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(75:00; Progressive Promotion Records)
By the time of Martigan’s fifth album in 2015 they had been releasing music for 20 years and given their incredibly solid neo-style of progressive rock one can certainly see where they had come from. If I had heard this back in the early Nineties, I would have said it fitted in incredibly well with the current scene, although these days the sub-genre is looked down upon and many bands have moved away. Kai Markwordt (lead & backing vocals, electric, Spanish & 12-string guitars), Bjorn Bisch (guitars, e-bow), Oliver Strahl (Rebhan) (keyboards, backing vocals), Mario Koch (bass, clarinet), and Alex Bisch (drums, percussion, backing vocals). It took them six years to release this one, during which time there was only a slight change in personnel with a new bassist, and this was their final release, announcing their break-up in 2019 after 25 years together. That is a real shame, as this is a very enjoyable album, full of the styles I became so involved with 30 years ago in the underground. There are times when they are somewhat reminiscent of Citizen Cain, although not as overtly Genesis in nature, and I think that is probably down to the rich vocals of Markwordt who has a wonderful presence. The breadth and style, together with gruffness, is in direct contrast to the cleanliness of the arrangements which are both busy and simplistic. Take “Complicius” for example, we not only have a large number of drum rolls but hand percussion, a fretless bass taking melody, keyboards which can be both driving and supportive and a guitar which does the same, along with a perfectly formed solo. Their Facebook page is still active, even though there have been no updates in a year, and it looks like this really was the end for Martigan, which based on this is a real shame as this is a thoroughly enjoyable album which all those into melodic Neo would certainly enjoy.
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