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Mythologic (USA) - 2003 - "Standing in Stillness"
(41 min, PMM)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  Magic to Breathe 1:26
2.  In Solitude 6:21
3.  Standing in Stillness 5:40
4.  Battled Beliefs 5:29
5.  A Dim Too Dark 9:41
6.  Flash of Red 5:24
7.  Truth Undiscovered 6:57

All music: by Matusic, C. & B. Rodler.
All lyrics: by M. Rodler.

LINE-UP:

Steve Matusik - guitars
Chris Rodler - guitars & bass
Melissa Rodler - vocals 
Brett Rodler - drums & percussion

Produced by Mythologic & John Trevethan. 
Engineered mainly by Trevethan & C. Rodler.

Prolusion. As you can see above, the formers and former members of Leger De Main form three thirds of this truly mythological lineup. "Standing in Stillness" is so far the only album released by these musicians under the Mythologic name, though they're in many ways mythological figures already for quite a while. No tautologies or nonsense in these sentences, of course!

Synopsis. The first track: Magic to Breathe features only Melissa Rodler's vocals and is actually an intro to the story told in the album by means of music and lyrics. While overall, "Standing in Stillness" can be regarded as the work of a unified stylistics representing a blend of Prog-Metal and a guitar Art-Rock (which, though, is often also quite harsh), there are some significant differences between the music on tracks 2 and 3 and that on all of the following ones. In Solitude and the album's title track consist mostly of dense structures and contain distinct traces of influences of Fates Warning circa 1989 (and, thus, Rush), but what's interesting is that the influences are really evident mostly in those themes that go along with vocals, while Melissa Rodler sings incredibly original and inventive here and just saves the band from falling into the category of imitators of their idols. Of course, Melissa's vocals, as well as her way of singing, are unique and very, very impressive everywhere on the album, but the most unexpected surprise awaits the listener at the fourteenth minute, as on the fourth track, the band became freed from any influences like a snake shed an old skin. Unlike In Solitude and Standing in Stillness, all four of the other songs: Battled Beliefs, Flash of Red, A Dim Too Dark, and Truth Undiscovered (4, 6, 5, & 7 respectively) are original at every respect and, in addition, are rich in purely acoustic musical textures. Marvelously, the music becomes more multifarious and more hypnotic, more complex and more attractive, both heavier and softer. The unexpected transitions from heavy and intensive arrangements to those with only Melissa's brilliant dramatic singing to the accompaniment of the parts of classical guitar and vice versa are typical for all of them, but especially the latter two. Both of the longest tracks on the album are (perhaps consequently) the most diverse and intriguing, both begin and finish with wonderful, constantly developing passages of acoustic guitar, and both are real gems of Classic Progressive.

Conclusion. The sudden transformation of the music on this album is one of the most extraordinary events I've clashed with on my path in the world of harmonious (cosmic!) noises, and I only wonder whether the band did it advisedly or not. Even if not, the album shows that they're from the outset on the right way in the 'mythologic' part of their creation and can bravely look into the future. As the adherent of a complete originality, I can't rate "Standing in Stillness" with six stars, which, of course, shouldn't perplex anyone looking for a high-quality progressive music of a moderate heaviness.

VM: October 29, 2003


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