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Mellodramatic

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • ASIN: B000KL6EU4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,822,241 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I don't really know a lot about this band. They came and went fairly quickly on the prog scene. I am not sure if they put out anything besides this album or not. If not it is unfortunate as this is a very nice disc. The band hails from Texas and its sound is a mix of Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Gentile Giant, and Anekdoten. There is also a definite Anglagard influence probably due to the fact that Anglagard drummer Mattias Olsen produced the album. All of the tracks are solid and enjoyable with most of them coming in at around the 6 to 7 minute range. The album is divided into 3 sections that serve as mini-suites and seem to run together although I do not detect an overall concept for the album. Highlights include "The Pioneer", "The City In The Sea", "Dry" and the album closer "Departure". This is all very nice stuff and it is too bad these guys did not put out anything else.
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This is a great, melancholic release very much in the vein of Landberk, Anekdoten, Anglagard, all my favorite Swedish proggers! Perhaps the resemblance to Anglagard has to do with their former percussionist, Mattias Olsson being at the production helm? And the mellotron! This is without a doubt a mellotron- drenched affair from start to finish. Each track is teriffic and holds the listeners' attention well. No wandering, meandering moments. Just straight- forward, intense prog that includes all the right ingredients to satisfy the most demanding prog fans' desires. Kinda hard to get your hands on, but WELL worth the effort. Recommended to fans of the above mentioned bands as well as Liquid Scarlet, Wobbler, White Willow. One of my new faves!
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To explain why I think Mellodramatic is a gem, we'll have to take a step back from the way many of us prog heads might view progressive music.

In the new millennium, we've seen rock music move from alternative into indie rock, with an emphasis on stripped-down arrangements and a more raw feel. It would seem indie is the antithesis of progressive, but yet here we find Deadwood Forest melding the two. This is exactly why I find this album so interesting - it's "indie progressive" (or "progressive indie," take your pick ;-).

Overall, as I mentioned this album presents indie-flavored stripped-down arrangements. You won't find countless layers of tracks, although the keyboards get a little densely layered in a few places, nor anything particularly complex or virtuosic with any given instrument. Most of the melody lines are pretty straightforward, but very tasty, and the harmonies are pretty standard for rock music - not much of anything jazzy or avant to be found.

Where the complexity, and what I would call prog-ness, creeps in is in the rhythms and the changing nature of the compositions. There are plenty of syncopated rhythms and non-standard time signatures, and the songs definitely go somewhere as most of them change fairly often and sometimes quite dramatically. This stuff definitely keeps my interest and I find it holds up with repeated listening, which kind of surprised me at first given the more stripped-down arrangements. The songs more than make up for that.

Despite the restraint on the complexity of the arrangements, there is nevertheless a rich blend of keyboards, guitars, bass and drums. Given the title, it's no surprise that there are tons of tasty Mellotron. If you're an aficionado of trons, stop now and go get this album.
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