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Marc Carlton - For Truth CD (album) cover


Marc Carlton


Crossover Prog

4.63 | 6 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Not grandiloquent at all

"For truth" is Marc Carlton's latest album at time of writing, although he has recently completed work on "The far tide", a computer game related project. Released in 2009, this is is first full length album since "Reflex arc" in 2005, the interim "Ovriah" being a mini- album of material mostly written some years previously.

As with all his releases, Carlton writes, arranges and performs all the music himself. The theme of the album is a lamenting of the way genuine "truth" has been lost in a world of "subjective" truth, or as Carlton enigmatically puts it "rendered grandiloquent by postmodernist scorn".

This time around the tracks which make up the album are self contained pieces, with no attempt being made to link them together to form a whole. Thus we begin with the relatively lively 12 minute title track, which sees Carlton arguably at his most ambitious, then move directly into an equally long solo acoustic guitar rendition entitled "One Possible Dream". The latter resembles some of the more relaxed works of Steve Hackett or Anthony Phillips, the track as a whole displaying Carlton's admirable guitar virtuosity.

"Ghosts Where Once We Hid" is a fine arrangement of symphonic string synthesiser and acoustic guitar, similar to Vivaldi's "Guitar concerto" as adapted by Continuum and also Steve Howe. "Intersection Minor" is the first of a couple of brief interlude pieces, Steve Hackett's influence once again being apparent on this "Blood on the rooftops" like acoustic guitar rendition.

"Caught In The Fourth Wall" has a rather spacey atmosphere to begin with, before moving into perhaps the heaviest territory Carlton has ever allowed himself to stray into. There is a rather doomy undercurrent to the music here which belies any notion that Marc does not have ambitions beyond the pleasant and relaxing. Things brighten up again with "Mindfire", where melodic guitar is backed by symphonic strings.

"Return From Fading Landscapes" is the final track to breach 10 minutes (the album runs to over 70 minutes in total). Here we have an odd blend of the light and the dark, with melodic twinkling being counterpointed by some decidedly darker moods. Carlton's lead guitar work is the high point here.

The second of the interlude pieces is naturally called "Intersection Major" this "Horizons" like track running to under 2 minutes. The closing "Reason Or Die" draws together the moods and sounds of the album in a single, beautifully crafted piece. Chorale and string keyboards blend with some fine lead guitar and surprisingly intrusive percussion to create a track which is more demanding of the listener than the bulk of Carlton's work.

In all, "For truth" stands as Marc Carlton's most accomplished work to date. Here, he displays a confidence in both the technology he uses and his own talents, allowing him to explore more challenging territories than hitherto. The tenets which have serve him well on previous albums are still reassuringly in evidence, but here he uses those values as a foundation from which he builds something truly inspired.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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