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MEN OF LAKE

Eclectic Prog • Italy


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Men Of Lake biography
Current italian band that plays more in the spirit of the 70's than most of their contemporaries. MEN of LAKE mixes the influences of groups such as KING CRIMSON, a mix of psychedelic music ala early PINK FLOYD, Canterbury school, jazzy-pop from the Seventies, blues and psychedelic. "Out Of The Water" shows the maturity of their style with dark vocals & superb Seventies-like keyboards sometimes close to psychedelic. VERY GOOD OVERALL !!!

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Buy MEN OF LAKE Music


Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And WineMusic From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Import
Musea 1998
Audio CD$9.00
$10.75 (used)
Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And WineMusic From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Musea 2003
Audio CD$17.44
$87.12 (used)
Out Of The WaterOut Of The Water
Musea 2003
Audio CD$9.99 (used)
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MEN OF LAKE discography


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MEN OF LAKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.27 | 17 ratings
Men of Lake
1991
3.25 | 4 ratings
Looking for the Sun
1993
3.78 | 17 ratings
Out of the Water
1994
3.21 | 11 ratings
Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
1998

MEN OF LAKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MEN OF LAKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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MEN OF LAKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Men of Lake by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.27 | 17 ratings

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Men of Lake
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Besides your familiar symphonic and jazzy bands coming from Italy,there were and still are a small amount of bands looking to explore the more eclectic and psychedelic side of progressive rock.One of these acts were MEN OF LAKE,formed in 1987 and starting as a quintet.They recorded their first demo in February of the next year and in 1989 it was the time for a second one,entitled ''Looking for the sun'',consisting of four tracks ,one of them being nearly 20 minutes.Finally,in 1991 MEN OF LAKE released their first official and eponymous full-length work on Musea Records.

''Men of lake'' is filled with a vintage atmosphere due to the heavy use of keyboards and especially the Hammond organ.All tracks follow a slow- or mid-tempo,characterized by the intense vocals of Maurizio Poli (in English and non-accented),the psych 70's sounding guitars of Rene Modena (of Runaway Totem fame) and the swirling sounds of the Hammond organ.Actually the album is definitely song-based with no room for really complex musicianship,though its dark atmosphere is superb and thrilling and that's the real talent of the band.However,there are some moments with beatiful organ/synth/guitar interplays and good breaks,which make the listening even more interesting.No more or less,I find this album to be weirdly attractive and every fan of vintage progressive rock and especially VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR,would propably have the same opinion with me.Among my best discoveries ever regarding the lesser-known prog rock bands!

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 Out of the Water by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.78 | 17 ratings

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Out of the Water
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars.These guys don't sound anything like I thought they would. I understood them to be quite mellow and lush, instead I found this Italian band to be quite dark and aggressive at times. There is a lot of Hammond organ though in this seventies flavoured music. Maurizio Poli seems to be the man in charge as he composed all the songs, sings (English) and plays synths, organ, piano, moog and acoustic guitar. There is also a bass player, guitarist and drummer.

"Vipers (In The Bottom of The well)" opens with bass, organ and drums. Great sound. A nice heavy beat takes over as guitar plays over top. I'm thinking of the band STANDARTE at this point. Vocals come in with venom (haha). A calm after 2 minutes with some fantastic background organ and synths. The tempo picks back up 5 minutes in,then guitar ends it. Great tune. "The Day We Met" is more laid back with organ and vocals that really remind me of VIOLETA DE OUTONO. I really like this one. "The Dark Little Figure" opens with piano, bass and guitar. Vocals follow as the steady beat continues. Lots of organ and guitar in this one. Something moving about this song. "The Prodigal Father" features deep bass and vocals as drums and raw sounding guitar help out. I like the catchy chorus. Piano and organ come in as well. It turns darker after 3 minutes with some smoking guitar leading the way. The chorus is back before 6 minutes. That's four excellent songs to start us off.

"Dedicated To Saul Frances Levine And John" opens with a dark mood as keys and vocals lead the way. Synths after 1 1/2 minutes lead the way until vocals return after 3 minutes. I have a hard time getting into this one. "Strange Sleep" opens with drums and organ as faint vocals and guitar join in. A tasteful guitar solo after 2 1/2 minutes. A pleasant synth / organ soundscape follows. Those psychedelic vocals return 5 minutes in. "The Perception Of The Wand" is a feel good song with tasteful guitar and lots of synths. A great sound after 4 minutes as drums pound and waves of synths wash in. Nice bass too.This might be the best of the bunch. "The Ballad Of The Lake" is the shortest track fortunately. Oh it's pretty good, it just reminds me of east coast Folk music from Canada that's all. MEN OF LAKE do it better though.

I like this album a lot but it's just shy of being 4 stars.

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 Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine  by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Men of Lake altered their style quite dramatically for this release, which appears to have been their swan song. The main change, at least on the surface, is the reduced importance of the organ and the general lack of that big Hammond sound, in favour of electric guitar. It's hard to say what they sound like here, but the name Dire Straits keeps coming back. Please think of that only as a starting point, but at times the band adopts a laid back vocal and guitar style, and a slightly jazzy feel that is reminiscent of that British band. This is especially so on some of the better tracks here, like "Nothing at All", "Words in the Rain", "Sailor's Way" and "Lady Day Dream". At times the guitars are also in the style of Andy Latimer from Camel, especially in the break on "Sailor's Way".

I am tempted to reward an extra star for the band's willingness to evolve, but Men of Lake continues to be plagued by some degree of inconsistency, so that there are just too many lesser tracks and segments to justify an excellent rating, even if certain songs and many moments would be worthy. One problem is that, on too many of the best songs, they abandon the mellow mood midway through in a way that is somewhat lacking in subtlety and evolution. In all, "Music from the Land of..." is a good album that shows Men of Lake going out on a high note, even if not with their "signature" sound. It definitely keeps the band's reputation afloat.

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 Men of Lake by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.27 | 17 ratings

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Men of Lake
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Lush organ (and other keyboard) driven prog in an old majestic style reminiscent at times of Procol Harum, King Crimson, and even VDGG and the Moody Blues, the music of Men at Lake matches all of the above when at its best. Even though that is only for about half of their debut, you may agree that this is more than most groups can produce. My review is based on the CD reissue.

The first highlight is track 3, "The Traveller", which does not let up for 7 minutes. Apart from Men of Lake's skills with the basic song structure, it features both keyboard and guitar solos of pure joy. They are also masters at mixing in the vocals in an appealing way, so that they really are more of an additional instrument. Then we have Rolling Globe, the shortest track on the album at 4:35, that features more grinding organ, a Moody Blues-ish middle 8, and an emotional chorus. "Any Place any Time" and "Immigrant's Complaint" are both bonus tracks on the CD but are both among the highlights. In particular, "Immigrant's Complaint", as the longest on the CD, is like a song within a song, and that middle section is the best on the entire disk, the lead guitar over the rich keyboard backing and drums being simply spellbinding. So, although Men of Lake is definitely keyboard oriented, they would not be nearly as good without their guitars.

Then you have the flipside, that very harsh psychedelic style with limited melodic value, exemplified by the darker side of the album, proof positive that some styles are best left in the late 60s, as shown on "Abele's Garden". "Walking Along the Rhine" has its moments but plods along a bit too much, admittedly bursting into a great chorus, something at which MOL have tended to excel. "I don't want to know" and "October Night" round out the filler, if you will.

If you want to explore the full evolution of this group over 3 albums, start here. Otherwise I would recommend the followup, "Out of the Water", for its more fluid approach.

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 Out of the Water by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.78 | 17 ratings

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Out of the Water
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars While all of Men of Lake's full length albums are strong, Out of the Water represents the culmination of their efforts in the organ driven proto prog style. The keyboard dominated sound blended with judiciously used electric guitar reached its peak here, and the vocals for the most part shatter the Peter Hammill comparisons with their warmth and dedication to following the strong tunes presented herein.

The best tracks are all great, so even though the filler quotient is a bit higher than I would like, the gems like the romantic and ethereal "The Day We Met" and the anthemic "The Dark Little Figure" more than make up for it. The peak of the Men of Lake career has to be "The Perception of the Wind", an epic swelling with feeling and virtuosity. The passage that immediately follows each chorus is a prog rock epiphany, with its keyboard heavy underpinnings and minimalist guitar lead to accompany it. The contributions of the rhythym section , particular the bass player, are also worthy of praise.

The album closes with an almost celtic sounding "Ballad of the Lake". This delightful song seems as a cheerful signal to the end of the original Men of Lake sound, as the following album, "Music from the Land.." is a more modern work less reliant on the organ. It is also worthy, but if you have come to Men of Lake via comparisons to the 70s classics, this is the album to get first.

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 Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine  by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by Pélik@n

2 stars I recently bought this album. There are links with canterbury music, ok. They are some intelligent orchestration sometimes. BUT what i don't understand why some caravan-esque themes are lost into typical 80's POP MUSIC. The singer is poor and sing with a loud an unconvinced voice during typical uninspired pop structures. This melting pot of two antagonist influences doesn't work (80's pop and weak canterbury-esque orchestrations). It is uncomparable to real bands like Il Castello Di Atlante. A lot of place is attributed to the guitarist during un emotive guitar solos. MY ADVICE : listen to this before buying it! The comparisons with VDGG and KC are unapropriated. WEAK ALBUM !

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 Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine  by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by dsanful

5 stars Another masterpiece from the 90's. I consider them one of the best Italian bands from the 90's (if not the best). In this album you find an splendid brass section including trumpet, flute, etc.

Here you find "Canterbury" and "jazz" elements. I consider a great step forward, at least for the innovation in their music. They have a great sense for melody and they sound raw as 70's prog bands. Fantastic. Their music is mellow and dreamy. Imagine you driving your car in a mountain up to the sky with their music. It fits perfectly.

If you like "King crimson", "Van der graaf generator" and "Caravan", this album is for you. "Maurizio Poli" reminds me of "Jesús de la Rosa" from "Triana" as a great and humble leader.

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 Out of the Water by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.78 | 17 ratings

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Out of the Water
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by dsanful

5 stars I don't know if this band ever achieved the value it deserves because this band is simply fantastic. I would say that they were the best Italian band from the 90's. I think that they no longer exist, it's a real pity.

If you take "king crimson" and "Van der graaf generator" with a fantastic voice and some "Canterbury" elements you get "Men of lake". Though, this album is more "King crimson" than none.

Dark and moving music, some times hallucinating and dreamy. Maurizio Poli's voice is dark and original, some times visceral, that's the charm of his voice. The band has a real sense for melody and are true progressive. Every album is different.

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 Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine  by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Music From The Land Of Mountains, Lake And Wine
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Definitely an offbeat blend of influences here: proto-prog, some symphonic prog, jazziness and folk. Apart from the fact that they sing in English with a rather strong Italian accent, they don't sound especially Italian. The British proto-prog sound of bands like Spring, Cressida and Fantasy were a big influence here, alongside the usual Anglo-Sympho of Genesis and the like. There's also a slick jazziness about much of this that makes me think that perhaps Steely Dan were also an influence. You won't find blazing fusion complexity here, though, melodicism is their strong suit. It's all rather mellow and laid-back and won't appeal to everyone. But it's rather charming in its unassuming nature. If it's a humble, tuneful prog album you want, you've found it.

Keys seem to largely be made up of organ and piano. Lots of acoustic guitar, giving this a very folky feel at times. Guest players on woodwinds and horns add a classical touch.

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 Men of Lake by MEN OF LAKE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.27 | 17 ratings

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Men of Lake
Men Of Lake Eclectic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This eponymous debut-album by the Italian four-piece band Men Of Lake is still my favorite one from them. The structure of the eight compositions (running time ranging from 4.26 to 8.40) is simple but very tasteful, you will be carried away by the warm atmosphere featuring a lush organ sound (lots of Hammond and Farfisa) and pleasant vocals. The guitarplay is subdued but fits perfect to the often romantic and melancholic climates. Some songs are mellow, other contain bombastic eruptions delivering majestic floods of organ, very compelling. If you like the melodic organ-driven progrock in the vein of Procol Harum and Rare Bird, this CD is a delight.


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