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Medulla - Remnant CD (album) cover

REMNANT

Medulla

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 30 ratings

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SteveConrad
4 stars This is fine art, with all the complexities, subtleties, and challenges that the term implies.

Medulla is a four member band based in Berlin, Germany, operating within the parameters of progressive rock, post- rock, jazz, and eclectic progressive music:

Vocals/Synths/Guitar/Sax: Matthew Kennon

Lead Guitar: Kevin Mullin,

Bass: Matthew Bartholomew

Drums: Brian Mullin

Every component of this fine art appears to have been thoughtfully planned and approached- the concepts, the artwork, the musicianship, the compositions, the moods within the album.

The album art, by Aleksandr Keller is integral and intertwined with the themes of the lyrics and the music. Depicted there is a twisted, despairing figure almost like primordial amoeba, yet humanized by arms covering the face. It is unable to shut out perception thanks to the wide-open backward-looking eye. It appears to dwell, then, in the past.

The music is similarly twisted, despairing, searching, and tormented. Lyrics keep the listener wondering if the characters are cyborgs? humans? or'?? By the complex interplay of instrumentation and somehow disembodied vocalizations, we are left at a distance, estranged, and questioning.

The album proper is composed of five intertwined tracks- to these ears these tracks are connected, and there are common themes of colors- 'yellow reverberations', 'grey eyes', 'jade pools', 'faces pale and red'; fire; water; rusted and broken machinery; chaos suggested by the ocean and the sea, and the void; change; loss; and maybe the faintest hint of hope:

'at the end of the road i saw someone standing there tattered rags hanging from her shoulders i could smell the scent of flowers hanging in the air she looked at me with grey eyes and smiled'.

This is progressive rock MUSIC, even if the fine art is comprehensive here- and the music perfectly complements and is complemented by all the other components of this album. There is constant rhythmic interplay between guitars, textures, drums, voices, and bass, working in complex interaction. There sometimes are hints of jazz- that sax in the bonus track 'Nadir'!- post-rock, and dreamy psychedelia mixed in with the progressive music and the vigor represented.

In brief, the concepts inherent in the album proper seem to be- longing, despair, alienation, search for connection and love, what it means to be human in a machinery-obsessed world. For me, the music perfectly illustrates these themes. The lyrics are dense and constitute poetry, inviting stream-of-consciousness responses, and asking for concentration and deliberation.

This is not background music, and needs time to soak in. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in 'Remnant'.

SteveConrad | 4/5 |

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