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12 Jul 2017

Martigan"Vision" 2009 Germany Prog Symphonic



Martigan"Vision" 2009 Germany Prog Symphonic..recommended..!

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The greatest asset emanating from membership in Progarchives is the free-willed sharing of information and how some members smartly interact by sending suggestions and reading relevant and often revealing reviews that can engender some amazing discoveries. Often we thank some colleague for a recommendation that turns out to be a godsend. So I thank synthphony who hinted that this album may be down my alley. We had already conversed about how tough "neo-prog" can be, with a lot of mediocre stuff sprinkled with a few unknown jewels. I had no clue about German band Martigan, so I accessed the video on PA and I liked that a lot, went out to purchase it! Wow, what a ride this is , a colossal nearly 80 minute musical fest that is drenched in so may delectable moments that I will probably need a few dozen spins to absorb it all (now that doesn't sound like your pedestrian neo album, huh?) . First the boys in the band, led by the ultra-talented Kai Marckwordt who was correctly identified by our "hibou" as owning a voice eerily close to David Cousins' and Uncle Phil Collins, the dense and ably concocted keyboard weavings of Oliver Rebhan , the Bisch brothers Björn on scintillating lead guitar and Alex on power drums , all ably supported by the fluid bass prompting of Peter Kindler. The disc disrobes with the mammoth marathon "Boatman's Vision", a 23 minute journey into the deepest progressive expanses, undistilled expressions of groove heavy space-rock flavored with classic neo ornamentations but also possessing constant tempo changes just to keep the mood challenging. This is truly a musical voyage, a blissful evasion into some personal heaven that permits and in fact even perpetuates a world of fantasy and abandon, highlighted by some incredibly sharp timbres, sketching fickle themes and raunchy dynamics. The rude guitar likes to spice up the proceedings with unfettered gusto, aided and abetted by some colossal synthesizer/mellotron waves while the bass & drum unit keep everything tight and concise. "Craze This Town" is a more concise affair with innovative effects, breezy modern keyboard frazzle and impeccable sonic dazzle. A remarkable guitar solo seals the deal, as Björn has really mastered his hold over the finicky neo-prog guitar seat. "Snapshots" is a succinct interlude that winks to the celestial expanse of the galaxy, slow strung guitar notes over a cosmic keyboard shower while Kai comments on the routine of life. "Touch in Time" is fascinatingly modern and a tad melancholic piece where pinging synths tick and gentle piano tock as Kai muses effusively a la Fish/Gabriel (actually closer to Adam Lassa of Polish band Abraxas), the brutish guitar paints delicate swaths of emotion, raging with bluster then swooning in pain, all coated in lush symphonic layers. There is an overpowering bombastic feel that is close to Collage -period Moonshine, (a huge compliment by the way!) that exudes a deep charm. "Much More" broods deeply with extensive orchestrations when the guitar just turbo-charges ahead, taking the piece into rhythmic overdrive, slowed only by the brief vocal storyline and evolves into a masterful instrumental foray that renders speechless! If this is neo, it ain't wimpy! The final 2 epic tracks are really the proverbial cherry on the cake, the groovy 10 minute "Red & Green" is a wondrous escape into spacey prog (great modern beat with Spanish guitar and fabulous singing by Kai), certainly a favorite track with an incredible solo guitar that rekindles the emotional spirit of the classic master craftsmen (Gilmour, Latimer and Hackett), bubbling bass and thumping drums give this piece an almost funky feel as it explodes into expansive creativity. This is my fave track here, without a doubt. As for the 20 minute finale "The Contract", hold onto your hats Progboys, we have a classic here to sink those hungry ears into, a whirlwind track that will satiate those inner cravings! Delicate piano introduces the orchestral plaint, an elegant theme that will fascinate the Wakeman fans. The bass pops in to fling this puppy into proggier orbits, the guitar shoving it along but they all fail to dim the piano's plight, Kai singing his heart out with obvious glee . Observably, the tempo changes constantly by introducing new fundamentals, assorted vocal effects and stretchy bass lines cannot deviate the magical piano from conducting this baby toward the upper reaches of Prog bliss. Scratch organ solos, riveting guitar explosions, wispy synth intricacies, the bass holding it all down and a drummer who can actually drum! The musicians are first rate instrumentalists. Somehow, this amazing band may go unnoticed which would be a crying shame as the material here is on par with the previously mentioned Moonshine or IQ's Dark Matter, ICU's Now & Here and a few other "neo"gems. Please check this band out . You won't believe this but we are talking 5 Cologne hallucinations! Thanks keith!.by..tszirmay ..~

On one of the traditional progevenings here in Holland I heard this terrific album for the first time when it was released in february. My instinctive reaction was to get it as soon as possible and so I did. With the next few spins it became obvious that I hadn't been mistaken in my first conviction. I'm proud to announce to you a new masterpiece !
First and longest track of this very long album is immediately one of the very highlights although this album contains a lot of those. Boatman's Vision is an incredible epic and if my gut feeling is right here it will be in my top 10 of all time best songs ever. The reason is simple. This long song contains at least four amazing guitar solos of the highest melodic quality living up to my taste for 100%. Sometimes I can't believe what I'm hearing, it's simply that good. But besides these solos the rest of the epic, like the composition and build up is superb as well. This song is still growing on me and that is only logical because it's very long and complex. 5 stars.

Next song, Craze this Town is much shorter but apart from that of the same quality as previous. Also here tremendous guitar, where do they come from all these solos, I mean from what genius brain ? It's simply too good to be true. 4,75*.

After the short interlude Snapshots we get to a different kind of track called Touch in Time. The vein of this track is different from the first two. Suddenly the style gets much heavier, more emotional, majestic and all in all it sounds very impressive. Also here a great guitar solo at the end. 4,5*.

Much More is the next and it's a well chosen title as we get much more of the previous with this one, again impressive with this time a large contribution by the keyboards. It's fantastic this album keeps reaching this huge level of quality ! 4,75-5*.

Red & Green again shows that Martigan is not a simple band floating on one special feature because once again we are treated with a totally different style, much more quiet this one with instrumental contributions by several instruments amongst which the flute. Long instrumental passages and great variation. 5*.

Last track is the second very long epic and starts with quiet piano, after that organ and vocals followed bij another variegated piece of art. With many instruments doing great jobs, also an interesting atmosphere created here contributes to the extremely high level. What a worthy closer of one of the best albums ever made, I'm convinced. 5*.

The only thing that can go wrong for me with this one is that I'm so much into it right now that I have gone blind for the faults and weaknesses. I'm blown away at this point but who knows how it feels after 100 times listening ? I have no idea but right now is what we are talking about and right now it's 5 stars without any doubt.....by progrules ...~

 Martigan is one of those new bands that make keep the faith in this kind of music. Vision is their latest release and is surely a masterpiece of prog music. I´ve always thought that a good, original and powerful symphonic prog could be done without losing sight for the simple, sing a long tune and the great hook (think of classic Yes, Genesis and Renaissance). And Martigan does just that. Their music is intricated, the musicians are skillful and the arrangements are very elaborated. And still, Vision is melodic, accessible and catchy. What a feat!
The CD impressed me quite a bit. If their previous efford (Man Of The Moment) was already excellent, this one is simply brilliant. Vision sounds like a long, well crafted suite, every song merging with the other in a seemless tapestry of sounds. And yet, at almost 80 minutes, the album does not have a single boring moment. Their songwriting abilities are as good as their talent to play their instruments. Their inspiration seems to be endless. And it´s been such a long time I´ve seen such bunch of fine artists play for the band, with no apparent ego battles. Bass and drums swirl like they were born playing together, the keyboards are varied and tasteful, guitar plays short, but inspired, emotional solos and vocalist Kai Markwordt has a pleasant, dramatic, voice to match (a bit like Peter Gabriel´s, but not much).

It´s hard to describe their sound: it´s all their own, yet familar. There are echoes of early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, Saga, Moody Blues, Beatles and many others great ones, but so well developed into the Martigan way I can´t really pinpoint them. It´s just great music. There are no highlights in this CD, since the music flows evenly, without a single bad moment or even a small filler. As I said before, you dont´t really notice when a song starts and the other finishes. For such a long record it always sound to me quite short in the end. The production also helps, top notch.

Vision needs some good few spins to fully appreciate their sound, but once you do, you´re hooked. Martigan is surely a band to keep na eye on. They succeed in something most groups try and fail: to make a kind of music that is appealling to many different audiences and still produce something unique. Warning: highly addictive!.... by Tarcisio Moura ..~

 There's been quite a buzz surrounding this album in Prog circles and for good reason. This Neo-Prog band from Germany aren't new but many like myself really didn't know who they were when we heard the name MARTIGAN. They've been making albums since 1995 but this is only their fourth studio album. It seems like they got it right this time (haha). I'm a big fan of this genre and MARTIGAN push all the right buttons for me, although an over 79 minute album is a mistake in my books. Heck the opening and closing tracks alone make up over 43 minutes by themselves. And those two tracks impress me the most. I would have been happy with just those two. The rest is good but it does keep me from giving this 4 stars.Vocals are in English and they have that Gabriel / Fish sort of style and are well done. Lots of keyboards and guitar, and the bass is quite chunky for the most part. And yes the drumming might be the best attribute of this band. So lots to like here.
"Boatman's Vision" opens with the sound of someone changing stations on the radio before the synths and bass come in, then a full sound after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals a minute later. Some spoken words here too, both male and female. I like when it kicks back in at 6 minutes and the guitar that follows. Check out the drumming and organ after 9 minutes. More great drum work 11 minutes in and the guitar is ripping it up after 14 1/2 minutes.The tempo continues to shift. I like when the chorus is reprised late "Guardian angels drift out of the screen". "Craze" has some enjoyable synths and bass in the intro. Vocals and atmosphere come in as the bass continues. Some soaring guitar on this one especially 4 1/2 minutes in and to end it.

"Snapshots" has some atmosphere as synths wash in and we get some sparse bass and guitar. Spoken words end it. "Touch In Time" opens fairly calmly but both the vocals and instrumental work begin to get passionate. Contrasts continue. Some beauiful guitar 6 1/2 minutes in. "A Giant Concern" is a short pastoral tune with vocals. "Much More" has some orchestration in the intro and throughout. Lots of synths around 5 minutes. "Red & Green" is a cool tune with a catchy beat. "The Contract" is the over 20 minute closer. Piano to open before pulsating synths come in around 1 1/2 minutes. Some heaviness too. Solo piano again after 2 minutes before the vocals and a fuller sound take over. Great guitar sound 4 1/2 minutes and a minute later. It settles 7 minutes in with piano and bass, drums join in. The tempo continues to change back and forth. I like the guitar 16 1/2 minutes in. Piano ends it.

For me this is a feel good album that is well done but way too long. A good album regardless.... by Mellotron Storm ..~

 Martigan's Vision might be shamelessly Genesis-mimicing neo-prog, but - as I always find myself saying about The Watch - at least they're interesting about it. With vocal performances drawing mainly on Peter Gabriel's style (with a touch of Dave Cousins and Phil Collins sprinkled in, as others have preserved) and a musical approach which takes an unusually forceful and strident approach to the classic 80s neo-prog sound, it's not anything prog veterans haven't heard before, but it's nice to hear bands doing it so well. Shave a star off if you really can't stand Genesis imitation, but otherwise I think most neo-prog fans will think this is an exciting and entertaining second tier effort....by Warthur ..~

Why did I never hear of German band Martigan before? I asked myself that question many times while listening to Vision. Let me first say something about the band’s history. In 1994, keyboardist Oliver Rebhan founded Martigan. Besides Oliver, Alex Bisch (drums & vocals) and Kai Marckwordt (lead vocals & twelve-string acoustic guitar) are both band members from the very beginning. In 1998, Alex’ brother and guitarist Björn Bisch joined the band. Their former bass player left in 2000; Peter Kindler replaced him. Kindler performed all the bass parts on Vision, but left at the end of 2008 for personal reasons. In the meantime, the band incorporated Oliver Baumann as their new bass player. Before their latest effort Vision, the band already released three full-length albums, a maxi CD with radio edits and a live DVD.

After this short introduction of Martigan, I would like to let you know why Vision in my opinion is a true masterpiece. First, the album does not contain any weak track. All songs reach a very high quality level with the best progressive rock music possible. You almost get eighty minutes of very enjoyable prog music without a moment of boredom. You can compare the band’s musical style to Genesis, IQ, Pallas and early Marillion. It is mainly Kai Marckwordt’s great voice, which is responsible for that musical style. His singing reminds me a lot of Fish, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. Without the fantastic instrumentations done by Oliver, Alex and Björn, however, Martigan would not have been able to make such a strong album. Oliver Rebhan is a real keyboard virtuoso. He plays very tastefully and with great skills on his synths. On a carpet of beautiful melodies, Björn Bisch lays down his lyrical guitar solos. Alex Bisch is a very talented drummer. Sometimes you think that he must have at least four arms instead of two. I think the bass parts are the weakest on the album, but still good enough and very functional. In fact, the music of Martigan is beyond words. I can rave on and on about this superb album, but superlatives fail to describe this outstanding album. Vision is a ‘must have’ for everybody who loves emotional music made by the above-mentioned bands. This album will certainly become one of my personal favourites of 2009. It is a true masterpiece and for that reason, I will give Vision the highest rating of five stars...by Peter Willemsen..Background magazine...~

Even if the debut "Stolzenbach" of the German Progressive Rock veterans Martigan is described as a demo CD, the bassist quartet (Peter Kindler left the band after the recording of the new album) with "Vision" strictly speaking (next to a maxi) -CD of 1997) already their fourth full-fledged album before.
This may not sound quite as loud as you think it is since 1994, but it should not have escaped anybody else since it has been anything but easy for the music scene for many years Is to make a sensible deal on the ground, let alone a well-regulated income, in order to be at least halfway well over the rounds.
But this should be a minor issue, because after the debut "Ciel Ouvert" (1996) and "Man Of The Moment" (2002) finally a new Martigan studio album is released. The Silberling contains eight tracks, of which one is over the 10- and two more over the 20-minute limit. A first point, which will put the heart of the demanding progger in joy jumps. But what would not be worth it if no quality work had been delivered. A situation that Martigan wanted to avoid in all circumstances, which is more than impressive. And on pretty much all fronts.
The songs, starting with the 23:12 minutes long epic "Boatman's Vision" enchant with wide-ranging melodies and open sound pictures, which allow the imagination a lot of scope to go on a completely own journey. Again and again, 'excellent soloistic inserts of all instruments, predominantly the guitar (Björn Bisch) and the keyboard (Oliver Rebhan) shine.
Meanwhile, the frontman and story-teller is given by Kai Marckwordt, who is also determined by powerful melodies and a lot of feeling. And even if the founding member does not have the widest range of voices, he is more than compensated for by his other qualities.
My respect for the band also because it has produced the disc in self-government and has delivered both sound-moderately and also with regard to the arrangements a first-class job. The individual titles can be as long as they want, they will never get bored. On the contrary, the more often a "vision" caresses the ear, the more secrets, or previously 'overheard' little things suddenly reach the nerve center. What can be booked as a clear quality feature and also speaks for long-term effect.
"Vision" is an album worth exploring. In the long time between the last longplayer and this, of course, a lot of new material has emerged and it also honors the band to make the CD as close to 80 minutes as possible. Personally, I find it rather difficult to sit still for so long and to give undivided attention, but it does not have to be punished everyone with this, my 'deficit'. I have treated "Vision" like a double LP and I first listened to the one, then the second half.
The fact that this approach works also speaks for the quality of Martigan and her album "Vision". The compositions are from the complete band, while the lyrics go entirely to the account of singer Kai Marckwordt. Deleting one or more tracks would make the rest of the album wrong. For this, "vision" is much too closed, much too much as unity. If you really wanted to use cross-references, then Genesis, Marillion or Saga came to mind.
As a conclusion one can say that Martigan from North Rhine-Westphalia with "Vision" presented a very strong Prog Rock album, which in case of doubt a shorter playing time would have done better. Otherwise everything is necessary. Good songs, great vocals like guitar melodies, thrilling keyboard parts like floating piano, and a great rhythm section. Inaugurated Prog Rock friends, "Vision" will soon be no longer an alien word. ....by...Markus Kerren...~

Line-up:
Kai Marckwordt (lead vocals, 12-string guitars, guitar - #3)
Oliver Rebhan (keyboards)
Alex Bisch (drums, vocals)
Björn Bisch (electric & acoustic guitars)
Peter Kindler (bass)

Guest:
Mirko Bäumer (additional lead & background vocals)

Tracklist
1 Boatman's Vision 23:12
2 Craze This Town 6:46
3 Snapshots 2:23
4 Touch In Time 7:56
5 A Great Concern 1:03
6 Much More 6:50
7 Red & Green 10:56
8 The Contract 20:11

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