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Miriodor - Parade CD (album) cover





4.19 | 70 ratings

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5 stars Miriodor are a stellar band who make fresh, inspired prog rock that would appeal to anyone who loves music which combines melody/accessibility with experiementalism/adventure.

They are classified as RIO/Avant, but I really don't think it is an appropriate category for them. Yes, they are experimental and daring, but they are too melodic, too groovy, too flowing, too purposeful, too much in tune with traditional musical values to be considered RIO. In my view, their nearest relatives are Gentle Giant and Gryphon (Red Queen-era), and perhaps after that, Univers Zero (Uzed-era). I have noticed that Gentle Giant have recently been slotted into Eclectic Prog category on this site and that is perhaps where Miriodor also belongs. But in truth, as with the very best bands, their music transcends all categories and is ultimately unclassifiable.

The first thing that one notices is that Miriodor have that contrapuntal, fugue-like thing happening which Gentle Giant displayed in abundance in their more complex works. Often there are four or five instruments weaving their own separate melodies to form an intricate tapestry, often interacting with each other in a speedy, nimble call and response. The skill with which they do this can be dizzying at times. Sometimes it is hard to fathom what is going on, although never does the music descend into a chaotic mess, or degenerate into experimentalism for experimentalism's sake. The composing and the playing is always first-rate, always disciplined and interesting, always moving along with great purpose.

Nearly all of their music is of this style - grooving along in a fugue-like manner - and constantly changing into different themes, melodies, instrumental arrangements, textures, and atmospheres. Incorporated within this basic framework are all sorts of different genres - sometimes it sounds medieval (resembling Gryphon), sometimes Red-era King Crimson (dark, powerful passages), sometimes European folk, sometimes 20th century classical, sometimes jazz, sometimes contemplative minimalism, sometimes pure prog rock. What is amazing is that even though it is constantly transitioning from one disparate theme to another, the music never sounds forced or contrived. The band is able to incorporate all of these diverging styles of music into an integrated whole, such that their albums flow along seamlessly, never jarring, each passage a logical continuation of the previous one.

I think this band would appeal to those who love those mid-era Gentle Giant, particularly pieces like "Knots", "Experience", "On Reflection", "Proclamation", "So Sincere", etc. If you can imagine Gentle Giant, minus the vocals, concentrating purely on the cerebral side of their music, with some King Crimsonish freak-outs inserted into the proceedings every now and then, you would have something resembling Miriodor. I'm sure that Kerry Minnear would have greatly enjoyed being a part of this band.

This album, Parade, is consistently inspired from start to finish. There isn't a dud track on here, and definitely no filler. Every note is perfectly placed in their intricate, ever-evolving jigsaw. There are two discs - one studio and one live - and both are great. The live disk features tracks from their previous two albums, Mekano and Elastic Juggling. The playing is energetic and precise, and the crowd seems very appreciative. Both disks are perfectly mixed and produced.

This is mature, sophisticated, expertly-played, beautifully recorded prog rock. The band has an intimate understanding of the core principles of prog rock and have fashioned something fresh and unique out of it. The music is subtle and rich and gets better and better with each listening.. Even after numerous listens to their albums (I've still only heard "Elastic Juggling" and "Parade"), I'm still trying to work out what is going on in many of the passages, such is the skill of the composing. Miriodor is a band which delights me both on a cerebral and an emotional level. I'm very glad to have discovered them.

oddentity | 5/5 |


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