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Nathan Mahl - The Clever Use of Shadows  CD (album) cover


Nathan Mahl


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 47 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars A totally amazing album from a band I've never heard of before, that is surprising, especially since this band was formed back in the end of 1980. My first thought was that this was a release by someone whose name was NATHAN MAHL, but it's actually a band. They are playing mostly instrumental melodic symphonic progressive rock with some avant-garde, Canterbury, fusion and jazz elements. The vocals as well as the musical skills and arrangements are irreproachable. This album has it all: complex mood and tempo changes, intricate instrumental passages and much more. The prominent use of keyboards, especially Fender Rhodes and Hammond is very good, and sometimes it's reminiscent to Keith EMERSON (EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER) and Rick WAKEMAN (YES). Their music is 70's oriented with reminiscences to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, HAPPY THE MAN, IQ, GENTLE GIANT, KANSAS, SPOCK'S BEARD, UK, YES and FRANK ZAPPA, not entirely but bits and pieces from each band. The vocals are reminiscent to Eric Woolfson (The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT) and the guitar playing sometimes reminds of Robert FRIPP and Steve HACKETT. The highlights are the opening "Without Words", the title track "Clever Use of Shadows", "Orgasmik Outburst II", "Machiavélique", "The Rubber Cage" that makes you think of FRANK ZAPPA and the final track "Call To Arms". Maybe I shouldn't point out any highlights, as all of them are masterpieces in their own right. If you think that this wasn't enough I can add that the cover is absolutely fabulous although it's only 4 pages long. The front cover is very beautiful. The production is also faultless so actually there isn't anything to complain about. This album is definitely recommended to all fans of melodic progressive rock. This is one of the best releases of 1999, and it has found its way to my list of unforgettable albums from the 90's. What can I say more than go out and get it!
Greger | 5/5 |


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