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(20:03; Man Till God)
This is the debut 3-track EP by Sri Lankan band Man Till God. They describe it as “an exploration of Prog Rock and delves into the diverse dimensions of man's journey in search of meaning.”. The band are a quintet and to be honest I know very little about them, apart from the line-up which is Vimukthi Karunaratne (vocals), Rakitha Abhayaratne (lead guitar), Rewan Jayatilaka (rhythm guitar), Dasitha Abeywickrama (bass) and Sandaruwan Silva (drums). The more perceptive of you will realise here we have a band playing what is described as progressive while utilising a standard hard rock format with no keyboards listed at all. It took me a while to work out who they reminded me of, I think because the singer is so very different, but eventually it clicked that they made me think of Freewill, the band formed by Mark Colton and Mike Mishra when they left Final Conflict and before Mark went on to Credo. Everything about this makes me think of the demos I used to be sent 25+ years ago, where a band was starting out at the beginning of their career and were still working out how to operate in a studio, how to get the best out of their performances etc. The songs are solid, although the guitar solos sometimes leave a little to be desired, but in Karunaratne they have a very powerful, emotional and strong singer which makes them stand out. This is their debut release, available on Soundcloud, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. I know very little (okay, nothing) about the music scene in Sri Lanka, and this is the first music I have ever received from that country, but I hope these guys continue playing live and learning and I look forward to seeing what the album is like when it comes out. They are the finished article, they still have a way to go, but it is interesting all the same and shows promise.
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