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Nathan Mahl

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Nathan Mahl Heretik Volume II: The Trial album cover
4.00 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entrance Of The Judges / Malleus Maleficarum (23:14)
2. De Praestigiis Daemonum (7:38)
3. Heretik Part IV (13:10)
4. Ad Judicium (7:32)
5. Moral Values Part II (7:58)

Total Time: 59:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Guy LeBlanc / keys, vox, percussion
- Claude Prince / bass
- Mark Spénard / guitars
- Dan Lacasse / drums
- Tracy Clark / rhythm guitar
- Natasha LeBlanc / vox

Releases information

Mahl Productions NMA 007 - 2001

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NATHAN MAHL Heretik Volume II: The Trial ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

NATHAN MAHL Heretik Volume II: The Trial reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "All rise for the entrance of the Judges", a solemn voice claims with serious kindness to a crowd than is soon to be provided a feast of restless prog symphonic bombast. The bombast spreads its multiplying nuances all over the entire repertoire, fills each and every second of each and every track with musical magic and splendorous virtuosity. For their Heretik project, Nathan Mahl has severely lessened the jazz factor that had played such an important role during their early days (particularly their "Parallel Eccentricities" album), in order to let their symphonic facet prevail in a most absorbent manner - Guy LeBlanc's compositions and prominent role as keyboardsman set the pace, the frame, the ambiences and the façade for this enormous display of old- fashioned pompous prog. Since he assumes the leading role in the band, his individual style is crucial for the building of the band's overall sound: his major influences are Moraz, Bardens and Watkins, with a kind of Wakemanesque taste for charged keyboard ornamentations (something that he never delivers to an over the top level). The opening 23-minute track 'Entrance of the Judges / Malleus Maleficarum' serves as an initial manifesto of the musical ideology that works here: countless motifs cleverly sequenced, fluid mood shifts, odd time signatures most of the time, superb playing and well-crafted interplaying, heavily orchestrated synth layers and harmonies, impressive solos on keyboards and guitar, a solid rhythm section. in a few words, the prototypical prog-head's dream made real through LeBlanc's vision. So, this is not mere technique and skill, but an exposure of high-caliber musical imagination whose beauty requires a demanding amount of attention from us so it can be properly appreciated. 'De Praestigiis Daemonum' kicks off with a somewhat harder edge in the introductory riffs and counterpoints, but it won't take long before things get more frontally melodic, at times reminding me of Watkins-era Camel and HTM. 'Heretik Part IV' keeps going for the melodic prog factor, at times taking it a bit further. It includes Spenard's best guitar solos in the album, all of them powerful, even explosive at some point, yet well comprised within the track's overall melodic spirit: in fact, this track and the following one are where he is given more room to occasionally steal the limelight. 'Ad Judicium' brings the hardest edge in the album, with the band complementing the harshness of the guitar and organ parts with the foundation of a solid jazz-rock tempo. The closure 'Moral Values Part II' basically summarizes the pompous tendency of 'Entrance / Malleus' and the most overtly melodic facet - the ethereal finale, with vocals delivered by LeBlanc's wife, fades out with a pleasant evocative air. A nice finale for an excellent album: "The Trial" is one of the most brilliant symph prog efforts for this new millennium.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars After the excellent "The Clever Use Of Shadows" Guy LeBlanc decided to get ambitious and create a concept called "Heretik" that would span over the next three albums.This is the second of those called "The Trial". For a concept album there isn't actually a lot of lyrics thankfully, as this band from Quebec lays down some killer instrumental work which is their strong point.

"Entrance Of The Judges / Malleus Maleficarum" is the over 23 minute opener. After an announcement of "All rise for the entrance of the judges" we get an almost classical brand of music before the synths kick in at 4 minutes followed by drums and guitar before 5 minutes. Reserved vocals a minute later with piano then it kicks back in around 7 1/2 minutes. Great sound here.This section goes on until around 14 minutes when the reserved vocals and sound return. It kicks back in a minute later and we get some ripping guitar before 16 minutes.Vocals are back 19 1/2 minutes in then it picks up with keyboards. Some heaviness 22 1/2 minutes in to end it. Nice. "De Praestigiis Daemonum" has a good heavy intro as keyboards join in. It settles 1 1/2 minutes in with synths helping out. Lots of piano too.The heaviness comes and goes.

"Heretik Part IV" opens with what sounds like harpischord as the sound builds.Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes as it settles back. It kicks back in instrumentally 4 minutes in. Some great sounding guitar after 6 minutes then the vocals return. It's instrumental again after 8 1/2 minutes with organ taking the lead. Cool. More excellent guitar after 11 minutes. "Ad Judicium" is uptempo and guitar led. Organ comes to the fore after 4 minutes then bass before it kicks back in. Organ leads again then guitar. "Moral Values Part II" settles a minute in with synths.Intricate drums and keyboards lead then it kicks back in after 2 1/2 minutes.Vocals 4 minutes in as it settles back. Reserved female vocals and piano end it.

A low 4 stars but it's certainly worth that rating.

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