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MOGADOR

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Mogador biography
Italian act MOGADOR was formed in the summer of 2007, with a line-up consisting of Richard George Allen, Luca Briccola, Stefano Lago and Paolo Pigny. They start writing material and rehearsing it based out of Lake Como, and in 2009 they issue their self-titled debut album.

Since the album release Lago has left the band, while the remaining trio is busy preparing material for their second album.

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MOGADOR discography


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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Mogador
2009
3.67 | 8 ratings
All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing
2010
3.79 | 20 ratings
Absinthe Tales Of Romantic Visions
2012

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MOGADOR Reviews


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 Absinthe Tales Of Romantic Visions by MOGADOR album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 20 ratings

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Absinthe Tales Of Romantic Visions
Mogador Crossover Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mogador's third album, "Absinthe Tales Of Romantic Visions", was self-released in 2012 with a renewed line up featuring Richard George Allen (drums, percussion, vocals), Luca Briccola (guitars, keyboards, bass, flute, backing vocals) and Marco Terzaghi (vocals) plus some guests. It's a kind of concept album dedicated to some Romantic artists, painters and poets, who in some way drew their inspiration from absinthe, an anise-flavoured spirit with a natural green colour. In my opinion, the result is pretty good! The band confirm here all the good promises of their first two albums and if you like bands such as Genesis, Gentle Giant or Yes I'm sure you'll find this work very interesting.

The opener "Whispers To The Moon" is a beautiful instrumental piece that was inspired by "Two Men Contemplating The Moon", a 1819 painting by German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. It begins softly, with a delicate piano pattern and the atmosphere is dreamy. It fades into "Dreamland", a piece in the same mood where the band interpret a poem by Christina Rossetti... "Where sunless rivers weep their waves into the deep / She sleeps a charmed sleep: awake her not / Led by a single star, she came from very far / To seek where shadows are her pleasant lot...".

The following "She Sat And Sang" is taken from another poem by Christina Rossetti and features two special guests: singer-songwriter Agnes Milewski (female vocals) and Filippo Pedretti (violin). It's a beautiful acoustic ballad that could recall bands such the Pentangle or Renaissance... "I wept for memory / She sang for hope that is so fair / My tears were swallowed by the sea / Her songs died in the wind...".

"We Never Said Farewell" is a short, "gentle" track featuring lyrics taken from a poem by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge... "Two islands that the roaring sea divide / Are not more far apart...". The following piece "Where Were Ye All?" recalls Yes and features lyrics taken from a poem by Emily Bronte drenched in dark nostalgia... "O come with me thus ran the song / The moon is bright in Autumn's sky / And thou hast toiled and laboured long / With aching head and weary eye...".

"Hardships" is my favourite track on this album. It was inspired by a 1772 painting by Claude Joseph Vernet called "The Shipwreck". In my opinion here the band managed to capture the spirit of the evocative, powerful images in music and words in an excellent way ? by the way, this track features original lyrics written by Richard Allen ? and I'm sure that lovers of Yes and Gentle Giant will appreciate it... "Pray for the men who dared to dream / Shed no tears, the sea washed them clean / Say to those men, that you shared their dream / They paid so dear, right or wrong as it seems...".

"Incantation Of The Muse" is short instrumental track for that leads to "The Sick Rose", another nice short track featuring lyrics taken from a poem by William Blake and interpreted by the guest vocalist Jon Davison... "O Rose thou art sick / The invisible worm / That flies in the night / In the howling storm / Has found out thy bed / Of crimson joy / And his dark secret love / Does thy life destroy...".

The introspective "Alone" is taken from a poem by Edgar Alla Poe and features the guest Gabriele Bernasconi on vocals. Another Italian prog band, Goad, took inspiration from the same poem and it could be interesting compare the two different versions. Well, Mogador's version is in some way more solemn and brighter but I like both versions and, of course, the poetry that inspired them.

The dark, tense "Song Of Saul Before His Last Battle" is taken from a poem by Lord Byron. It's a beautiful piece full of obscure energy... "Farewell to others, but never we part / Heir to my royalty, son of my heart! / Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway / Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day!". Then comes the short, melancholic "Le Poison", featuring lyrics taken from a poem by Charles Baudelaire and recitative French vocals provided by the guest Curzio Galante.

The long, complex "Prometheus" is another excellent piece featuring lyrics taken from an epic poem by Lord Byron. The poem is about Prometheus, a famous mythological character of the Ancient Greek, the titan who brought fire to men and was condemned by Zeus to be eternally chained to a rock having his liver eaten daily by an eagle. For Romantic artists, such as Byron, Prometheus represented the rebel who resisted all forms of institutional tyranny and here the band give life to the myth in a convincing way with an amazing suite rich in ideas and full of fiery energy... "Titan! To thee the strife was given / Between the suffering and the will / Which torture where they cannot kill...". A short bonus track, "Absinthe Rag", a joyful piece for piano solo, concludes an album that in my opinion is really worth listening to.

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 Mogador by MOGADOR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Mogador
Mogador Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Italian band from Como, born in 2007 out of an ad at a local studio placed by drummer/singer Richard George Allen.This way he met with multi-instrumentalist Luca Briccola and guitarist Stefano Lago, while Briccola brought in his friend Paolo Pigni to take over the bass duties.Two years later (and after tons of rehearsals in a tie/scarf factory!!!) Mogador debuted with their self- produced self-titled album.

Mogador played some sort of modern Progressive Rock with vintage-influenced structures akin to bands like MARS HOLLOW, GLASS HAMMER or UNITOPIA.While the tracks are not that long, the structures are tight with a fair dose of surprises and a quite rich sound, albeit far from original.The guitars get occasionally a heavier touch and along with the sharp synth work of Briccola are the main components of the music, based on some fast paces, expressive and crunchy vocals and interesting solos.However the second part of the album is much more interesting and contains a couple of delicate acoustic pieces close to early GENESIS with a sweet atmosphere, while Briccola adds some elegant flute work and more prominent piano themes next to his overall decent synth passages in a couple of others.There is even some apparent 70's vibe in the longest track ''Floating in the Void'' with the strong time signatures and the sound of organ, while the closer ''Omnia mutantur, nihil interit'' has an evident Classical/Electronic approach.

The first tracks show a band capable of playing some decent Progressive Rock, the last ones though show even greater aspects and a huge potential.Recommended.

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 All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing by MOGADOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.67 | 8 ratings

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All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing
Mogador Crossover Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Soon after the release of Mogador's first album, Stefano Lago left the band while the other members started to work on another conceptual work. According to the band, Richard read the story of a man who got trapped in a lift in a newspaper and it struck him as a viable vehicle for a narrative album, the other two agreed and set about writing the music. The result is another self produced work, 'All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing', featuring an improved recording quality and an overall sound that could recall bands such as The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard.

The opener 'Unexpectedly, Friday' sets the atmosphere. It is just like any other Friday evening, the weekend beckons and the protagonist of the story is ready to enjoy its delights. But he forgets his keys in the office and has to go back... 'I should have taken the stairs but I saw that open door / As I rose the lift shut down, a sudden halt / Unexpected dark and silence / Unwelcome dark and suspense / Took me by surprise...'. The man shouts, asks for help...

'Deep In Trouble Deep' is darker and more aggressive. While Richard George Allen interprets the protagonist of the story Paolo Pigni interprets the narrator and in this piece he takes the lead... 'He was the last one out of the door / Trapped in a lift, it was trouble for sure... Hitting wildly in all his rage / To try to break free from this steel cage... So you thought life was so good? / And you said I want everything now / But look now, my young friend, where are you? / Deep in trouble deep...'.

'Panic!' is a beautiful instrumental track featuring many changes in rhythm and mood that describes the feelings of the protagonist when he realises there's no one to help him...

The next track, 'So Cold', is calmer and begins with an acoustic guitar pattern. The voice of the protagonist comes back... 'Panic gave way to reason / As I slid on the floor / At times like these I thought intelligence would pay / But thinking very calmly made it all seem worse... It's cold, I'm cold / Help me someone...'.

'One Day' begins with a piano solo pattern and marks the lowest ebb of the story for the protagonist. On the first part we can listen to the voice of the narrator. The protagonist finds a gentle peace while his hope slips away and fear gives way to peace. The second part of the track features a church-like atmosphere and great harmony vocals... 'We know that one day / We will all fall to sleep... If we have lived in full virtuous and true / Who knows, death may be a blessed relief...'.

'Sweet Liberty' is lighter and begins with a delicate acoustic guitar arpeggio, then the rhythm section and the keyboards come in. The protagonist is saved by a rescue team, at first he thinks that the voices of his saviours are nothing but a dream then he can see the light again... 'In a moment I was free... In a moment I could see... Finally unbound, all the world was there for me / Thanking endlessly / Oh sweet, sweet liberty...'. Tubular bells announce the end of the dark.

'Homely Smells Again' tells what happens later the same day... 'They provided a car to take him home... He turned the key of the door... / He headed for the bed, to rest his head / Finally homely smells again...'. But this is not the end of the story and this is a complex track. The protagonist is woken by the sound of the phone. A lawyer calls him and insists that he needs assistance... 'We met later that week / There were damages to seek / A six or seven figure sum for a life undone...'. The protagonist returns to work two weeks later but when he places the damage claim on his boss's desk he's fired... 'I was called in by the boss again / And told to return at home / This time I took the stairs...'.

'A New Beginning' is a reflective track that marks the end of the story and the definitive change in the attitude of the protagonist. The protagonist suits his former employer in court under the media's attention but he loses the case and can't find another job... 'Now I'm living in a different place / Right and wrong are in their place / I take each day as a new beginning / The rising sun brightens the way / Ends the darkness, leads the way...'.

'All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing' begins with a marry piano pattern and draws the moral of the story: never surrender! The music could recall the Beatles and the sax played by the guest Marco 'Plumber' Bonetti enriches the sound of this piece... 'There are times when you feel sad and very lonely / And the world looks grey and grim / Don't surrender, face the fight...'. Voices and sounds coming from the country conclude this work as a ghost track.

Well, all in all I think this is an interesting story and a very good album...

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 Mogador by MOGADOR album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Mogador
Mogador Crossover Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mogador began life in 2007 on the Lake Como on the initiative of Richard George Allen (drums vocals). The first line up was completed by Luca Briccola (piano, keyboards, flute), Stefano Lago (guitars) and Paolo Pigni (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals). The musicians started to rehearse in a tie factory and named their band Mogador, as the ancient name of the Moroccan port of Essaouira that gave its name to a tie cloth that is a mix of silk and cotton. According to their website the same idea of mixing is reflected in the influences on Mogador's style since the individual members of the band enjoy all kinds of music from progressive rock to folk, to fusion and classical. In 2009 they released a first interesting self produced eponymous album. It's a kind of conceptual work inspired by the four elements and was recorded in a non professional home-studio. The lyrics are in English and the overall sound of the album recalls the early Genesis... Well, despite the poor recording means the result is not bad at all.

There is a short opener that sets the atmosphere and introduces the subject matter with narrative vocals, "Ab imis fundamenti". It leads to "The Salamander", a track inspired by fire, the fire of passion... "There's a fire that I burn / When I desire, when I yearn...". The second track, "The Tide's Undertow" was inspired by water and deals with some environmental issues, exalting water for the dangerous strength of its rage and its priceless value for life... "We all can feel water's primal force / And one day she'll call us all back out sea / We all exist in the dread and the fear / That one day we'll live the tide's undertow...". Then comes "Tell Me Smiling Child", one of the two tracks with no relation with the elements of the concept. It's a short piece for piano and voice featuring lyrics taken from a poem by Emily Bronte...

"Mammon's Greed" was inspired by earth and takes us back to the concept and its pastoral mood... "Take courage dear friends and we'll find the way / Hope never ends to see that perfect day / When Earth and Man live as one...". Next comes the other track non related to the elements, the short acoustic guitar driven "Solitary Bench ? An Alchemy", my favourite on this work... "There is a place that nobody knows / Where I sit alone on a solitary bench... Like a grain of sand changes into a pearl / I change too... Like an alchemist I turn my lead into gold...". "Floating In The Void", the piece inspired by air, and the instrumental symphonic outro "Omnia mutantur, nihil interit" conclude the album. By the way, the beautiful art cover reproduces a painting by Johan Christian Clausen Dahl titled "Vesuvius Erupting" where you can see all the elements. In my opinion it depicts in some way the content of the music as well...

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 All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing by MOGADOR album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.67 | 8 ratings

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All I Am Is Of My Own MaKing
Mogador Crossover Prog

Review by The Block

3 stars All I Am Is of My Own Making is the second release by prog band Mogador. This album runs on catchy riffs and uplifting vocals by Luca Briccola and Richard George Allen, respectively. Also, Marco Bonetti, who plays both soprano and tenor sax, makes a guest appearance on "All I Am Is of My Own Making", which adds a jazzier taste to the end of the album.

Mogador, first off, is a fantastic band that is capable of playing many styles within both the prog and rock spectrum. "Unexpectedly, Friday" is a great example of this because it starts out not very progressive then gets more progressive as it gets further into the song. By the end it becomes almost a Pain of Salvation-like outro which is really cool, and has some really good guitar riffs by Luca Briccola. Another good thing about this album is the variety of instruments played here. Not only are there guitars and a bass, but there's also very nice orchestration and the addition of a flute on some songs.

For the most part this album is straightforward progressive rock, but the last song proves different from the rest. The title track is very different from the rest of the album for the main fact that it is very laid back. Also, it is almost pop sounding too, but that's okay because it is still a really good song. Featuring Marco Bonetti on sax, and much slower guitar riffs this song is a great wind down to the album. The choruses are also very good and this is perhaps my favorite on the album. The production of this album is pretty standard with everything you've come to expect from modern prog.

Overall I really enjoyed this album, and I'm sure many other prog fans will too. Featuring great musicianship from everyone involved this album was great to listen too and had many memorable riffs and choruses. Overall Mogador gets 3.5 stars for their second release.

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