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Pale Mannequin - Colours of Continuity CD (album) cover


Pale Mannequin


Crossover Prog

3.82 | 10 ratings

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4 stars The sophomore release from a quartet of melodic Polish heavy prog rockers. 1. "The Sleeper" (4:23) with a guitar sound all their own, the vocal performance is very much like countryman Mariuz Duda's style and timbre. (8.5/10)

2. "Inkblot" (5:47) a harder-edged, RIVERSIDE-like sound, this straightforward rocker has nice melodies and a very nice multi-voiced chorus. As am matter of fact, several times as my attention was distracted from listening to this song, I found myself thinking that I was, in fact, listening to Riverside when I brought my attention back! Are Poland's premier prog rockers that adored that everyone wants to emulate them or adopt their sound--or are musical equipment retail stores and studio engineers only selling/promoting the Riverside sound? (8.75/10)

3. "Scattered" (4:08) Some great music--chord progression (simple as it is), instrument/sound palette, melodic flow, and guitar soloing. Pleasing and satisfying to all prog sensibilities yet, there's nothing really new here. (8.75/10)

4. "Most Favorite Trap" (5:46) sounds like a merger of ANEKDOTEN and RIVERSIDE. Excellent shift into an excellent B Section at 1:40--but the rhythm guitar track quickly wears out its welcome--should have been let go of until the next chorus or dramatic shift. Great multi-voice chorus and electric guitar solo. The standard two-part, three-chord rock chord sequence becomes old--the switch out at 4:45 is a bit late--and then it comes back with an almost disco beat. All these elements of greatness wasted by poor choices. (8.5/10)

5. "Inertia" (8:30) this song sounds like a demo version of a VOTUM song (also country mates). Nice but could still be more developed. The rather brief guitar solo that begins in the second half of the seventh minute is pure RIVERSIDE. Nice multi-voice a cappella vocal weave to finish. A top three song for me. (17.5/20)

6. "Maniac's Mind" (5:05) great, deeply engaging soundscape and weave to open. Another beautiful example of the more atmospheric side of fellow Polish hard-rockers VOTUM--especially Harvest Moon era. Excellent controlled melodic guitar solo between the first and second verses. I love the CURE-like guitar riff and the two-voiced vocals. Another top three song. (9/10)

7. "Colours of Continuity" (10:52) slow, belaboured power prog with the band's more-accented vocalist in the lead moves through a heavier PINK FLOYD-like song until the second verse begins at 2:12 when the guitar play begins to sound more like STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. This effect backs off every time lead singer softens his voice but then returns with the more grungy vocalizations and, surprise, death metal growls. The song is now definitely feeling more like the Prog Metal bands of the late 1990s and 2000s--racing low-end rhythm guitar play like OPETH--but then things shift in a PORCUPINE TREE-like way in the seventh minute before the vocals turn more toward Then there's an interesting narrator discourse on the discriminatory effect of assigning the terms "tall" or "short" to women--brilliant for its absurdity: the comic light it shines upon humans for their nit-picky categorization and "party" loyalties. My other top three song. (17.75/20)

8. "In Mono" (6:02) a benign filler; an instrumental save for the same British narrator from above discoursing a string of fancy phrases which, in fragmented isolation, are each rendered nonsense and absurd--examples of the masturbatory proclivities of the arrogant self-possessed. Again, a brilliant illustration and indictment of the way the elite use words/language--and time--against their "inferiors." Musically, okay; conceptually brilliant. (8.75/10)

Total Time 50:33

I LOVE the sounds created by this band--on all levels, from all instruments and voices--I just think they need better constructive criticism from experienced outside voices (producers, engineers, etc.) so that they don't overplay anything or underdevelop their compositions. More growth and maturity. There's still work to be done, boys!

B/four stars; a solid sophomore effort and something well worth checking out for yourselves.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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