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DAMANEK

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Damanek biography
Founded in 2016

This is a project founded by GUY MANNING with MAREK ARNOLD (saxes, keys), Dan MARSH (bass) and Sean TIMMS) (keys, backing vocals). Their album "On Track" was recorded from demos of Guy Manning who is the main composer for the music and the lyrics. The album was made with the help of plenty of guest musicians who have recorded some parts in various studios around the world. The music is very accessible mixing prog, jazz and world music with some nice instrumentation including sax and flute.

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In FlightIn Flight
Giant Electric Pea 2018
$11.65
$12.31 (used)
On TrackOn Track
Giant Electric Pea 2017
$11.67
$15.27 (used)
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DAMANEK discography


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DAMANEK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 40 ratings
On Track
2017
4.25 | 71 ratings
In Flight
2018

DAMANEK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAMANEK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAMANEK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DAMANEK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Flight by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.25 | 71 ratings

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In Flight
Damanek Crossover Prog

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.

 In Flight by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.25 | 71 ratings

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In Flight
Damanek Crossover Prog

Review by CeeJayGee

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 them. In Flight is Damanek's second release after last year's excellent On Track. This is another fine album which concludes with a 30 minute suite in three parts called Big Eastern which, for me, is the highlight of the album. The first part, Cruel Skies, has beautiful oriental influences followed by the more up-tempo The Shaking Earth. This appears to have a middle-eastern style and builds and rebuilds with a compelling rhythm that makes this the best track on the album for me. The final part is A Life In Chinatown, a concluding celebration and a fine end to the album. The suite is preceded by five fine tracks, all noteworthy songs and the whole album is beautifully performed by excellent musicians. Last year I reluctantly rounded-down On Track to four stars but this one definitely deserves five stars.
 On Track by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.67 | 40 ratings

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On Track
Damanek Crossover Prog

Review by Rickhelme

3 stars Progressive white for everyone. The new band of the great Guy Manning follows the wake of the beautiful compositions of the author of Leeds. Good production, beautiful lyrics, delicate arrangements .... and tributes to the symphonic and progressive of the 70s, plus a slight touch of jazz. That is, one of the most accessible styles for all lovers of good music. Stresses Marek's saxophone and some original moments. But above all it is a pleasant environmental music. It receives influence from Moody blues, Queen, Camel and Genesis. They emphasize the first subject Nanabohzo And The Rainbow and Madison Blue on the rest, something more repetitive. Much better and more ambitious is his second album: In Flight (2018)
 In Flight by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.25 | 71 ratings

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In Flight
Damanek Crossover Prog

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?!

 On Track by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.67 | 40 ratings

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On Track
Damanek Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars When I put on this album, the first thing I thought was: "hey, this sounds like Unitopia and United Progressive Fraternity".

When I looked at the personel, I saw it's the same guys. I like this kind progressive rock very much. I know Guy Manning from UPF and Marek Arnold and Sean Timms from Unitopia and UFP. I especially like the percussion (also a guy from Unitopia) and the saxophone

The songs are romantic and have a pop/soul kind-of vibe, like Talk Talk, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears and Paul SImon.The music is somewhere between intelligent pop, jazz (even jazzfunk), world, rock and progrock. Because pop isn't what it's used to be, I love that progrock musicians fill the gap with this kind of prog-pop.

I think I will play this record a lot, like I played Unitopia and UFP.

 On Track by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.67 | 40 ratings

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On Track
Damanek Crossover Prog

Review by CeeJayGee

4 stars I was very sorry to hear that Manning had been disbanded. Their last album The Root, the Leaf & the Bone was most enjoyable and Margaret's Children is high up in my favourite albums. So I was very pleased to hear that Guy Manning has returned with a new band Damanek and a new album On Track. On Track is a delightful album of crossover prog. All eight tracks have strong melodies and I love the jazz influence and instrumentation throughout. The lyrics are powerful with important messages, particularly on Believer-Redeemer and Dark Sun. This band and this album deserve greater recognition and I look forward to hearing more in the future.
 On Track by DAMANEK album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.67 | 40 ratings

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On Track
Damanek Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars

Damanek is a new project from Guy Manning, where he has been joined by Dan Mash (bass), Marek Arnold (sax, clarinet, keyboards) and Sean Timms (keyboards, banjo, backing vocals) and then on top of that there are quite a few guests including Nick Magnus and Phideaux. Guy had disbanded Manning, and was then invited to join a new band called United Progressive Fraternity to which he also then brought in Dan and Marek. After the release of the debut album Guy started writing for the second, only for the band to fold, so he decided to start a new one to use the songs, and asked Dan and Marek to be involved, hence the name (DAn, MANning and MarEK), with Sean joining later.

I have long been a fan of Guy's music, and spent a very pleasant evening with him in his studio some dozen years or so ago, and have enjoyed all albums he has been involved with from PO90 through Manning and The Tangent, so I knew I was going to enjoy this right from the off, and that was indeed immediately the case. Guy has an innate sense of melody, and his songs are always enjoyable on first hearing, with strong arrangements and a feeling that every note is in exactly the right place, played on the right instrument. This is commercial symphonic pop influenced classic crossover progressive rock that oozes class and confidence in equal measures. I can't pick a favourite as all eight songs are simply superb. This may be a debut release, but all the guys involved have been around the scene for some time and it shows. Let's hope it's not long until the next one.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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