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Mandalaband - Mandalaband [Aka: Mandalaband I] CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.64 | 91 ratings

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4 stars This mythic & heroic progressive rock album is surprisingly excellent! On side 1, It has TONS of BEAUTIFUL, poignant, intense and religious male & female choir parts. The heroic floating and symphonic keyboards are quite intense and anthemic. The keyboards and choir clearly remind Rick Wakeman's work in the 70's. The omnipresent electric guitar sometimes sounds like Steve Hackett's one of the Genesis' "Selling England by the pound" album. There are a few weird psychedelic parts, but fortunately they do not last for a long time.

On side 1, The OUTSTANDING & epic "Om mani padme hum" contains impressive jazzy piano parts a la Keith Emerson or Eddie Jobson; there is a brilliant, exciting & melodic tubular bells part; the symphonic & anthemic keyboards are just memorable. The electric guitar near the end, despite its hard rock tendency, does not kill the grandeur of this long track.

The other side is different and less good. The tracks are shorter and they often have a more straightforward loaded rock/hard rock tendency, without the flamboyant choirs and keyboards present on the first side. "Determination" contains dirty rhythmic organs, wah- wah hard rock electric guitars and fast & complex drums, a bit like on the first Camel's album. "Song for a king" is more like the first side: the beautiful and melodic track is absolutely memorable with the catchy and addictive lead vocals, refined keyboards arrangements and Hackett-like guitar solos. The very good "Roof of the world" takes a rather fast and aggressive mood: it has fast and restless drums, hard rock guitar solos, floating mellotron and catchy lead vocals: there is again a mythic & heroic mood present on this track. The last track has mellow Fender Rhodes notes: combined with the tender voice, it reminds me the Gentle Giant's "Aspirations" track.

Rating: 4.5 stars

greenback | 4/5 |


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