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Crossover Prog • Portugal

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Atik Maze biography
Portugese act ATIK MAZE was formed in 2005. Joćo Silva (guitars) and Ricardo Baptista (drums) had been working together in various projects since 1997, and joining them for this new outfit was Isaac Batista (bass).

They started rehearsing and making material from the onset; while also looking for a fourth member - a vocalist. And through a connection of drummer Ricardo they found their ideal man in Dario Jeronimo, whose vocal abilities and musical ideas fitted perfectly with what they all wanted to achieve.

In 2007 they hit the studio, and for the next year an album was slowly but surely created through regular studio sessions.

In early 2009 debut album The Man Behind The Lock was issued, described by the band as containing extraordinary diversity, like a best selling novel, there?s a surprise around every corner.

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The Man Behind The LockThe Man Behind The Lock
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3.00 | 2 ratings
The Man Behind The Lock

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Man Behind The Lock by ATIK MAZE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

The Man Behind The Lock
Atik Maze Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars 01. Painting Mirrors Promising, promising start! The guitar sounds like a sea breeze, and the bass is low, too low in my opinion. In my opinion it is difficult just summarizing the music because the sound, including recording, is part of the music. I did not like the tone os the drums from Ricardo Baptista. The voice of Darius Jerome is a case apart, interesting, full of nuances and a good interpretation. Close to 5 minutes a good guitar solo from John Smith appears in the track, melody, a beautiful melody, followed closely by the introduction of guitars and a small, smart bass solo, but it bothers me the tone, too low for the style. How to start, it ends, in a burst.

02. The End Of The World The second track also begins with 'space' guitars, and end up rather like the 1st track. Once again the great vocals of Darius are the highlight of the band, he really put soul in the group's music. At 3 minutes and half an intricate and why not say, dancing melody line sweeps the listener, and it's hard not to rock your body. Subsequently, Darius start what would be a 'prayer'. The change chords during the first two songs are not so traditional, there are breaks in some strange moments. At 8 minutes a more line dancing, this time almost a 'disco' and the track ends calm.

03. The Man Behind The Lock The third track begins with the narrative and prophetic voice of Darius, followed by plucked guitar of John and soon after this a a good riff breaks in full of rhythm. Interesting track, so far the highlight of the record. Good riffs, good melodic line and very well structured.

04. Out Of Time Isaac Baptist built a nice melody for this song, leaving a rather commonplace. In this track we have a denser melody, slightly heavier, but at the same time melodic. The middle is calm and full of tension, with interesting guitar lines and a background guitar. The guitar chords at the 7th minute is quite Pink Floyd, as well as the acoustic guitar phrases, followed by a broken riff.

05. Fragments This is very early Genesis-like, good. Many climates, and a 'morbid' feel in the following verse. At 4 and a half minutes a strange shriek of Darius, followed by another and a laugh worthy of the Joker! (laughs).

06. Web The sixth track from The Man Behind The Lock, follows the same line as previous, but with the drums more 'open' and with good interludes between vocal lines. Shortly after 2 minutes of the song an odd combination of phrases from guitar and bass let the track with a confusing feel. Then theatrical vocals. I think the second part of the track gets lost a little, I mean the vocal and instrumental, somewhat unrelated, I wonder if that was the intention of the band.

07. Once Upon A Time Interesting beginning, as a television news. Like in a war the music follows with sound designs. In the third minute the riff that follows makes the track very interesting. A serious and hypnotic riff of the song that leads the song till its half. The second half onwards strange riffs fit into shares 'normal', interesting.

08. Your Head Illud You (bonus) The album actually has 7 musics, this is a bonus that the band decided to include in the debut album. It is a little more 'Rock' song, simple, working with question-and-response phrases between the guitar and vocals.

Generally the album is quite good, with nice ideas, but it lacks a little in the question of the instruments sounds and production and ends repeating itself in the way. But it is definitely a promising debut, expect a lot of these guys.

 The Man Behind The Lock by ATIK MAZE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

The Man Behind The Lock
Atik Maze Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A promising debut effort from this Portugese act.

What they surve a more or less unsuspecting world is music residing somewhere in between Marillion, Rush and U2 in general style; where the guitar expressions are the pointers to the aforementioned acts. Ranging from carefully wandering plucked themes to more atmospheric echoing guitar licks with some staccato energetic excursions thrown in for good measure, there's a variety in expressions here. And the odd passages with heavy guitar riffs, albeit toned down a bit, adds even more of that.

The general tone and scope of these tunes are on the lighter side though, at least musically. Subtle dissonances and disharmonies does form a part of the picture, but the major chaotic part of the soundscapes are the drums - more often than not coming across as generally loud, and with strong jazz-tendencies. The latter also strengthened by the bass on occasion.

It's a challenging excercise this one, hidden in a stylistic expression belonging to the lighter side of the art rock family. If a jazz-tinged blend of U2, Rush and Marillion sounds intriguing this act should be on your list of artists to check out.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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