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OCTOBER PROJECT

Prog Folk • United States


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October Project biography
This band's music is dominated by distinctive and powerful female lead vocals (nothing to do with waif-like, breathy whisperings). Indeed, Mary Fahl's deep voice has an earthy sensuality that looms larger than life on the band's two albums, both filled with superb chorus hooks and haunting melodies. OCTOBER PROJECT also features keyboardist/vocalist Marina Belica, guitarist David Sabatino, keyboardist Emil Adler (piano, keyboards and harmonium) as well as his wife Julie Flanders who, although not a musician per se, writes the band's lyrics. They released two fine albums in the mid 90's before getting dumped by their record company in '96, at which point they simply broke off. Like an afterthought, some of the band members later resurfaced as the NOVEMBER PROJECT but reverted back to their former name and released a self-produced E.P. in 2003.

Deemed more pop than prog, the music of OCTOBER PROJECT is perhaps best described as 'vocal-dominated symphonic prog', something akin to RENAISSANCE for the orchestral textures, although Mary Fahl does not sound at all like Annie Haslam. The band's first two albums, which focus primarily on her rich, sultry vocals, feature intense melancholy ballads that ride on a combination of lush keyboards, strings and guitars. Keyboards and acoustic guitar are emphasized on the eponymous "October Project" whereas on "Falling Farther In", an album of slightly more linear compositions with pared-down arrangements, the electric guitar is more prominent. The E.P. "Different Eyes", which features the late reunion of some of the band members (sans Mary Fahl), showcases some reworked material from the band's early days.

Should appeal to fans of RENAISSANCE and GREY EYE GLANCES.

Lise (HIBOU), CANADA

October Project official website

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October ProjectOctober Project
Sbme Special Mkts. 2008
Audio CD$2.31
$2.31 (used)
Falling Farther InFalling Farther In
Epic 2009
Audio CD$3.44
$0.01 (used)
different eyesdifferent eyes
October Project 2003
Audio CD$10.64
$6.96 (used)
Return to Me / AlwaysReturn to Me / Always
Single
Sony 1994
Audio CD$14.50
$4.98 (used)
Bury My Lovely; Return to Me; Take Me As I AmBury My Lovely; Return to Me; Take Me As I Am
Audio CD$24.99
$4.80 (used)
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OCTOBER PROJECT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.06 | 10 ratings
October Project
1994
2.26 | 6 ratings
Falling Farther In
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Covered (with various artists)
2006

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

OCTOBER PROJECT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

OCTOBER PROJECT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Different Eyes
2003

OCTOBER PROJECT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 October Project by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 10 ratings

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October Project
October Project Prog Folk

Review by BORA

3 stars Clannad-lite?

I was intrigued by the widely differing reviews, ratings this band received so far on these pages, so I decided to have a listen for myself. Firstly, one just can't avoid of drawing comparisons with Clannad. The material does have some Celtic influences, for sure.

Pleasant and tasteful arrangements make this music immediately accessible and radio friendly. Hmmm, that's rarely associated with Prog, though.

The voice of Mary Fahl is definitely uncommon and interesting, but honestly, I feel that after a while I may get somewhat saturated with it. Or is it just that the songs appear to be very alike, conforming to a simple, MOR and thus predictable pattern? Carefully avoiding anything that could be associated with Prog and thus not compromising wider, commercial appeal? I think that's probably it.

I enjoyed listening to the two albums of this band, but at the same time, I also think I've heard enough. Good, but surely not essential and I wouldn't consider it as Prog. October Project doesn't belong here, really.

.

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 Falling Farther In  by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.26 | 6 ratings

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Falling Farther In
October Project Prog Folk

Review by phair

5 stars I love this album even more than the first. Once again some of the most beautiful music I've ever experienced in ANY form. After the 1970's, without an internet, most people who I knew did not know about any "new" Prog Rock bands. I, and many of my friends, were musicians. And when Prog Rock dropped off the radio airwaves in favour of Disco, Punk, New Wave, and Diva-Dance music as well as Factory Rock (Springsteen, Joel) the only Prog Rock we knew about were the "old" bands continuing to put out financially unsuccessful new albums. Until the internet, and October Project came along, I had nothing to compare them to unless I went back to Renaissance's "Ocean Gypsy" or"Mother Russia" or "A SOng For All Seasons". I won't bore you with repeating everything I have already said with the first album of October Project, but the beautiful musical gems here, for me, in my opinion, are: Deep As You Go", "Sunday Morning Yellow Sky", "Adam & Eve", "If I Could", "Falling Farther In", and "One Dream". They are to my ears the perfect combination of "cerebral" rock and "emotion" rock. Perhaps more Art Rock than Prog, but still well within the genre for my tastes. I must also add that the song "Falling Farther In" ends in 5/4 timing signature, which is VERY Prog Rock of them!

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 October Project by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 10 ratings

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October Project
October Project Prog Folk

Review by phair

5 stars I personally love this album and this band. I grew up listening to ELP, YES, Zappa, jazz, ELO, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Renaissance, as well as Americana country rock and Laurel Canyon California music, with added Grateful Dead. This is some of the most beautiful, expressive, creative, unique music I've heard since the days of Renaissance and 1970's Prog Rock. Even though both of their albums are devoid of pyrotechnical instrumental virtuosic solos, I consider them Prog Rock. Mary Fahl has been compared to Annie Haslem (who is a fan by the way of both Mary Fahl and seperately October Project) and Grace Slick. As a vocal music major, I can say that she has one of the best voices I've ever heard in this genre or any for that matter. Linda Ronstadt also comes to mind. Some of their songs tend to be longer than average, have "sections", have etheral or fantasy lyrics, and have a floating and flowing feel to timing and chord movement. This is NOT typical of Pop-Rock. Many are orchestrated--even if done with electronic keyboard orchestra instruments (hey we didn't hold that against YES did we) and much more lush and complex than what passes for pop or other "alternative" rock of the time. The melodies, harmonies, and chord movements while flowing when performed, seemed to have been well constructed and meticulously thought out in the manner of a Classical music composition. Having seen them live many times, what they evoke on the albums is recreated very well and very powerfully in their live performances. That in itself is an admirable feat. How many bands, especially in Prog Rock, are as competant LIVE as they are in the studio? Remember! 1993. NO Internet ! No TV adds. Largely played on college radio. But loved by WXPN 88.5FM in Philadelphia who have set the tone for all college radio in this country as well as some professional radio. Their 1/2 million units sold was done ON THEIR OWN !!! Sony dropped them because they didn't know what to do with them (typical of Prog Rockers-how many times have we heard that) and with the downturn of the music selling industry, they only wanted artists that were a sure-fire mega-bucks maker. Of course, Sony did hardly any promotion or advertising for them to facilitate that outcome. I truly respect the members of October Project as singers, musicians, and writers. They, themselves, might not even like being labled as Prog. But they are Prog...out of respect for their skill, talent, creativity, and spirit. It's not fair to compare them to YES or the MOODY BLUES or even Renaissance as far as their limited financial and fame goes either. Those of us old enough to remember understand that in the late 60's and early 70's, MOST young artists were for a short time writing their own tickets in the recording studios. The old cigar-chomping (Ed Asner as LOu Grant comes to mind) producers and studi managers didn't know what to do with the "kids" with their wierd loud long-haired music so many times let them produce themselves, even though someone else's name took credit on many albums. For a good 8-10 years, bands like YES had free reign over what they did and how they did it. It would be nearly if not practically impossible to follow in their footsteps today. You don't get to do 25 minute song compositions and get signed to a major label with it's accompanying financial support and industry influence. Where You Are, A LOnely Voice, and Take Me As I Am are among the most beautiful music I've ever heard in any form. As an aside, the percussion was performed very much "live" by Urbano Sanchez and not by electronic keyboard, not that it would be a negative if electronic sound patches were used. After all, look at YES and ELO.

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 Falling Farther In  by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.26 | 6 ratings

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Falling Farther In
October Project Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

1 stars October Project's debut album combined the emotionally charged voice of Mary Fahl with lavish production and gorgeous melodies to serve as comfort food for the soul in 1993. Rather than adopting the blueprint of this album for their sophomore effort, they decided to extrapolate based on the closing track, "Be my Hero", which was a vapid effort at hard rock meant to hint at the band's versatility. As a result, "Falling Father in" is a virtually unrelenting lesson in how to play to one's weaknesses and bury a career in record time.

October Project's sound was intact in the most forgiving sense, but their penchant for heartfelt melodies was AWOL save for a couple of tracks, specifically including the lovely "Adam and Eve" and "Something More than This".

Although a few resurrections have occurred, it seems that few cared anymore, the time long past and opportunities lost. Or maybe they really took the idea as far as they could given the climate of the time, and could not prevent themselves from falling farther into a grave of industry design. Avoid.

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 October Project by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 10 ratings

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October Project
October Project Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars 1993. No internet for rapidly spreading the word about new prog groups. Not that many new prog groups anyway, especially in the Anglophone world. In this underground environment, bands that might appeal to progressive music fans were considered fair game, and OCTOBER PROJECT was a name that kept coming up for the beautiful voice of Mary Fahl and the lavish sounding production in spite of low budgets.

October Project was compared to Renaissance, and Fahl's voice does bear comparison to Jane Relf but not Annie Haslam. Notwithstanding short track lengths, having her voice multitracked as on "Take me as I am", and having a group member who did nothing but write lyrics are other points of valid comparision, especially to the "Azure D'Or" era. I'm just not sure how much any of this resonates in 2009, when so much more bona fide prog is available and widely discussed, and bands can release on their own labels. Nonetheless I was there and everyone I knew was into this group, or perhaps I knew everyone who was into this group, which might explain their rapid disappearance.

For me, 4 tracks make this album worth having - "Ariel", "A Lonely Voice", "Wall of Silence", and "Paths of Desire". Apart from the closing track, everything else is decent, if at times reminiscent of tired 80s pop a la BRYAN FERRY. While the sound does include folk-ish elements, I would more classify October Project as crossover or prog related.

If you are into music of the above description, some sweeping heartwarming melodies, suffusing string synthesizers, romantic lyrics just to the good side of trite, and tightly knit songs, make this your next project.

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 Falling Farther In  by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.26 | 6 ratings

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Falling Farther In
October Project Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars If you're a fan of adult contemporary music with lush instrumentation and gorgeous female vocals then this is an album you will probably find appealing (Enya enthusiasts take note). For those who tastes are firmly rooted in progressive music, or even just plain folk songs, this is not a band or music you should go to much effort to add to your collection.

Much like the band's first album, the compositions here are short on complex or innovative arrangements, but long on emotive and pristine vocal melodies. Lyricist Julie Flanders (wife of band founder and keyboardist Emil Adler) has crafted another set of compositions that weave melancholy with romantic themes that are delivered with conviction by lead vocalist Mary Fahl, whose talent is abundantly evident but probably underutilized considering the rather weak material on this record.

Unlike the first album though, which developed the group a sort of cult following primarily on the east coast of the U.S. and garnered a couple hundred thousand sales, this one fell pretty flat upon its release. Epic dropped the group after a short promotional tour and they quickly disbanded, resurfacing briefly under the not-so-clever name of November Project. Fahl went on to a somewhat successful solo career that has included work in the commercial music industry as well as some solo projects and classical music projects. She did not rejoin the band when they reformed briefly in 2003, but did complete work on an interpretive version of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' that had promos circulated before being shelved in 2008.

Also unlike their debut, this album generated no singles, and frankly there are no really noteworthy tracks that would have deserved promotion as a single. The opening "Deep As You Go" features expansive vocals from Fahl and layered keyboards/guitars that much resemble their debut, but after that the subsequent songs seem to become progressive more contemporary and focused on studio sheen at the expense of substance. "One Dream" is the one other track with lyrics abstract enough and an instrumental arrangement varied enough to have potential, but the synthesized percussion and digital strings overwhelm decent guitar work and a piano track that would have been more than enough on its own behind Fahl's voice. Otherwise I had to really focus to get through a few listens of the album to be able to form something of an informed opinion of its worth.

Like I said, if you are a contemporary adult music fan who attends Lilith Fair and collects Enya records you might find this album appealing; otherwise I would say take a pass and leave the few copies that exist to serious fans of the band. Two stars.

peace

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 October Project by OCTOBER PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 10 ratings

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October Project
October Project Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This is an okay album I suppose, but it doesn't qualify as progressive music at all, and really doesn't qualify as folk either. I've read several reviews of this album and band that have placed them closer to nineties new age, adult contemporary, or even to Broadway musical works. All these seem to fit their sound, but folk doesn't. Sony was apparently impressed enough with them to ink a multi- record deal in 1993, but dropped them after their sophomore release in 1996.

The music itself is decent enough, with notably strong vocals from the contralto Mary Fahl, who has since gone on to a solo classical and off-Broadway singing and acting career. Her most interesting claim to fame is a solo release of her own 'interpretation' of Dark Side of the Moon, a Nightwish-like affair but with a lot more electronica and not quite as good of instrumental musicianship (although admittedly I say this having only heard a few samples off the web - the album itself is a bit difficult to locate). She's got a hell of a voice though.

The tracks on this October Project debut are all composed by bandleader and keyboardist Emil Adler, and the lyrics come from his wife Julie Flanders, who does not appear on the album itself except to play finger cymbals on one track ("Return to Me"). The lyrical themes are a mix of abstract poetry, introspection, and vaguely mystical references. Pretty much run-of-the-mill new age stuff for the most part. The music consists of a couple of digital keyboards, sometimes piano, very muted guitar, and drum tracks. Again, nothing worth getting excited about, and the emphasis is clearly on Fahl's vocals and Flanders' lyrics.

It's worth noting that the producer of this album was Glenn Rosenstein, also know for his work with such pop-music acts as Madonna, U2, and Jars of Clay, as well as for a number of Grammys and Emmys for film and television scores. His pedigree is quite evident in the slick production and sanitized sound of this album.

The individual tracks really aren't worth delving into, mostly since this album and band have been badly mis-categorized on this web site. A decent enough record, but not the kind of thing most progressive music fans are looking for. If you are a Mostly Autumn or Nightwish fan, or are into Hollywood-tinged adult contemporary you might like this record. Otherwise I'd recommend passing. Fortunately this one only set me back $8 U.S. out of the bargain bin. Two stars.

peace

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