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Brian Malone

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Brian Malone The Mechanical Voices album cover
4.02 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spiritus Domini (4:35)
2. Scaramuzzi (5:01)
3. Sparkle (3:24)
4. Sleighmaker (4:26)
5. Welcome to Nancy (3:41)
6. The Nolly (3:40)
7. The Elf (3:19)
8. The Mechanical Voices (4:54)
9. The Second Last (4:09)
10. Thye Big Noise (4:39)

Total time: 41:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Brian Malone / voice and all sounds

Releases information

CD-R self-released (2008) Ireland
CD Musea Parallèle MP 3220 (2011) France

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
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BRIAN MALONE The Mechanical Voices ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(80%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BRIAN MALONE The Mechanical Voices reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars From the eerie cover to the off-kilter music box sounds within, "Mechanical Voices" conjures the workings of a group of toys that have meandered irrevocably off course. Their manufacturers swear they are built to look pretty, ok, maybe walk and even utter a few words, but not to square off in an inanimate version of "Battle of the Bands" as soon as the lights go out. As theatrical as musical, with allusions to MIKE OLDFIELD and PINK FLOYD thru DETEKTIVBYRAN and IN THE LABYRINTH, BRIAN MALONE's debut is an audio visual indulgence that is more than worth the diversion.

It's an all instrumental work other than the choral styled "voices" on several tracks, with a variety of styles blended effortlessly, more from song to song than within the rather minimalist compositions. Some of the best tracks are in fact those with a distinct ethnic bent, be it the goth of "Spiritus Domini", the Slavic "Scaramuzzi" or the continental "Welcome to Nancy". But where Malone goes more pure prog, as in the title cut, he practically forges a new path in the well trodden genre, and the influences become superfluous. It is a much more deliberate and measured piece than most, even if it does return to the main theme often enough.

My favourite is the exceptional "The Nolly", although I must explain the nostalgia factor here. In my childhood, the government run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would fill the couple of minutes between programming with seasonal scenes set to music, often with children and adults alike frolicking in snow or water as the setting dictated. The accompanying music was uplifting and became synonymous with the visuals for a generation, even when interpreting well known material like "A Whiter Shade of Pale". "The Nolly" is a ringer for this type of interlude.

A few weaknesses surface here and there, particularly in "Sparkle" and "Second Last", where the "orchestration" and "vocals" supplant any effort at worthwhile melody. "the Elf" represents a much creepier and more effective manner of marshaling the disparate machinations at play.

One gets the feeling that Malone's voyage has but begun, and that the album in question represents the artistic floating of an idea. But in the meantime, listen to that mechanical voice inside your head and give his sole production a chance, preferably with the lights dimmed or even..shudder...extinguished. 3.5 stars and only one way to go.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US composer and instrumentalist Brian MALONE is based out of Dublin, Ireland, where he's been living for a number of years. "Mechanical Voices" is his solo debut, and dates back to 2008 when Malone self-released it. 2011 saw the album reissued by the French label Musea Records.

Instrumental art rock with elaborate, majestic arrangements are the concluding results of a steady, perhaps even formula development from a careful, dampened initial opening for the 10 compositions presented on Brian Malone's solo debut "Mechanical Voices". His taste for symphonic backdrops may well be most appealing to those who enjoy the symphonic parts of the art rock universe, but as his creations have distinct soundtrack qualities to them I'd suspect that those with a particular interest in symphonic oriented soundtrack music may be even more of a key audience for this fine US artist.

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