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(76:21; Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella)
I could start this review by mentioning all the bands these guys are in, or by saying that Melanie provided lead vocals on my favourite song from 2018 (The Artwork Project’s “Stay” seeing as how you asked, and yes Martin played on it as well), or even detail the musicians involved on this (there are many, but bassist Lars Lehmann deserves special mention), but instead I feel I should ask the pertinent question, which is why on earth did they have a flour fight? OK, so what we have here is an independent release with a nice digipak and booklet, containing fifteen acoustic cover versions of well-known songs. When I say well-known it will be interesting to see how many a “normal” punter will recognise as alongside the likes of REO Speedwagon, Peter Gabriel and The Police we have Threshold, Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard and Ayreon. Some of these songs have been transported far and away from what they were originally, probably none more so than “A Touch Of Evil” (Judas Priest), which of course now includes cello, Uilleann Pipes, whistle, violin and cajon. Melanie is one of the finest singers around, always in full control, and Martin harmonises perfectly with her, and combined with the arrangements it creates a very special experience indeed. Every Maiden fan should get this just to hear what “Wasted Years” can sound like with a very different arrangement indeed: the first verse is just Melanie with Martin providing some harmonics, not one would normally experience when the guys are at full bore. I am generally not a huge fan of cover versions, to me it only works if the artist takes the material and turns it into something quite different, and this album definitely achieves that on every level. Highlight is hard to choose, but near the end of the album is “We All Need Some Light” (Transatlantic), which has been stripped back to just voices and acoustic guitar. It is delicate yet powerful, beautiful and transcendent. This album is a real find, something that fans of the originals and fans of acoustic music really do need to seek out. The guys are distributing it themselves, and if you are interested in ordering one then send Martin an email at email@example.com. It really is a very special album indeed.
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