DAMANEK

(UNITED KINGDOM)

MAKING SHORE

(2023)
LABEL:

GIANT ELECTRIC PEA

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Epic, Jazzy
"The vocals may be controversial, but Damanek's "Making Shore" is still a very good progressive album!"
ABADDON (17.03.2023)  
4/5
(0) opinions (10) comment(s)
Damanek is the European branch of United Progressive Fraternity, itself born from the Unitopia split after "Artificial". So far, it's simple: Dan Mash (bass), Guy Manning (guitars, vocals) and Marek Arnold (sax) are together: Da-Man-ek. But as a keyboardist was needed, Sean Timms, one of Unitopia's masterminds, took on the job; the quartet reunited forms the backbone of a rock band with a clearly asserted progressive component, adding the services of guests known to the small progressive world, including Tim Irrgang on the first album (Unitopia again. )... Dan Mash having left the ship after the excellent "In Flight", the band's name was kept, a bit like RPWL who lost his "R" and his "P" along the way (but that's another story). "Making Shore" is the third production of this supergroup, after two high quality opuses.

Damanek once again delivers a remarkable work, solidly based on its progressive foundations, delivering a varied and even eclectic music as it doesn't hesitate to mix genres: a touch of reggae on 'A Mountain Sky', symphonic with 'Oculus Overture' for example. The rhythm section does a nice job, enriched with intelligent percussions that will inevitably remind us of the Australians of Unitopia. We recognize Sean Timms' touch in his keyboard interventions ('Reflections on Copper') and Guy Manning intelligently uses his six-string (the nice terminal solo of 'A Welcoming Hand'). But the man of the record is undoubtedly Marek Arnold, who illuminates each of his interventions with his class, evoking the great saxophonists such as Mel Collins or John Helliwell and reminding us of the immense contribution that this instrument can make.

if "Making Shore" is thus almost flawless musically, it is on the vocal level that the listener may stumble. It is understandable that Guy Manning has imposed himself as a frontman to express his compositions, but his lack of vocal signature seriously handicaps the overall interpretation. It's not that his vocals are wrong or misplaced, it's more the rather unspecified timbre and a lack of groove that affect some tracks: for example, it annihilates the dynamics of 'Americana', in which the rhythm section and the keyboards groove like hell, and hampers the efficiency of the whole 'Oculus' suite (apart from the opening, which is entirely instrumental). This is obviously a matter of taste, but the quality of Damanek's music deserves more than just decent vocals.

That shouldn't deter fans of well-composed progressive music performed by talented musicians. With vocals to match, Damanek would go from "recommended" to "must hear", and that's a nuance worth considering.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Mountain of Sky
02. Back2Back
03. Noon Day Candles
04. Americana
05. In Deep Blue (Sea songs Pt 1)
06. Reflections on Copper
07. Crown of Thorns (Sea Songs Pt 2)
08. Oculus Overture
09. Act I Spot The Difference?
10. Act II The Corridor
11. Act III Passive Ghost
12. Act IV A Welcoming Hand

LINEUP:
Guy Manning: Chant / Claviers / Guitare Acoustique / Chœurs / Percussions / Loops / Samples
Marek Arnold: Claviers / Sax / Seabord
Sean Timms: Claviers / Choeurs
Amanda Timms: Invité / Choeurs
Brody Green: Batterie / Invité
Cam Blokland: Guitares / Invité
Jonathan Barrett: Invité / Basse (3,5)
Julie King: Invité / Choeurs
Kevin Currie: Invité / Choeurs
Linda Pirie: Invité / Flûte (8) / Piccolo (8)
Nick Sinclair: Basse / Invité
Ralf Dietsch: Invité / Guitare Électrique (6)
   
(0) MIND(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(10) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
TONYB
18/03/2023
  0
In any case, this third Damanek album is a very good one. Good job Guy and all the squad.
TORPEDO
18/03/2023
  1
@Guy Comments are here to let the readers give their opinion. Unfortunately, most of the time, it is the reviewer who is targeted and his skills that are denigrated. And of course, this is only on reviews that don't get a good rating or a review that is directly aimed at one of the musicians. When it is justified and there is no aggression, I say nothing, it is normal that we too are judged. On the other hand, it is normal that we explain ourselves when I consider that the remark is not fair. We are not perfect and we make mistakes...
TORPEDO
18/03/2023
  0
@TownsendLeDevin: Fair Enough !
TOWNSEND LE DEVIN
17/03/2023
 
516
0
And in "inordinate ego", Torpédo is clearly well-known!
GUYMANNING01@GMAIL.C
17/03/2023
 
3
0
Ok I agree
Why not remove the comments then
I appreciate that you obviously do not have the time and so I do not want waste any more of yours here or in the future
tbh its not about ego really, more about accuracy but we can discuss that offline if you like
5. Yes, you are right that is my bad
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