34209.jpg

MONARCH TRAIL

Wither Down

€16.99 * Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
  • 34209
  • MONARCH TRAIL
  • CD
  • PROGRESSIVE
  • 29.10.2021
Das dritte Studioalbum der kanadischen Retro-Progger. Kanada hat sicherlich nicht die... more

Das dritte Studioalbum der kanadischen Retro-Progger.


Kanada hat sicherlich nicht die größte Musikszene, aber neben Weltstars wie Michael Bublé, Celine Dion sowie weiteren Showgrößen, gibt es auch exzellente Rock- und Prog Bands, die jederzeit im internationalen Vergleich mithalten können. Zugegeben sind diese nicht jedermann geläufig, aber allemal auf Grund der Qualität absolut hörenswert. Zu diesen Bands gehören auch die aus Ontario stammenden Monarch Trail. Neu sind sie nicht im Geschäft, so ist „Wither Down“ bereits das dritte Album. Nach „Skye“ (2014) und „Sand“ (2017) dürfen sich die Freunde der Kanadier, zum ausgehenden Jahr 2021, erneut über interessantes Material freuen. Es sollten sich generell alle Fans von Keyboard-betontem, symphonischen Progressive Rock und Retro Prog angesprochen fühlen. Keyboarder und Komponist Ken Baird, der bereits als Solist für diverse Veröffentlichungen gestanden hat, startete 2014 mit Monarch Trail ein neues Projekt, das bis heute durchweg gute Kritiken erhielt.

Erfreulich ist, dass sich die Musiker auf diesen Lorbeeren nicht ausgeruht haben, sondern ihren Weg weiter geradlinig beschritten. Es ist nicht gewagt, das dritte Album als ihr bisher stärkstes zu bezeichnen. Freunde der Art Rock und Neo Prog Bands Marillion und IQ sowie des Multitalents Mike Oldfield, aber auch alle Lieberhaber des allgemeinen Symphonic Progs sollten an „Wither Down“ Gefallen finden.


Klavier, Synthesizer und sogar Recorder bilden u.a. das instrumentale Gerüst des symphonisch-epischen Albums. Das kreative Songwriting wirkt frisch und keineswegs verstaubt oder altbacken. Auch die Covergestaltung des Digipacks fügt sich perfekt in den Gesamteindruck ein.


Mit „Wither Down“ ist den Kanadiern Monarch Trail und seinem Frontmann Ken Baird ein wirklich sehr ansprechendes Album gelungen, das auch nach mehreren Hördurchgängen begeistern kann. Sechs Titel, die kaum symphonischer, epischer sein könnten. Das sollte doch mal eine Kaufempfehlung wert sein! (HW Riedel/betreutesproggen.de - 12/15)




Monarch Trail is back with their third album. The new album, Whither Down, was released on October 6, 2021. I reviewed Monarch Trail’s last album, Sand, and I was so impressed, when I found out they had a new album out, I immediately wanted to hear and review it. Sand, was released back in May of 2017. Well, they didn’t disappoint. Whither Down is excellent and adds to a growing collection of fantastic sounding progressive rock for this band. Monarch Trail is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and the band consists of members: Ken Baird, on keyboards and vocals; Chris Lamont, on drums; Dino Verginella, on bass; John Mamone, Kelly Kereliuk and Steve Cochrane, play guitar.


Monarch Trail’s music can be compared to the best, early music of the Genesis’ “Collins Era” – Trick of the Tail, Wind and Wuthering, and …And Then There Were Three….
They open this album with the title track, “Whither Down”, and it is spectacular. Ken Baird’s piano is like autumn leaves at the peak of season, perfect! His vocals are similar to Paul Menel of IQ fame. In fact, the band’s music compares favorably with Menel’s work in IQ, on Nomzamo, and more so on, Are You Sitting Comfortably? The opening keyboards also remind me a little of the work Martin Orford created on The Wake and Tales from the Lush Attic. At times you can even hear reminders of early Supertramp piano as well. An excellent start, for sure. The piano, drums, and guitars create a soundscape you will not soon forget. No wonder they named the album after this song, and placed it first.


“Echo”, opens with powerful synthesizers, then powerful, bass, guitar and drums. Ken Baird sings, “Something, you neglected to say. Only place is yesterday. Walls are telling unheard stories. Those who we’ll never know. We remain as image and rays. As far as the night sky burns. Like us in the blink of an eye”. All set to deep powerful keyboards, with supporting guitars and drums.


“Canyon Song”, is full of more wonderful keyboards and synthesizers. Baird sings, “Canyons abound. Wounds open wide. No one escapes. Won’t know another’s mind. Tied in place. Crashed and erased. No one hears. No one waits. Million years could not prepare for this. Strong defenses peeled away like skin”. A powerful song, full of contemplation.


“Waves of Sound”, is just that. Wave after wave of perfect chords and synthesizer waves, netted with excellent guitar work and drums. You can at times, feel that early classical glow from IQ on this track. Like wind, the orchestration and synthesizers build a limitless background to the awesome spectacle of music being played before it. The deep synths that cut in around the halfway mark, will take many a Synergy fan back to their glorious past. Brilliant, Larry Fast-like keys that shine bright, indeed. Don’t let it stop…ever. Probably my favorite song of all.


“Megalopolitana”, is the longest title and song on the album at 15:18. Flute like keys and piano brilliantly open this piece of art. A glorious long run of excellent guitar and stellar keyboards. The acoustic guitar is a bright shining light of extraordinary sound, mixed well with the keyboards and synths. Baird sounds a bit like Jon Anderson, of Yes, on this track. Baird sings, “How does the wind touch me so? How does the light warm the soil? Watch as my dreams become yours. See as it seems. You will join me. This is home. Our domain. Stop all else. Isolate”. As if Genesis and Yes were finally merged as one. Simply magnificent. 


“All Kinds of Futures”, is the closer, and it is full of more of those glorious keyboards, piano, and synthesizer. A royal, almost Fantasia like opening. Some of the best synthesizer work I have heard this year.
Every track on this album is outstanding. There are no let downs or extras. You will want to hear every note of every song. This is the ultimate headphone album. Put them on and dream away. Every turn is like a new beginning. Every synthesizer key opens the door to more imagination. Please, if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned above, you are going to love this. Don’t pass this album up this year.


Review: Professor Mark/Progressive Rock Central.com


Tracklist
1.Wither Down – 10:53
2. Echo – 5:59
3. Canyon Song – 6:32
4. Waves of Sound – 11:00
5. Megalopolitana – 15:18
6. All Kinds of Futures – 6:47

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