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COLIN MOLD

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Colin Mold biography
Besides being a founding member of folk-rock band KARA, COLIN MOLD has also released a pair of solo albums and in 2012 was named a touring member of KARNATAKA. On his 2012 release 'Girl on the Castle Steps' the multi-instrumentalist features tracks that includes lyrics by Cindy L Spear and an appearance by Martin Nolan of IONA.

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

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Girl on the Castle StepGirl on the Castle Step
Import
Ais 2012
Audio CD$16.56
$18.95 (used)
Water of DivinityWater of Divinity
CD Baby 2007
Audio CD$12.41
$24.50 (used)
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COLIN MOLD discography


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

3.51 | 11 ratings
Water of Divinity
2007
3.87 | 23 ratings
Girl on the Castle Steps
2012
4.78 | 8 ratings
Now You See Me
2014

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COLIN MOLD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Now You See Me by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.78 | 8 ratings

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Now You See Me
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Now I See You!

When considering Colin Mold's third release after 2007's "Water of Divinity" and 2012's "A Girl on Castle Steps", the latter being quite a revelation , I had to take into consideration that I was and will continue to be an ardent follower and fan of such a gifted artist, so I will be biased and totally opinionated . I relish all of his work, including the 'very raw' Kara project, his first recording adventure. Upon listening to "A Girl..." the very first time, I knew that I had found another artist that simply fit neatly into my personal conception of music, armed with a haunting voice that, simply put, resonated very deeply within my soul, for reasons that I do not and care not to understand.

While nowhere near the hyper-complex poly-rhythmic prog-rock that we all enjoy, the music of Colin Mold is utterly honest, oozing from a sensitive soul who expresses himself with a great amount of humility, originality and personality. Having been a music teacher as well as a touring member of Karnataka proves that he possesses chops and skills that are clearly beyond the ordinary. His guitar playing is exemplary, a style that is passionate and highly compact, somewhere between Steve Hackett and Iona's Dave Bainbridge, while he handles symphonic keyboards as well as occasional piano and uses the violin to heighten the effects that he wishes to depict. Lyrically, he also depends on Cindy L. Spear to provide some emphasis to Colin's picturesque yet simply expressed instrumentals, exuding just the right amount of sonic grandeur and preciousness.

But where Colin Mold really outclasses the competition in the singer-songwriter category, is his ownership of a drop-dead beautiful voice, an extremely expressive delivery as well as a tone that is plainly amazing. He sings with great passion, not just obvious skill. In our beloved genre, the level of instrumental musicianship is first rate and without any uncertainty, the cream of the rock crop. But when Greg Lake (bless his heart), still wins prog vocalist polls in 2014, you can only surmise that prog is not exactly microphone heaven! There is a paucity of truly world class voices and many otherwise stellar recordings are diminished by some rather unremarkable vocals. Colin owns a warm, suave, suggestive, passionate, fragile yet powerful tone that seems to emote very convincingly, at least to my ears. Listening to it is sheer panacea, a healing disposition that never fails to amaze and charm. In terms of comparison, let us imagine a mixture of Justin Hayward, Simon Lebon, Tony Hadley, Peter Gabriel or Chris Deburgh, not exactly a shabby crew by any standards. Regardless, I always get the impression, a rare one I must admit, that he is singing for just me, so how could I not be enthused?

Colin is one of us, a gifted man living a typical life, with all its routines, its comforts and its disappointments, especially when dealing as we must with fellow human beings, who are not always saints and often sinners. "Now You See Me" is quite appropriately titled, the music is way more vocal-centric than before, as if he decided to create something even more personal than in the past. There are 10 lovely songs on the menu, nothing too long or too brief, just perfect little nuggets that shine in the bright light of recognition and appreciation.

"Shelter" is a not a version of the Rolling Stones classic (thankfully, I dislike their music forcefully), a rollicking opener nevertheless that immediately goes for a rhythmic jugular, get the juices boiling , and as such, a perfect appetizer. Bouncy, upbeat and confident, this will get one's toes tapping in a hurry, a haunting melody and a surging vocal to prove the point.

Things get somewhat more symphonic and grandiose with "Eye of the Wind", a Celtic-tinged masterpiece that features a grandiloquent yet surly axe solo that screeches boldly, right from the opening bars. Evocative commentary on contemporary issues as 'the mystery of life unfolds again', the modern delivery seeks to appeal and it does so convincingly amid 'the dark troubled times'. Call this CNN-prog, if you wanna!

The lengthiest track is the 7 minute 23 epic "Blood on Your Hands", a moody hymn that takes no shortcuts and introduces once more some towering guitar playing of the highest order. Colin's voice is spell-binding, deeply resonating, vivid and dignified. There is a strong Gabriel feel here that only adds to the glory. The song's dynamics are thrilling, aided by some precise backing vocals, creating an ebb and flow from serene to explosive that keeps the heart beating wildly. Lovely stuff, indeed.

The gripping beauty of "Amelia- the vagabond" will waste little time in forging a profound sense of epiphany, a progressive song of the highest order that expresses brilliantly the story of the intrepid aviator who disappeared into the Pacific mist and into legend for ever after. With a solitary voice and piano (like the plane and her pilot), Colin weaves a liberating voyage of uncharted discovery and heroic adventure. The sumptuous guitar underlines the dramatic undercurrents, the sorrow of her disappearance and the ongoing mystery surrounding her whereabouts (like Malaysian Airlines 370, nothing was ever found, only further perpetuating her myth!). Tremendous symphonic adornments with dense mellotron and synth work only maintain the melancholic nature of the breathtaking piece.

The celestial "Will We Ever Return" is another scorching hymn, packing a stupendous chorus that is beyond description, as that masterful voice seeks to convince and seduce once again. Damn that man can sing! "Will we ever come back to the garden we once knew, to the paradise we left", I mean really! Simple yet effective words, no mumbo-jumbo gobbly-gook, again seared by some sizzling guitar forays that reach for the heavens. A 'longing for' ballad that luxuriates in ethereal melodicism, deeply sensitive and wrapped in a ravishing pulse. The definition of gorgeous.

"The Follower-Jonestown Lament" is the second longest piece, a harrowing essay on the power of manipulative discourse and how it can influence otherwise normal people, as historically expressed by the Jonestown mass suicide in Guyana, where 909 devout followers of Reverend Jim Jones committed suicide with Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. A harbinger of Waco, Heaven's Gate and the Temple of the Sun Order mass suicides that stunned the world. Colin spares little restraint in expressing the confusion of obedience, the steadfast belief in utopic irrational-ism and human willingness to believe in the unknown. Just a sensational prog song of the very highest pedigree.

After such a slew of rather epic, sad and forlorn material, "Blue Wings" comes across as somewhat more positive and upbeat, Colin unleashing some Oldfield like fret-board arches, the sun is out, the sky is blue. All is well in progland.

"Running Dry" is another winner, a compact, restrained and highly melodic ditty, again with a chorus that comes right out of recent Peter Gabriel, with blazing synth backdrops, aggressive guitar and loopy bass, all pushing the envelope further, finished off by some surly and twisting guitar phrasings. The lyrics again address the frail human condition and how we constantly and resoundingly find ways to screw up the lovely planet we live on, breathing the same air and yet finding ways for strife and pain to overrule. 'Can we survive?'

The title track is a total groove piece, a cool rhythm spearheads the progression of the melody, the chugging Gabriel-esque mood is even more evident with the Eastern-tinged violin and the splendid lyrics that evoke the former Genesis front-man quite reverently. The chorus is world-class mind blower, sticking madly to the pleasure nodes and giving the cortex a good sonic massage. Wiggling bass really does the convincing, propelling the mood forward. Colin peels off a bewitching solo on his trusted guitar that seals the deal in the most comfortable manner possible.

"My Celtic Home" ends this spectacular album of a high note, an obviously progressive piece that targets the uniqueness of Celtic music and how it has been influenced and how it continues to influence world music. Ornate piano and that sultry voice glide over poignant 'wild horses' lyrics, something about 'ancient stories' and 'Celtic crosses', allied with dense orchestrations and a glorious sense of pride and accomplishment. Colin anoints some violin flutters to compliment the guitar dance. Just plain brilliant, uplifting and romantic music.

Fans of recent Peter Gabriel will also enjoy this genial artist immensely, an honest, humble and original addition to the prog universe, who needs not to overplay his numerous talents and keeps everything pure and simple. The quality of the material is off the charts, a truly magnificent set of songs. Another gorgeous and highly quixotic musical adventure, the real Colin Mold has shown himself again.

5 progressive optometrists

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 Water of Divinity by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 11 ratings

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Water of Divinity
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Very accomplished musician from United Kingdom.Mold had come in touch with piano, violin and guitar already before the age of ten and he first appeared in the music scene with Kara, the band he formed in St. Albans in 2004.After a good self-titled album with his group Mold focused on releasing his first personal album ''Water of Divinity'', a work that saw the light in 2007 as a self-produced CD.Mold plays all instruments and sings on this effort, except for two tracks where Jo Marriot plays flute and another one where Kara bandmate Steve Barfoot plays the drums.

Originally the album was heading for an all instrumental work around the story of British Christian martyr Saint Alban, ending up though being a mix of sensitive instrumental and vocal tracks.Mold's style has strong resemblances to his band KARA and the solo albums of COLIN MASSON, drawing influences from the works of STEVE HACKETT and MIKE OLDFIELD.The music is strongly based on ethereal soundscapes with dreamy synthesizers, moving electric guitars and a heavy dose of acoustic movements with a huge Celtic influence.The material has a strong sense of melody and deep atmosphere with sparkling electric solos, grandiose symphonic textures and folky vibes, keeping a fantastic balance between Rock and Folk music, resulting a trully proggy work with versatile themes.Another strong asset of the album is Mold's voice, which is simply beautiful and delicate, full of emotional singing lines.There are no evident black holes despite the album being a one-man effort, ''Water of Divinity'' is filled with melodic, rich and colorful arrangements of high class.

Hard to realize there is one sole figure behind this great album.Emotional and highly melodic Progressive Rock with obvious Folk vibes in a work, where little pearls are dispersed here and there.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Girl on the Castle Steps by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 23 ratings

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Girl on the Castle Steps
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A mashup of a folky acoustic guitar-focused singer-songwriter aesthetic and a compositional style and progressive touches reminiscent - as I believe Colin himself says - of Camel or Pendragon, Girl On the Castle Steps is a pleasant album with a wistful atmosphere. Balancing folky songs with more electric efforts - View From the Mountain arguably being the proggiest and rockingest song on the album - it's a release which I suspect will get a passing mark from many prog fans but will struggle to get much in the way of sustained repeated playback. It's a good album and if you put it on the stereo whilst we're driving I'd happily listen to it to the end, but I can't find myself wanting to revisit it very much.

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 Water of Divinity by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 11 ratings

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Water of Divinity
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Being totally enthralled and enamored by Colin Mold's latest album 'Girl on the Castle Steps', I undertook the task of getting his debut recording 'Water of Divinity' into my collection and strive to comprehend where it all began for him, in terms of recording (his very first foray was the raw Kara project). There are some who do not like beautiful music, a notion that I find kind of bizarre, as if a pretty woman or a pretty photograph would somehow deserve to be unliked and therefore discarded. But this prettiness can also incorporate a colossal amount of pain and emotion, a strong sense of melancholia and nostalgia which is the underlying essence of such a wide variety of musical styles, from Gypsy, Fado, Celtic, Umm Kulhtum and Flamenco to blues, folk, jazz and rock.

The seeds of future greatness ('Girl' is an outright masterpiece) are plainly audible on this exemplary offering, obviously kept low-key for budgetary reasons, such as the strong lead voice that resonates with such ardor and poignancy as well as the dexterous guitar playing of the highest caliber. Acoustic and electric workouts are technically proficient and exhibit a strong sense of personality and style that is well above the norm. This very personal album is littered with examples of Colin's musical expertise and showcases a bright future for this multi-instrumentalist. As per the liner notes, 'Water of Divinity' began as a collection of instrumental pieces designed around the story of St Alban and quickly evolved into a more or less conceptual recording with appropriate lyrics and vocals. The opener 'Pursuit of Amphibalus' is an all-instrumental track that espouses the electric folk-rock traditions of the United Kingdom in an obvious and expansive manner

The sedate 'The Dying Tree' is our first glimpse of Colin's quivering and angelic voice, a seductive expression similar to a less husky Justin Hayward. The fuzzy guitar washes amid the acoustic picking show the signs of a composer on top of his game , especially when the oblique lead solo kicks in , hinting at Iona's Dave Bainbridge or even Allen Holdsworth.

'Prayer and Shelter' is a hauntingly beautiful highlight track, like a sky full of scintillating stars, soothing backing vocals shepherded by a fluid electric guitar flight and blanketed in lustrous keyboards. Yes, there is a little hint of early Enya as well as some folksy preciousness that exudes beauty and serenity.

'So Many Thoughts' is a brief acoustic guitar interlude, aromas of Ant Phillips in the air, jangly notes resonating spiritedly.

The sunny 'Beautiful Place' chooses to lean towards a more classic folk expanse, the sublime vocals and deep lyrics taking over a brisk and echoing melody, whilst whooshing Roland synths paint the air and sensuously duel with a voluptuous axe solo as well as some fine acoustic picking. From this moment on, Colin proposes a series of four songs that easily rival the future jewels on 'Girl on the Castle Steps', where sweeping rapturous melodies vie for attention with superb instrumental playing. First up, the grandiose 'When Will you Wait to See my Light' with its memorable chorus that sticks to your brain like some tenacious mould (pun time!), augmented by a soaring, scouring guitar solo for the ages, the soothing voice seeps lovingly beyond the melancholia and consecrating the talent on display here. I mean this is achingly beautiful, inspiring, personal and sensational music, a song for the ages.

'A Life Through my Eyes' continues the crest on which the music rides, a more acoustic oriented style at first that evolves into an enormous guitar excursion, flush with emotional drive and folk tradition, dense synthesized orchestrations that give width and breath to the meaningful lyrics.

'Arrival and Capture' seeks to prove a crucial point in terms of progressive value, bristling synths fluttering wildly and forcing a near symphonic aura that is applause worthy, shoving all preconceptions aside and highlighting some more fabulous playing that is all substance and effect, deeply cinematographic and sonically resonant. This is where the prog rock element is vivid and unpretentious, effectively providing depth to the recording. Both the keyboard and the guitar expertise are obvious and stunning.

The heroic finale 'From the Spring Flows Hope' is another fine example of Colin Mold's craft, an inspired musical exercise that obliterates any doubt about his technical abilities, showcasing a staggering display on electric guitar, searing leads that cascade relentlessly from his fingers, flavored with distinct Celtic tones and his acoustic playing is nothing to disregard, his picking technique on par with his emotional delivery. Once again, the melodic inspiration is well beyond expectations, a supreme sense of melody and structure confirms the obvious.

Fans of Iona, Mike Oldfield, Karnataka, Mostly Autumn as well as prog-folk in general need to check this talented artist out. Music for music's sake! A star is born.

4.5 celestial irrigations

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 Girl on the Castle Steps by MOLD, COLIN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.87 | 23 ratings

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Girl on the Castle Steps
Colin Mold Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars What a fascinating creature this Girl on the castle steps! On the 'Prelude', shimmering halos of ethereal sounds find words wrapped in elegant beauty. No pressure to perform or otherwise impress other than infusing the magical violin into a musical realm that encompasses a glorious past and align it with modern home technology and the result is something beyond magic! The folk sensibility is evident within the strong song based formula espoused by Colin Mold, a musician that understands mood, melody and atmosphere by relying on a profound sense of melancholia, as well as the classic instrumentations that bedeck the legendary British progressive folk music scene. Another of those hidden, unknown gems that is always a thrill to discover, Colin is a music teacher, artist, multi-instrumentalist as well as a new member of Karnataka, one of the UK leading proponents of symphonic female vocalist fronted bands. The Welsh band certainly has a following in Europe and is due for some new release soon. If Mold can add the talent displayed here to that endeavor, it will be a monster!

The suave ripples of the sumptuous 'Green and Gold' carry a breathtaking melody that is achingly attractive, with haunting vocals that recall a more robust Peter Sinfield and lyrics that have obvious emotive oomph! And the violin played on ... Such a pleasure when the stringed beast is given the platform to articulate the most stirring of human emotions.

Folk-based songs like 'Chasing Rainbows', 'Blown Away' and the penultimate track 'Realm of the Fire' all reflect the traditional tradition that is so rooted in Welsh, Brit, Scot and Irish culture. The result is always satisfying as there is always a story to be told.

On the epic opus 'View from the Mountain' the true essence of Mold craft comes into the light, velvety melodies egged by vaporous playing seek to entrance and succeeds doing so by adding ripping electric guitar solos that truly coat this piece with that distinct progginess we all pray for. The orchestrations are luxuriant, theatrical and imposing. His vocals recall a sense of grandeur and urgent that is quite addictive. And the violin played on'.. 'Storm Dance' may be the rockiest tune on the album but it's also the best, a whirling dervish rhythm with insistent guitars and Middle Eastern motifs, delicious piano appearing so eloquently, huge waves of string synths colliding in the background, finalized by bold returns to the main guitar-driven chorus, this is really heavenly stuff! Bookended by some storm effects for good measure! Bravo!

The lyrics are meaningful; the singing is in rapture mode, especially on the majestic 'By the Lake' with its colossal highlight reel chorus whilst the music remains mysterious and grandiose. A song that will sear itself to your brain in no time. And to prove that we are in the presence of something sensational, the title track conspires to steal our hearts with an emotional musical outburst that has all the tools, baby! A brilliant folk based song with utterly gorgeous lyrics and sultry singing, the pleading violin in tow'A slithering, misty guitar solo finishes off this stunning piece. I mean WOW!

The exciting epic finale is 'Ancestral Song' and with that ubiquitous title, the mold (excuse the obvious pun!) is set, we are in the presence of a fantastic artist who deserves wider and immediate recognition. Once again we are falling seduced by a wondrous melody, a gorgeous vocal line and sumptuous playing. Yeah, that darn' violin again, bubba! The material has a melancholic vibe, 'on the headstone of history' he sings but the fluid guitar, the powerful voice and the haunting chorus do the rest. Just exemplary music.

Comparisons are near impossible, as the songs are quite unique and original, there are however , for arguments sake, slight vocal hints of Al Stewart, Justin Hayward, Dave Cousins, Iona, early Chris deBurgh, Ian Broudie of 80s pop band Lightning Seeds and musically, Anthony Phillips. The man has a lush voice, not overbearing but that knows how to resonate (like Greg Lake in the late 60s!). What a lovely package indeed!

5 Telephone fungi

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