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MARATHON

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Marathon picture
Marathon biography
Dutch neo-prog band MARATHON (not to be confused with Italian and German bands with the same name) were formed in Enschede in the early 90's. They recorded two albums and then followed up with a live CD just before breaking up. As far as influences go, SAGA definitely comes to mind; add a few touches of RUSH for the muscle and some AOR-like ballads la WINGS OF STEEL, and you'll have a good idea of what they sound like.

Guitarist Erik Ten Bos clearly dominates the first album with his Ian Crichton-like power chords, ringing arpeggios and jerky riffs; on slow numbers, he can get pretty emotional with some melodic solos la Steve Rothery. On the band's second album, "Norm", the SAGA influence is somewhat less obvious. Although it still includes its fair share of hard tracks, it is overall more reflective, leaning closer in style to art rockers FOR ABSENT FRIENDS. It still features some good interplay between keyboards and wailing guitars. As for compositional contents, both albums are a little uneven but still make for an enjoyable ride overall. Impeccable production (lush, polished, pristine sound), good vocals and choruses as well as solid musicianship. The live album offers a good selection from the two studio albums.

Recommended to fans of SAGA, FOR ABSENT FRIENDS, EGDON HEATH, in fact to anyone with an ear for melodic rock with progressive undertones.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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MARATHON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MARATHON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 28 ratings
The First Run
1994
3.22 | 14 ratings
Norm
1996

MARATHON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Marathon Live
1998

MARATHON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARATHON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARATHON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MARATHON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The First Run  by MARATHON album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.65 | 28 ratings

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The First Run
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Marathon - The First Run (1994)

A well produced progressive hard rock record with a sound that reminds me of the better works of Saga. Well controlled metal guitar in sync with keyboard sounds with pinch as well with symfonic sounds of the neoprogressive pallette. Moreover, Erik ten Bos is a very skilled rock vocalist with powerful high notes.

I must admit, I usually listen to the first five tracks of the album. Beyond the Veil sets the progressive atmosphere of the album; powerfull vocals, great AOR leadguitar, nice rhythm changes. The songs to come are often very catchy and the musicanship is great. Man in the Mirror has a lot of catche themes and a great progression in the opening section. I really like the uplifting 'I'll be there' which reminds me of the energetic stadionrock of Vandenberg. The ballad Open Field suffers from its too enthusiastic performance. On the longer tracks on the second halve of the album the Saga influences become more appearant.

My impression: this would appeal to a lot of neo-progressive and crossover listeners. I kind of like the almost AOR appeal, though the songs don't lack the sophistication of a progressive rock record. Three and a halve stars!

 Norm by MARATHON album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.22 | 14 ratings

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Norm
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars A damp squid.

I was rather fond of their debut album, with the Saga rip-off sound. On this album, the follow up, the sound is rather more AOR like Foreigner, Journey and Asia. There are still some hints of Saga here. But the AOR bit has taken over. That and some very generic neo-prog. Actually, call this an AOR album. This album is a blend of fast songs and emotional ballads. None of the ballads moves me. Actually, they makes me cringe. They are so 1980s and american big hair heavy metal bands. Poison and Mr. Big springs to mind. The sound is also pretty much american.

The musicians knows what they are doing. But the quality of the songs and this AOR/big hair heavy metal bands sound is not good. It is pretty dire. It is a cringe-fest. This is an album well worth avoiding unless AOR are your big passion.

2 stars

 The First Run  by MARATHON album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.65 | 28 ratings

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The First Run
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars And so the title goes...

With a band name like that, the SAGA associations are pretty obvious. This Dutch band's debut album does not fail in that respect. Although not quite...... The other more obvious reference is MARILLION post Fish. Add PENDRAGON to the mix and you have MARATHON.

The music is pretty frisky with tonnes of good electric guitars and keyboards. The melodies is a mix of mid tempo pretty heavy stuff and some ballads. The opening track Beyond The Veil is pretty typical for this album. Unfortunate, this is also the best song of the album. A good song with some good guitars and keyboards. The male vocals is pretty decent. He also get a visit by a female vocalist on the track Voices and that to good effect. The sound is a bit dated, 15 years after the release of this album. It reminds me a lot about SAGA and RUSH on their '80s albums. Yes, this album is somewhere in this landscape. Elegant progressive rock with a bit dated sound. If all these bands are among your favourites, this may be the album and band for you. The First Run is a very decent debut album, but without the killer tracks. The material is a bit bland and the band does not take any risks. That is OK for a debut album. I may put in an order for their two other albums because this band seems to live in my kind of street.

3 stars from me.

 Marathon Live  by MARATHON album cover Live, 1998
4.00 | 6 ratings

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Marathon Live
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by Ht LICHAAM

4 stars This is one of those bands that should have stayed. And not because I am Dutch, but the music is a little ahead of it's time. All the influences are there.... SAGA, RUSH, MARILLION as mentioned before, but also JADIS, IQ, FOR ABSENT FRIENDS. As you listen to this album you hear a band that sounds realy proffesional and let me tell you, that is not very common in Holland. As Lemur Voice this band is underrated, so if you can get a copy, just go for it. Overall the endmix could have been better. It is not a continuous concert. So the sloppy mix is all that is wrong with it!!
 The First Run  by MARATHON album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.65 | 28 ratings

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The First Run
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by thuur

4 stars Yes the Dutchband Marathon...Great debutalbum. Really those 2 cd I liked very much. After I saw them live i loved them. Such nice guys. And really great musicans. The first songs are really great. Solid melodic rock.Like Saga Rush and MArillion. And there is a song Open Field.....the best ballad ever. Wow what a f...great song.

Listening to this great Dutchband.

 Norm by MARATHON album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.22 | 14 ratings

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Norm
Marathon Neo-Prog

Review by thuur

4 stars I am new here on The forum. I was surprised 0 reviews for this Album. An album that is in my Car 1000 times. Why. Because it is a F.great album. I saw them the first time on the Marillion convent in Tivoli. I was very surprised how they sounded live. Eric is a great singer and performancer. The cd has some great songs. My favourites are Ozone layer Heart of another one ,norm and the ballad Beauty of silence. That song is one of the best ballads ever!!!! The level from the musicans is really good.

They sounded like Saga, Asia ,marillion.....

Give it a try...

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