DAMANEK

(UNITED KINGDOM)

ON TRACK

(2017)
LABEL:

GIANT ELECTRIC PEA

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Funky, Groovy, Neo, Symphonic
"Carried by the heritage of Unitopia and the influence of Toto, Damanek passes with "On Track" its entrance exam in the leading group of pop-progressive-symphonic formations."
TONYB (26.06.2017)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Take a good dose of Maschine, a big gulp of Unitopia and its derivatives (UPF, Southern Empire), a prog adventurer as a master of ceremonies (Guy Manning), sprinkle it all with a big puff of saxophone (Marek Arnold), a few inspired guests and you get Damanek, a new progressive rock supergroup, mixing modern influences and references to the great old ones.

Influential member of the trio that gave its name to the band, Guy Manning delivers with "On Track" a real ecological manifesto, denouncing among other things the poaching of animals, fossil fuels ('Oil over Arabia') or the rampant pollution ('Dark Sun') and its effects on global warming.

As for the music, and considering the pedigree of the different participants, no one will be surprised when listening to the first two tracks that sound delicious to the ears, to find a good perfume of Unitopia, the marked presence of Marek Arnold's saxophones reinforcing the classy side of the neat melodies and the sumptuous arrangements, supported by Tim Irrgang's typical percussions. Of course, the presence of numerous guests enriches the whole, among which the guitar solos of Luke Machin are particularly tasty.

But far from simply continuing the musical adventure of the Australians, Damanek reveals many other facets of his talent. First of all, 'Cosmic Store', a splendid pop ballad with elaborate melodies that carries the listener along with its bewitching saxophone, accompanied by multiple layers of sound with symphonic hints. On the other hand, 'Big Parade' offers us a much lighter music with a New Orleans jazz feel. And then, how to pass under silence 'Believer-Redeemer', inviting horns and bouncing rhythmic for a jazz funk which would find its place on the biggest albums of Toto... if the more than average song did not come to spoil the object? Finally, saving the best for last, Damanek closes this first album in beauty with the 13 minutes and a half of 'Dark Sun', mixing symphonic neo-prog, jazzy interlude with Fender Rhodes and gilmourian guitar solo to conclude on a Tubular Bells background.

If many of us regretted the (temporary?) end of Unitopia, there is no doubt that the dispersion of its members on multiple projects perpetuates its legacy, and this for our greatest happiness. After United Progressive Fraternity and Southern Empire, Damanek is a new example concretized by an excellent first album which, far from being limited to a neo-progressive tinted with pop, explores many territories, giving it a very particular enrichment.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Nanabohzo and the Rainbow
02. Long Time, Shadow Falls
03. The Cosmic Score (Heaven Song Pt. I)
04. Believer-Redeemer
05. Oil Over Arabia
06. Big Parade
07. Madison Blue
08. Dark Sun

LINEUP:
Dan Mash: Basse
Guy Manning: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Marek Arnold: Claviers / Saxophone, Clarinette, Seaboard
Sean Timms: Claviers / Banjo
Alex Taylor: Invité / Trombone
Antonio Vittozzi : Guitares / Invité
Brody Thomas Green: Batterie / Invité
Chris Catling: Guitares / Invité
Davidb: Chant / Invité
Eric Santucci: Invité / Trompette
Julie King: Chant / Invité
Kev Currie: Chant / Invité
Luke Machin: Guitares / Invité
Nick Magnus: Claviers / Invité
Phideaux: Chant / Invité
Stephen Dundon: Invité / Flûte
Tim Irrgang: Invité / Percussions
Ulf Reinhardt: Batterie / Invité
   
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