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Flaming Row

Progressive Metal

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Flaming Row Mirage - A Portrayal Of Figures album cover
3.96 | 149 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mirage - A Portrayal Of Figures Pt.1 (16:14)
2. Aim L45 (7:04)
3. Burning Sky (6:22)
4. Journey To The Afterlife (12:03)
5. Alcatraz (4:04)
6. Memento Mori (5:48)
7. Pictures (9:28)
8. In Appearance - A Portrayal Of Figures ? Pt. 2 (18:44)

Total time 79:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Melanie Mau / vocals
- Martin Schnella / guitar, bass, keyboards, lead & backing vocals
- Marek Arnold / keyboards, saxophone
- Niklas Kahl / drums

- Jimmy Keegan
- Leo Margarit
- Max Dietzmann
- Lars Lehmann
- Billy Sherwood
- Ted Leonard
- Brian Ashland
- Magali Luyten
- Johan Hallgren
- Dave Meros
- Eric Brenton
- Jens Kommnick
- Rolf Wagels
- Nathan Brenton
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen
- Gary Wehrkamp
- Brendt Allman
- Diego Tejeida

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Progressive Promotion Records ‎- PPRCD021 (2014, Germany)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FLAMING ROW Mirage - A Portrayal Of Figures ratings distribution

(149 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FLAMING ROW Mirage - A Portrayal Of Figures reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars It excites me to see progressive metal bands continually moving away from the norm, and toward new, fresh sounds and combinations. Flaming Row out of Germany has released their second album, and it's ambitious for certain. "Mirage - A Portrayal of Figures" is a massive, rock opera-like album that has a cohesive, definite story to it. "Mirage" is massive in many ways, from story to guest musicians. These guests include members of bands such as Haken, Spock's Beard, Pain of Salvation, and even Ayreon. This is really impressive for a band that is only on its second album.

"Mirage" revolves around the Magistrate, a group of alien rulers that have decided that mankind has progressed too far in their technological abilities, but not far enough in their morality or unity. This certainly isn't anything new, as I can name a few albums off the top of my head with similar plots: however, the added twist is that the survivors have banded together to fight back, but a lowly soldier believes that his leaders have different plans than they claim. It's obviously quite an undertaking, and I believe they pull it off pretty well with a good twist at the end.

The lyrical content is epic at times, delicate and quiet in others. This album, like most rock operas, falls prey to a basic problem that grinds my gears. Often, the lyrics are written to be dialogue, and this ends up feeling cheap and forced, as this dialogue is usually not conducive to real songs. I especially felt this way about Ayreon's 2013 album, "The Theory of Everything". "Mirage", however, only falls into this rut a few times, as most of the album is comprised of real songs that are well-suited to the story.

The music is the shining force on this album. Calling Flaming Row a progressive metal band is a bit of a generalization, as there are many styles at work here. Sure, there are some hefty metal portions, but there are also jazzy sequences, American country parts, many European folk influences, and even some rousing "saloon" piano, for lack of a better description. These are all mixed well, seamlessly even.

The music is an eclectic mix, then, of heavy guitars (at times), dynamic drums and bass, the always excellent keys and sax of Marek Arnold, and guest musicians that play everything from Uilleann pipes, whistles, and violins to mandolins, cellos, and basically everything you can imagine. One can imagine the folksy vibe that would be present with all those wind and stringed instruments.

The tracks themselves are extraordinary for the most part. The album begins with a 16+ minute title track that feels epic and soaring. Right on its heels, though, we have my favorite track "Aim L45", a quieter, more organic and folksy tune that is simply beautiful. But, after that, "Burning Sky" starts the massive feeling all over again. This is rather representative of the entire album, as the styles and tone move up and down and all over the place. The myriad of vocalists that appear on this album make for a diverse, if sometimes hard to distinguish, array of "faces" to remember. It does feel a bit crowded at times, even hard to follow. However, the music keeps the listener grounded, and multiple listens are rather rewarding.

"Mirage", then, is a soaring story of giant proportions, one that is told well and executed musically even better. The many styles in play keep things interesting, and there are some jaw-dropping moments that really make the album what it is. Flaming Row, I believe, has trumped their first album by quite a bit here, and I expect to uncover more and more as I continue to listen to this wondrous album.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars So, what we have here is the second album from German quartet Flaming Row, but is it? While Martin Schnella (guitars, keyboards, vocals) provided all of the music, based on a story written by Kiri Geile (vocals) and then arranged by Martin with Niklas Kahl (drums) and Marek Arnold (keyboards, saxophone), this is way more than ''just'' a band album. To be able to do justice to the story of the Third World War they have brought in a couple of guest musicians and the odd singer. Okay, to possibly put that more into perspective, the total singer and musician count on here is more than 30, and with the likes of Dave Meros, Kristoffer Gildenlow, Jimmy Keegan and Arjen Anthony Lucassen helping out on the music, and the likes of Ted Leonard, Magali Luyten, Simon Moskon and many others on the vocals, perhaps it isn't surprising that this is something a little special.

This is an over the top, multi-layered incredibly strongly produced album which sometimes stays in control as although each musician adds his piece it still somehow manages to remain a bombastic masterpiece instead of disappearing up an ego of its' own making. I challenge any lover of prog metal not to fall in love with this at the very first hearing, and just sit with the booklet and listen to the narration and singers telling the story while marveling at the melodic complexity that is displayed in front of your very ears. Although sounding nothing like Spock's Beard, it is almost as if they have captured the sheer brilliance of albums such as 'Snow', have then brought in some American melodic metal, combined it with the symphonic power of Nightwish while also ensuring that fans of the dexterity (both musically and lyrically) of Clive Nolan are well catered for.

Simply put, this is one of the most exciting and interesting albums that I have heard so far this year. I fell in love with it just a few bars into the first song and I kept hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed with the rest of the album while actually I just found more to savour. Each time I have played this new depths have come to light, and this has become for me one of those albums that actually prevents me writing about anything else as I just want to play it so much! It may be over the top, yet somehow there is enough restraint to ensure that it never really falls totally out of control, but rather shows that sometimes music needs to be more than just a couple of guys in a studio, and by adding so many others with their own techniques and styles it has allowed Flaming Row to create something very special indeed. The only question in my mind, is how on earth do they follow this? I note that in the booklet they state that this is to be continued, so that is something to look forward to indeed.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars German band FLAMING ROW was formed by Martin Schnella in 2008, and while it is a band with regular members, they specialize in the creation of conceptual productions involving a great number of guest musicians. "Mirage - A Portrayal of Figure" is their second creation of that nature, and was released by the German label Progressive Promotion Records in 2014.

Flaming Row appears to establish themselves as fine providers of ambitious rock operas of the ensemble variety, sporting an impressive guest list of contributors that appears to have been selected more by the individual qualities they can enrich the production with and less by their commercial impact value. The end result is a strong album, much more varied in style than many other productions of this kind. As the foundation of this project is progressive metal one will have to enjoy this type of music though, but the liberal inclusion of Celtic inspired music in particular gives the album a dimension of its own. Perhaps with a slightly limited customer base as the result, then again this might just make this CD interesting for people not all that interested in progressive metal as well. Still, it's a novel take on the metal-based rock opera, and a production that merits a check by those who tend to enjoy recordings of this kind.

Latest members reviews

5 stars MASTERPIECE!!!That's all I can say!I don't remember the last time when after an audition I had this type of reaction!!!WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????Dfinitelly,this album is like a shock for me...and I have more the 30 years of music behing me!As a prog rock or metal fan,I must say that this album has ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#1313734) | Posted by Ovidiu | Saturday, November 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There has been a proliferation recently, notably from Germanic world, of what I call Broadway rock operas, that have roots as much in classic rock and pop as in metal. And unsurprisingly there is cross-contamination of members between bands, including between Flaming Row and similarly-minded, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1167006) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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