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MORIA FALLS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Moria Falls biography
Here we have an outstanding band from the UK. On first hearing, the direction they seem to be coming from is PENDRAGON/GENESIS influences. On subsequent plays a PINK FLOYD flavour could be detected and on the second album, "Embrace", a hint of the Beatles was evident. The flute on the album "The Long Goodbye", played by Martin Orford, adds a bit of variation and I found this album to be just a touch the better of the two. Long tracks with that typical dramatic vocal style, HACKETTesque guitars, and gopopular Prog bands of the moment, however they do have their own sound. Fans of symphonic progressive rock should find many a happy hour listening to both of these.

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3.85 | 22 ratings
The Long Goodbye
1995
3.00 | 12 ratings
Embrace
1998

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MORIA FALLS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Embrace by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 12 ratings

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Embrace
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by mbzr48

4 stars 'Embrace' was recorded in 1997 and marks the second outing on CD for Moria Falls. Although I enjoyed the bands first release, I felt that it was a little too derivative at times. This time out though Moria Falls are certainly finding their own ground and manage to prove that, to be a progressive band, you don't have to turn out fifteen minute epics on every album. Of the nine tracks on this album, seven come in around or well under the seven minute mark, and some of the shorter pieces are amongst the best material I have heard from the band to date! The album is, for the most part, about relationships - and their endings (for whatever reason) - and reading through the lyrics there is some really first class writing here.

'Tearing at the Heartstrings' is a good opening track but is slightly spoiled, for me, by the final keyboard section - although excellently played it sounded too much like early Marillion, to me, for comfort. The second track, 'Falling Down', however is fantastic and would make a really good single. Nice crisp vocals, great acoustic guitar work and some really superb backing vocals, from Lisa Rowntree, really set this track apart. You cannot help but sing along with the chorus. 'Crime of Passion' has a heavier classic rock guitar intro, and the opening vocals have a surreal distorted feel to them. The use of voice samples, dropped in around mid-way through, are also used to great effect - I have to say, for me, this piece is the best on the album. Track four, 'Heaven Bound', on the other hand works well - an acoustic lead-in, with keyboard backing, sets the mood for this song and despite almost turning into an IQ song at one point (I leave you to decide which one), I really enjoyed this one!

'No One to Talk To' is another of the great songs on this CD, lots of mood changes, complimentary guitar and keyboard work and a smooth bass track that holds the whole thing together. The album flows along with 'Portraits' and 'Wide Awake' before coming to the penultimate track, 'Justify'. This is very hard to classify and has an pseudo reggae feel to it, at times, which belies the much darker nature of the lyrical content. The final track is the longest of all at 9:07 and, despite my earlier comments about track length, this comes across as a strong finisher - again we are treated to lots of tempo changes, some great piano work and a build up to a fantastic finish that leaves you wanting more.

All in all, despite its faults, this is an album that deserves the attentions of a far wider audience. There is something here that will strike a chord with most people if they were to give it a chance. Furthermore the lyrics are well written and thought provoking. I don't get the low rating to this album from other members here...A strong 4 stars

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by mbzr48

4 stars The band themselves were unknown to me, they hail from St Albans and this album dates back to 1995 but it was the credits that indicated the probability that the album would be of interest to me. Produced by Clive (For It Is He...) Nolan, Engineered by Karl Groom, and flautist none other than Martin Orford.

Moria Falls could be compared to several of the most popular Prog bands of that time, however they do have their own sound. The Long Goodbye is a concept album it is all about the torment of nightmares, the dream state, reality and finding a way to deal with the demons that lurk in all our subconsciousness. The power of the positive light perhaps... goodness to combat the evil darkness. I personally believe that this debut CD is a better realized effort than some of their more well know contemporaries. The album pulls no punches and from the opening track Waking Up Screaming (All 14 minutes of it) you know what you are going to get. That is not to say the album is predictable, but it is fair to say that Moria Falls cards are firmly laid on the table from the outset. The second track Traveller seems to me to be perhaps the most important track as it introduces us to the character who seems to be messing with our dream-state, is she an unrequited love returned to haunt us or something more sinister? That I will leave to your interpretation. The track features some excellent keyboards and Martin Orford excels with some delicate flute work.

I like The Long Goodbye. I think my favorite track is probably Traveller although I should say that there is not much to dislike about the album. Subsequent to listening to it I have found that some people have trouble with the vocals?? I can´t say I agree, but perhaps you may? This Album is a 3.5 stars

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by Aragon

5 stars The best album i've hear in the '90!!! This band deliver an excellent example of good neoprog, the style remember me Pink Flyod for the guitar style and Clepsydra or Marillion in his romantic moments for the dynamism of the compositions.

This album is very crafted with a perfect balance between mellow and relaxing moments and much strong and pulsing passages fully of tension in the same track. The quality of the melodic content is very high, and the production is really shining. The musicanship is superb, and the keyboards riff and solos are really catchying, with brilliant piano and modern synth arrangements that evokes Pendragon in his better moments.

Miff is a very talented singer and his voice is very original....i can't describe his style, he's a teatrical approach, but it's very different from old band from the past and it sounds like the altrock bands of the '90 with much pathos!

Every song is different from each other one, and there are 2 epic track very long like "Waking up screaming" with the Martin Orford flute intro or the "Long Goodbye", with an amazing sax solo in the central part very pleasant to end with the final epic coda in the "Script for Jester tear" or "Fugazi" vein, full of high coloured synths.

High recomended for all neoprog fans and lovers of beautiful music, 5 full star rounded to 6!!!

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Neo prog is often considered not the most challenging, original, innovative and interesting subgenre. Well, this may be true in a way but at the same time these critics forget about the quality and beauty of this style of music, that is if it's done by great musicians and composers.

And right here we have a great example of how neo prog should sound and if it's done like this I can hardly think of better music. And tend to forget about the often heard criticism. Music (and also prog) is not always about wanting to be challanged for me. Sometimes I want to sit back and enjoy fantastic music.

And then we're in the right place here with Moria Falls. I can't understand why a band with such huge potential has made only one other album so far. If you can write such killer songs and produce such brilliant guitar and keyboard solos then you should do this more often I feel. I don't know why Moria falls called it a day but as it is they are comparable with Ad Infinitum. The sound and style are very alike but Moria Falls is far better in almost all departments. And where I had to give a disappointing rating to Ad Infinitum I feel I have to round up this one. I used to think Clepsydra played the most perfect neo prog but they have serious competition from Moria Falls ...

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars In the much smirked sub-genre known as Neo-Prog, there are, like in most musical categorizations, the leaders with discographies and the one shot wonders. So you have your Arena, Pendragon, IQ, Marillion, Pallas, Galahad, Magenta, Satelitte etc..and then the hidden gems such as ICU's Now & Here, Skeem and Quidam's debuts and this very tasty album from English group Moria Falls. Inherently the difference between good Neo and the sludge that sometimes gives it such a black eye, is the quality of the melodic content and the able delivery of the emotion that should go with it. "The Long Goodbye" starts with a long hello and a damn good one, to boot, as "Waking Up Screaming" is a 14 minute + piece of progressive genius, a deliberate build-up with swirling keyboard colorations setting the table for the soaring guitar driven theme, with lead singer Miff deploying some excellent set of pipes (a huskier version of the Gabriel mould) in sustaining the drama, with guitman Glen Sanderman showing off some considerable tonal skills as well as some outright technical prowess. The mood changes direction and veers into different (and highly enjoyable) moments of bliss, from some brief harmony vocals to a synth corkscrew that segues into a second vocal chorus that shines with unabashed glow. The piano is used to create slight separations and this only serves to arouse the senses. The bass and drums supply a nervier touch than usually found on neo recordings. A Floydian guitar burst adds even more fuel to the fire, burning like exploding phosphorus and then swooning delicately, seeking and searching. An extraordinary first quarter of an hour highlighted by the most gentle retreat as the curtain falls, blending subtly into the faster paced and also gloomier " Traveller". This piece really sounds like a continuation of the same mood, Miff sounding a lot like Shaun Guerin (who sounded like Peter G) , the twirling guitars spinning a thick web of effect-laden mist, as the mellotrons howl in the background and the rhythm section propelling the edge even further. Keyboardist David White shows off some fine Moog soloing, giving this tune some sass and bite, while IQ's Martin Offord finds himself blowing some fluty kisses. "Out of Darkness" suggests a more gritty approach, guitars squealing uncontrolled, synths trembling and a lead vocal where you can actually picture Miff smiling as he intones his suffered lament. While perhaps a tad more accessible, the main melody is so immensely intense that one cannot help at marveling at the gall. Half way through this colossal gem, the identical theme becomes softer and really exposes the sheer lyrical beauty (the repeated "I wanna see"), culminating in a jaw dropping guitar chaperone that convinces that this is primo prog. "Still Raining" introduces White's majestic piano, a Wakemanesque subtlety that adds even more polish to the craft, a brief interlude as "Mists" swirls in , a short and highly suggestive piece, a platform for the singer to intone again his angst ("I Can Feel the Pain" ) and Sanderman to let another volley rip. "Frost" is another highlight, taking a different verse and adding emphasis by repeating it (such as "I Lose Control"), a tool to pummel the melody even deeper into the brain. The classic Genesis influence is perhaps even more overt here but the passion is there, believe me. Oh, and the swank guitar playing is again noteworthy for its crafty exuberance! While "Perfect World" is an excellent laidback piece, it just doesn't stun me as all the other splendid tracks, perhaps due to the arpeggio-decorated lilt that seems to plod a little, definitely a lighter impression. I personally prefer progressive recordings that keep the pressure up relentlessly, especially towards the final straightaway. This song is just too nice and would have been better suited in an earlier slot but not finding any room there, they put it here. The finale is the aptly penned title piece, with drummer Richard Jordan showing some slick time-keeping, nothing too complex mind you but effective. Miff exhorts gently, the lyrics here being more a propos, a depressive harangue with little rage and even less hope, swimming in outright melancholia, effectively illuminated by a sorrowful axe solo that suggest the pain of the universe, represented by the wall of Mellotron choir. Since their second album "Embrace" had, in my opinion, nothing even remotely in common with this treasured album, "The Long Goodbye" easily qualifies as a no-brainer, heartfelt representative of the supreme characteristics of good neo-prog. 4.5 handkerchiefs.

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 Embrace by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 12 ratings

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Embrace
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Some albums click on you, some do not. Some albums do not because they are very bad in fact. "Embrace" can't serve as an example of that kind of album - it's pretty listenable, but boring and average in the very sense of this world. I like Neo Prog, but that's too much. I don't blame the band in low quality of production - this is what every musician's faced with - their material is just rather weak. Few songs are worthy of checking but not more. Not recommended in general, but if you're a genre's die-hard fan, try to find it. Possibly you'll enjoy it more than me.

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wow! Very good neo prog band from England! Moria Falls debuts with an excellent CD that is a pleasure to listen to from the first hearing. Very creative and with lots of good songs. As one should expect from a prog band, the musicanship is superb, with many guitar\keyboards solos, duels, interplays. Miffs vocals are really different from most neo prog outfits and it works very well through the record. Ok, one may say nothing here is very original. So what? You don't have to be original to be good and vice versa. And Moria Falls proves this point: their songs are very good and the arrangements make the whole CD flows without a hinch all the way through, from beginning to end.

If you like neo prog, with strong Pink Floyd overtones, this one's for you. I'm looking forward to get their second CD. Highly recommended!

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 Embrace by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 12 ratings

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Embrace
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by pishjet

4 stars I was rather impressed with this young band from Hemel Hempstead. I guess the first thing that struck me was the fine cover artwork. upon my first listen there is a strong Marillion influence with opening track 'tearing at the heartstrings' (being my favourite) this is a strong number with excellent lyrics and powerful drumming. next we have almost a pop song with 'falling down' which reminds me a a lot of 80's era pendragon. The album continues with strong songs and rich melodies which should provide prog rock fans of yesteryear with plenty of good 80's poppy, pompy prog. i must just bring miff's vocals to attention here, although he has a very distinctive voice, I found it was a bit dubious to start with and thought he sounded a bit like gary chandler from jadis! but i soon got used to it and now think his voice is great, just unique. An impressive second album, better than the first Can we excpect another release soon? I definitely hope so. A great addition to any progman's walkman!

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 The Long Goodbye  by MORIA FALLS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.85 | 22 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Moria Falls Neo-Prog

Review by lor68
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'm sorry for my low rating, but I think of the new progressive wave in England and I'm disappointed about it!! It lacks of fresh ideas and originality as well...Pendragon doesn't represent an exception within this poor music scene!! Perhaps IQ only in the recent years tried to give new birth to this genre, which is dying today...anyway coming back to the present issue, featuring Clive Nolan from Pendragon and M. Offord from IQ as a guest star, it doesn't add anything new or diverse in comparison to such UK new prog genre nowadays!!

The present album contains a lot of common places and usual breaks through in the vein of Marillion (these latter were already regarded as Genesis' clones) and this fact brings me to a certain sadness!!However if you like the melodic flute excursions by M. Offord, without any particular complex music passage, even appreciating the gentle approach by the unknown female vocalist of the band, you could choose this light album;otherwise you can stay away from this usual music territory and choose something more original or complex!!

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