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Merchants Vice - Amber CD (album) cover

AMBER

Merchants Vice

 

Neo-Prog

3.49 | 23 ratings

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progrules
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A low average (2,63) for this album so far and here we have the significance of ratings as a good example. For I almost wanted to forget about this one because of this low average. And guess what: I would have missed out on an excellent piece of work and that would have been regrettable I feel. It just shows you that ratingaverages aren't always reliable and that's also because there's the phenomenon of differences in taste of course.

In a way this album reminds me of the one I reviewed yesterday, Est by Direction. One of the things I said there was that the vocals could be debatable. Well, if those were debatable, the voice of lead singer Les Wardle is even more so that's indeed a warning sign. But what this band and album have in common with Direction is that the compositions and instrumental aspects are way above par. And with Merchants Vice these are components that are even a lot better than with Direction. The songs on this album are all little masterpieces to me though it has to be said that you will have to think in neo progressive terms for that.

And that's in a nutshell the story here: if you like neo than this is an essential album in my opinion. The guitar is more than excellent and the structure of the songs is amazing. It's true that the vocals spoil a bit of the fun. Les is not a terrible singer but he has a very dominant voice and not everybody will love it. But if you can live with it then this Amber release is more than worthwhile. It's simply great and indispensable for neo fans. If you don't believe me check the stream song I would say and bear in mind that Glass Child is one of the lesser songs on the album. Four stars is therefore the least I can do and it's in fact something like 4,3 for my taste. Extremely underexplored (5 in total !!) and this band (or at least album) deserves a lot more. Highly recommended.

progrules | 4/5 |

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