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Mechanical Poet: Woodland Prattlers

Imagine, if you will, an earthier Rhapsody: an orchestral metal band with the cinematic scope to create a soundtrack for a work of art via an orgy of metal, classical, trance and electronic music; Tim Burton meets Japanese anime, if you will. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mechanical Poet…

Although not quite as musically talented as Rhapsody, this Moscow trio has unleashed its full-length debut, Woodland Prattlers, an "original comic book score" that comes with a 20-page comic book illustrated by Lee Nichols. Flanked by instrumentals that are cinematic in scope ("Main Titles" and "End Credits"), Woodland Prattlers digs into multiple genres that cross musical borders as often as Rhapsody invokes the gods of war.

Singer Max Samosvat is no Fabio Lione and guitarist Lex Plotnikoff lacks the polish of Luca Turilli, but the music of Mechanical Poet nonetheless echoes some of the more common elements of Rhapsody and that band's fantastical storytelling. From wispy instrumentals to quirky, folk-inspired numbers to heavy, plodding monsters, these songs help paint sonic images of a quirky underworld characterized by the elements at play in the amazing cover art. (I'm sure the music enhances the accompanying comic book, too, but since my promo copy of Woodland Prattlers arrived in a simple cardboard slipcase, sans fancy packaging, I can't make that definitive statement.) Recommended for the curious, adventurous listener who likes forest critters.


Track Listing:
1) Main Titles
2) Stormchild
3) Boogie in a Coal-Hole
4) Sirens from the Underland
5) Will O' The Wisp
6) Strayed Moppet
7) Old Year's Merry Funeral
8) Natural Quaternion
9) Shades on a Casement
10) Swamp-Stamp-Polka
11) End Credits
Total Time: 50:00

Added: April 1st 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Mechanical Poet Web Site
Hits: 2621
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mechanical Poet: Woodland Prattlers
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-04-01 06:49:10
My Score:

Progressive metal has a new ally in the band Mechanical Poet. This group has taken a pretty unique and seldom used approach to their debut full-length release entitled Woodland Prattlers. They choose to mix lush orchestration and different vocal stylings all over the record. It is also labeled as the original comic book score, so there is a booklet to go along with this which I was not provided with (a shame since I love that stuff). Fans of the type of music that Dream Theater performs will most likely enjoy this most for it employs a number of the things that those folks lean towards. It was difficult in one sense to describe this other than to simply say it is very easy to enjoy and I found myself taking repeat listens. If you like Progressive metal and yearn for some varied sounds this might actually do the trick for you.

The group hails from Moscow and it comprised of members Lex Plotnikoff (guitars), Max Samosvat (vocals) and Tom Tokmakoff (drums) along with some other musical contributors. The guys took an interesting take on the music and it seems that this will be the kind of group that will be good to seeon stage. The CD plays along fluidly through song after song and builds up a setting for your mind to enjoy. Among my favorite tracks on this concept album are "Natural Quarternion" and "Strayed Moppet" as I found myself listening to them more than two times very quickly. I also enjoyed "Shades On A
Casement" which added the whole power ballad effect that I like every now and then.

With the group taking this unique approach of more orchestrations than those of their peers it allows their brand of Progressive Metal to retain a freshness that is not too easily achieved. This is especially so when so many of the major players in power metal are doing the same thing over and over instead of taking the nature of musical experimentation to the next level. Bands who choose to do so , are worthy of the title "progressive". Let's welcome Mechanical Poet to the fold.




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