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Aunt Mary - Janus CD (album) cover


Aunt Mary


Eclectic Prog

3.40 | 73 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Aunt Mary’s third album ‘Janus’ isn’t really any more progressive than the others, but it is an improvement musically over the previous release ‘Loaded’. The band starts off pretty much where they left off with the hard-rocking and simple composition “Path of Your Dream”, which doesn’t really bode well for the album.

But things improve quickly on the next few tracks including the easy-going and almost poppy “Mr. Kaye” with some simple keyboards and a tight bass line. “Nocturnal Voice” follows that with a guitar intro and tempo that could have come from a Santana album. Unfortunately that’s the highlight of the song and it becomes rather repetitive except for some almost creepy falsetto vocals, emanating I believe from pianist Svein Gundersen.

The nice thing about this album is that most of the tracks are longer and more varied than ‘Loaded’, and in the process of fleshing them out the band shows some serious aptitude for complex keyboard arrangements and interesting tempo shifts. “For all Eternity” is one of those tracks, and the Yes influences are plainly evident here. Someone in the band apparently had a copy of ‘Fragile’ in their collection, although unfortunately they had a journeyman blues guitarist playing for them instead of Steve Howe.

“Stumblin' Stone” moves back into hard rock territory, and that one is followed by a short and odd acoustic number called “All We've Got to do is Dream”.

Organist Bengt Jensen shows some creativity on the instrumental “Candles of Heaven”, which seems to have been intended as a showcase mostly for him. And finally “What a Lovely Day” closes the album with a slowly-building rocker complete with harmonized backing vocals and an ear-pleasing guitar solo.

Like I said, this is better than the band’s previous offering ‘Loaded’, but it still isn’t any more of a progressive album than say, Help Yourself or Home. In the ballpark maybe, but not a home run. Three stars and recommended for heavy prog fans who aren’t too particular about complex arrangements.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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