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IN FLIGHT

Damanek

Crossover Prog


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Damanek In Flight album cover
4.25 | 71 ratings | 3 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ragusa (5:17)
2. Skyboat (5:47)
3. The Crawler (8:50)
4. Moon-Catcher (Heaven Song Part 2) (4:38)
5. The Crossing (7:10)
- Big Eastern :
6. Part 1 - Cruel Skies (12:02)
7. Part 2 - The Shaking Earth (10:35)
8. Part 3 - A Life In Chinatown (7:04)

Total time 61:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Guy Manning / lead & backing vocals, keyboards, bouzouki, mandolin, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, composer & arranger
- Marek Arnold / saxes, SeaBoard
- Sean Timms / keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, programming, arranger, production & mixing
- Daniel Mash / basses

With:
- Brody Green / drums
- Luke Machin / electric guitar (1,2,4,5)
- Antonio Vittozzi / electric guitar (3,6,7,8)
- Tzan Niko / electric guitar (6,7,8)
- Raf Azaria / violin (6)
- David B. / backing vocals
- Julie King / backing vocals
- Kevin Currie / backing vocals
- The Gospo Collective and Jones Commentary Choir members / chorus vocals (2,7)
Jessica Bigg
Ellen Walsh
Hannah Cooper-Dineen
Kelvin Maynes
Zac Moore
Bailey Barnes

Releases information

Artwork: Tony Lythgoe

CD Giant Electric Pea ‎- GEPCD1059 (2018, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAMANEK In Flight ratings distribution


4.25
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

DAMANEK In Flight reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I only just got to know about Damanek and Guy Manning a couple of months ago. I was checking out bands that Marek Arnold (keyboards and saxophone) played in because he's been in a lot, including Seven Steps to the Green Door, Toxic Smile, Flaming Row, and Cyril to name but a few. I was excited to discover that Damanek also included Sean Timms (keyboards) whom I knew of from Southern Empire and also the defunct Unitopia. Who was Guy Manning (vocals, keyboards, bouzouki, mandolin, acoustic guitars, etc.)? As it turned out, he has quite the curriculum vitae himself, having recorded a dozen or so solo albums under the name Manning and as well having been in The Tangent and 90 degrees or Parallel. I didn't know anything about bassist Dan Mash, but if this band isn't as good as a supergroup by members, then it most certainly is by musical quality.

After falling totally in love with the debut "On Track" (and picking up a couple of Manning albums as well), I was excited to hear that a second album was due out by early autumn. I had no doubt that it would be a first class piece of work as the same line-up was to appear once more.

"In Flight" does everything to live up to the musical prowess of the debut. These four extremely talented and well- experienced men concoct a type of progressive music that does not come across as contrived or forced ("We're a prog band so we're going to astound you with our speedy playing in odd time signatures and frequently change tempo and rhythm!"). Each track feels created for the purpose of the song with the music complementing the lyrics and vocals. But this is not just mature and intelligent pop music. You can still expect the unexpected!

Take for example the almost gospel sway and groove in "Skyboat" or the how the suspenseful "The Crawler" abruptly becomes one of the year's most catchy, melodic tunes with the chorus. This track also showcases the talents of all the musicians with organ, saxophone, and guitar solos done in a very relaxed and almost lounge style. Marek Arnold plays in swing and lounge jazz bands, so his sax chops smoothly fit in with the music here.

There's a fair bit of easy listening prog on this album but by no means light-weight prog. "Moon Catcher" makes a terrific lullaby, and parts of the three-part "Big Eastern" can also soothe and relax. But there are enough upbeat moments to keep you from drifting away in your armchair. "The Crossing" is as close to a rocker as these lads will take you without straying into any typical rock and roll. And the song has its own surprise with a laid back blues guitar-like solo and violin and sax solos to follow. There's a complement of guests with some electric guitar players to deliver a bit of bite and crunch for effect when needed as well as some sweet solos and accents.

The final three tracks which comprise the epic piece "Big Eastern" are indeed a cornucopia of fabulous music and yet more unexpected delights. There is a strong Oriental theme that often crops up at times, and I absolutely adore hearing the Chinese-sounding music because I enjoy a lot of the music from the first three albums of China's international sensation, The Twelve Girls Band, who play traditional and modern compositions on traditional Chinese instruments. Oh, man, that part around 4:00 in part 1 "Cruel Skies" is just so sweet to hear! That surely must be Sean Timms influence in places when a world music theme takes over for a spell. A spell to captivate and delight! The "So get on your knees" part near the end of part two will have up want to get up on your feet and dance! When it was clear that the final part was reaching its finale, I felt disappointed because this beautiful, incredible, and marvelous album had come to an end. Just one more track, please!

I could go on about how much I love Damanek and their two albums and how great this one is. It's funny because as of late I'm really into extreme metal and yet this album just totally sweeps me off my feet. How could I give it anything less than a perfect score?!

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'm not sure how long I have been reviewing music from Guy Manning (lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist), and his multiple bands and projects, but let's say twenty years and leave it at that. I am hard pressed to think of a single album he has been involved in for which I have provided a poor review, and I am certainly not going to start now with the second album from Damanek. Over the last few years I have also become quite involved with Marek Arnold (sax and SeaBoard) and have been fortunate to hear many of the albums he has been involved with. He is also responsible for the song I have probably played most in 2018, "Stay" from The Artwork Project. The other musicians in the band are Dan Marsh (bass, Maschine) and Sean Timms (keyboards, guitar, Unitopia), plus quite a few guests

Looking at the PA charts for 2018, I can see that this album is currently in the Top Ten, and I am more than a little surprised that it's not closer to the top slot, as this is progressive rock at it's very finest. Guy will always sound similar to Ian Anderson or Roy Harper, but neither of them had a band sounding as powerful as this. This is bombastic over the top symphonic progressive rock, with all those words being delivered in spades. Complex, complicated, with nuances here and there (such as a gently strummed acoustic, or additional percussion), it may be the electric guitar taking the lead, or Marek taking control with a saxophone in the way only he can within this style of music, while Guy strides across it all. Although the music is deep and dark, it is also immediately accessible, with hidden layers awaiting discovery which only start to make themselves known after the third or fourth time of playing.

Some people have referred to Damanek as a "supergroup", and certainly on the basis of this they are indeed a super group, with a super album. It even contains a three-part epic which is thirty minutes in length, who could wish for more? This is a stunning release, and one that should be on everyone's Christmas lists if they don't already own it.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I get the impression that Guy Manning is beginning to get the wider recognition he deserves. I started following his music from his early days in The Tangent and was always surprised that his extensive albums as Manning are not better known despite being so well received by those who have discovered ... (read more)

Report this review (#2054704) | Posted by CeeJayGee | Saturday, November 10, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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