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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Blue Mammoth - Blue Mammoth - 2011
albumcover

    
“Blue Mammoth ... a new progressive rock band from Brasil.”

A new name on the Brazilian label Masque Records is Blue Mammoth. A band from Brasil who makes progressive rock in a more symphonic vein. The Blue Mammoth band is the result of a fortunate encounter of bassist and musical producer Julian Quilodran and keyboard player and composer Andre Micheli. Julian never gave up on the idea of setting up a new prog rock project since his band The Octohpera, dissolved right after releasing their debut album in 2002. He met Andre Micheli in early 2003 and they worked together on a few projects, while Andre was studying musical composition at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University.
Julian Quilodran also recorded and mixed this self-titled debut album of his Blue Mammoth.

Julian Quilodran - bass, cello, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion, backing vocals; Thiago Meyer- drums, electronic and acoustic percussion, backing vocals; Andre Lupac - electric and acoustic guitars, flute, backing vocals; Andre Micheli - piano, organ, synths, lead and backing vocals)

This debut self-titled Blue Mammoth album has fourteen tracks. Some tracks are grouped to tell one story, like “Blue Mammoth” on tracks 1-4, “The Rain of Changes” on tracks 6-8 and “Quixote’s Dream” on tracks 10-12. Nevertheless, it’s not quite a concept album.

The album opens with the suite “Blue Mammoth” which is devided into the parts “Overture-The Awakening of a Giant”, “The King of Power”, “Winter Winds” and “Coda-Back Again”. The “Overture” is a short instrumental track with a slow symphonic intro that goes into an uptempo Moog solo. “The King of Power” is an uptempo and cheerful rocksong with some nice instrumental parts in which the members of the band are showing their musical skills. “Winter Winds” is a slow and melodic ballad that is ending in a piano solo. The short “Coda-Back Again” recalls the theme of the “Overture”.

In the middle section of the rock song “Metamorphosis” you can hear a nice baroque Moog melody.

The second suite entitled “Rain of Changes - A Poet Spirit Voyage” is devided into the parts “Growin'”, “Who We Are” and “The Sun's Face Through Dark Clouds”. “Growin'” is the longest track of the album (8:08). The opening is slow and after the first vocal lines we hear a melodic guitar solo. This suite is the highlight of the album because it has beautiful arrangements, great melodies and is packed with great instrumental parts. Nice bass and vocal lines and tasteful keyboard sounds. This is a wonderful symphonic rock piece! “Who We Are” the second part is a beautiful ballad with great vocal lines and piano parts. “The Sun's Face Through Dark Clouds” opens with a four-voice fugato introduction of the main theme but develops into a symphonic rock song with a nice synth (Moog) solo. This is how symphonic rock must be played.

“The Same Old Sad Tale” is a track with lyrics about war sufferings. The tension of the music slowly builds up to a climax. In the previous tracks we heared a lot of synth and piano, but here we can hear some nice organ parts.

The third suite entitled “Quixote's Dream” is devided into the parts “Farewell my Lady”, “Hero” and “Solitude - The Sad End of a Dreamer”. “Farewell my Lady” is a kind of intro with acoustic guitar and percussion in which the atmosphere of a small village is created. The middle section “Hero” is the next highlight of the album. A beautiful arranged song with nice acoustic guitar and synth parts. In the end we are treated on an epic guitar solo. “Solitude - The Sad End of a Dreamer” is a small piece for two flutes, clavichord and cello delicately representing the lonely end of the naïve hero.

“Resurrection Day” is a ballad with beautiful melodies. In this piece we can again enjoy a beautiful melodic guitar solo.

The closing track of the album is entitled “Infinite Strangers”. Maybe you can describe the music as symphonic rock with a mellow character. The dark lyrics end up with the sentence: “When will we meet again?”

Blue Mammoth's self-titled debut album is a welcome expansion of the symphonic rock scene. The music can be descibed as a mellow form of symphonic rock. You won't find agressive, complex and freaky stuff on this album. The music is well arranged and the skilled musicians are playing for the compositions. I like that the mix has a kind of transparency so that you can hear every instrument. If you listen to the bass parts, you have the feeling that it is in front of the mix ... well done. In overal the music is melodic and warm. Maybe it is because these guys are from Brasil ... South American Prog has often a lot of emotion and warmth.

The highlights of this album are the suites, especially “Rain of Changes - A Poet Spirit Voyage” and “Quixote's Dream”. If you like warm and melodic symphonic rock I can recommend this CD to you.

Blue Mammoth is a band with a lot of potential ... “When will we meet again?”

Douwe Fledderus - October 2011
rating - Masque Records

 

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