The-time-is-now for the addition
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MANDRAKE PROJECT Transitions ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MANDRAKE PROJECT Transitions reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Transitions' - Mandrake Project (8/10)

The Mandrake Project has been described as something of a revolving door for musicians in the Pittsburgh area. Playing what is defined as "cinematic rock" on their Wikipedia page, their sound is intelligently arranged, but rich with beauty and melody. 'Transitions' is the third album by this band, and although I have had some mixed success when it comes to finding great new bands to listen to, here is one that I will never regret having checked out. The prog rock label this band has been given does not do well to describe what their sound is all about, and the music here makes me wonder why these guys haven't received more attention already.

Hearing the hour of music that Mandrake Project has created for us here on 'Transitions', I am hearing more of a resemblance to the indie scene in music today than anything 'proggy'. These are songs that focus on things sounding beautiful, long before any focus is allocated towards the more technical sides of music. Mandrake Project skirts that fine line between making music that is easy to digest, and music that is intelligently arranged. The songs and composition of the music does not lend much to the experimental, and there does not seem to be a moment of this album where the band is using a jarring chord, or ugly texture. The sounds here are pleasant and enjoyable from the moment they are first digested, but the lasting interest is derived from the tasteful arrangements of the music. The production and sound of the band is close to that of Porcupine Tree, of whom- on a side note- their frontman Steven Wilson has crossed paths with Mandrake once or twice. The music is filled with less apparent textures and plenty of added instruments to fill out the songwriting with an added dimension of depth. Of particular note are the beautiful string sections here, which never fail to please the ears.

The performance and way this music is presented is fantastic; a real credit to this collective of Pittsburgh musicians. While I would say that the weakest link here is the songwriting itself- which can sometimes tend to get a little less memorable than I would have liked- the composition and amount of joyful moments that Mandrake Project offers here is more than enough to bridge a worthy gap between the few times when the music gets a little stale. Throughout this album, I hear influences from Pink Floyd to Porcupine Tree to Radiohead and even David Bowie. This is a great art rock album, and while I could never say that Mandrake Project has the most original or exciting sound to come around lately, it is refreshing to hear a band in prog playing music this pretty-sounding.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars What we get here is basically half indie (the ethereal kind of slightly alternative tunes where you have to think about stoners, cloud castles and such) and lite version of Post-Rock of a very melodic (or mellow) kind, harmonic, a bit atmospheric (but not that much of ambient element), a little bit of good ol' high and lows (Black Bag is the most prominent of non prominence of this element on "Transitions") and all in all, it's a good artsy album, but except the beauty, there are not much strong moments per se, but fortunately the album goes on well. The album is good in sounding good, but excellent ? Perfect ? I suppose not. Fortunately, second "side" helps a bit, brings new elements, such as the ones in wild traditional Diabolique and enough treats till the end of these 50+ minutes, I have to say that I am satisfied.

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