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THE MERLIN BIRD

Prog Folk • Australia


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The Merlin Bird biography
THE MERLIN BIRD were an Australian quintet playing a highly progressive rock that combined elements of classic progressive rock (JETHRO TULL, YES) with folk nuances in a modern electronic setting. In recent years the group has been reduced to a duo with many outside contributors and influences.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

The Merlin Bird official website

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Chapter & VerseChapter & Verse
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$6.58
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THE MERLIN BIRD discography


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THE MERLIN BIRD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 18 ratings
Chapter and Verse
2014

THE MERLIN BIRD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THE MERLIN BIRD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 4 ratings
Reason and Rhyme
2003

THE MERLIN BIRD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chapter and Verse by MERLIN BIRD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.41 | 18 ratings

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Chapter and Verse
The Merlin Bird Prog Folk

Review by Mind_Drive

4 stars The Merlin Bird captured my attention with their name, that sounded somehow promising to me and I felt I should check them out.

And well, sometimes, our feelings lead us to great desicions..

Chapter and Verse is their first full length album although they have been around making music for almost 9 years now. But with only two members left, they seem to have everything a well balanced and versatile band needs.

The album carries a very special aura of enchanted places, promising endeavours and sacral, medieval times. The haunting female voice is just a pleasure to the ear and when they both sing along or in canon it´s very beautiful!

They crafted a skillful blend of smphonic, folk and even electronic elements with soothing vocals that sometimes remind of ancient monastery chorals.

Many of the intriguing melodies are highly memorable and please everytime I revisit this album. The more calm songs still evoke heartwarming feelings of longing and security making this debut a very special and beautiful journey.

For all, who want to discover a rather exceptional approach to folk prog with a surpisingly convenient output, I highly recommend this little overlooked gem!

4.2 / 5 Stars!

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 Reason and Rhyme by MERLIN BIRD, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.66 | 4 ratings

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Reason and Rhyme
The Merlin Bird Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars I don't even know if this group plays Christian rock, and the title of their recently released first full length album implies such, but this all too short EP from some years back evokes a sense of wonder and awe that one would expect to find more in popular devotional music. From the lush production to the harmonious vocals to the Olde English styled melodies, this is a true delight from down under. They bring to mind FARPOINT from the Southern USA but their male and female vox are less at odds, and they radiate a much more united stylistic vision.

Here we have basically three short tracks interspersed with three...er..shorter tracks, such that one barely stumbles into the glade before getting spun back out onto the sidelines. The opening of "Rhyme to Reason" eerily recalls early MOODY BLUES psychedelia, but MERLIN BIRD is able to wed this ethereal quality to earthiness with breathless verses and hypnotically rhythmic acoustic textures. A well placed lead guitar interlude ups the progressive rock ante. Still, the EP really crests on "The Father of Storms", a dignified ode to natural and human unpredictability as the pure source of their beauty. Those who enjoy earth centered music will willingly acquiesce.

It took a number of listens for me to realize just how short changed I feel, but I'm glad to have discovered "The Merlin Bird" now at a time when the band/duo has actually issued a proper release called "Chapter and Verse". Reasons to be cheerful.

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 Reason and Rhyme by MERLIN BIRD, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.66 | 4 ratings

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Reason and Rhyme
The Merlin Bird Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The Merlin Bird started basically as a duo in Melbourne, Australia.Keyboardist and singer Geoff Dawes and drummer Dan Maloney were the headquarters of this project, but their first work would be finished with the help of female singer Shakira Searle, guitarist Dave O'Toole and bassist Dylan Stevenson.It would be the short EP ''Reason and rhyme'', released in 2003, mainly as a digital download with a few supporting CD copies.

The most impressive thing about this first effort is actually the most important one: Great and consistent songwriting.The Merlin Bird's style follows the colors of IONA's music and the ingredients of this excellent EP are mixed almost with perfection.Beautiful vocals, both based on lyrics and wordless chants, smooth acoustic textures and ethereal Celtic-inspired tunes.These would be supported by some melodic electric guitars and a fair amount of background keyboards, eventually creating majestic and cinematic soundscapes.As no other instruments are used, traditional echoes from bagpipes and harps are delivered through the keyboard equipment, having a decent, natural sound.MIKE OLDFIELD is also another name to spring to mind, listening to this album.The romantic electroacoustic changes, the discreet use of piano and the grandiose, Folk-flavored textures are offered with sincere passion and sensitivity, complemented by some of the best vocal melodies you can listen to.This is an album based on nostalgic atmospheres with enough elaborate and cleverly composed stuff to regard it as progressive.

Clocking at only 17 minutes, ''Reason and rhyme'' can do nothing else than leave the listener wanting for more.Amazing Neo Prog/Folk with the only negative factor being its extremely short length.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Reason and Rhyme by MERLIN BIRD, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.66 | 4 ratings

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Reason and Rhyme
The Merlin Bird Prog Folk

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Merlin Bird are an Australian band I have been aware of for some time, but I had actually thought they were rejected so it's nice to see them arrive here on PA.

So far this is their only release, 17 minutes of charming, melodic folk music. The music is largely vocally driven, but there is a good variety of vocalists carrying this torch, including multiple male and female vocalists. The opening track, for example, is carried forward by the lead male vocals and the drumming, but swirling layers of female vocals behind it give it great character.

I discovered these guys because of their opening and closing tracks (Rhyme to Reason and Reason to Rhyme, respectively), which were included on the CD in an issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog. But the entire album is up to the quality these tracks hinted at, with lush arrangements and lovely, melodic music. The frail female vocals in "Father of all Storms", singing "All will be well, I know somehow all will be well" are a particular emotional highlight.

The only downside is that, being an EP, this album will be over long before you are ready for it to end. I know that for me, it definitely got many back-to-back listens for this reason! Let's hope that the band is able to complete their next record soon.

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Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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