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Madking: Ludwig

Here's an unusual band from Montreal for you, Madking, whose debut album Ludwig was mixed by ex-Oblivion and A Perfect Murder guitarist Pierre Remillard at Wild Studio. Madking play an odd sort of prog rock/metal hybrid, with male and female vocals, thunderous guitar work, bass, drums, flutes, and clarinet. The members of the band also are either current or ex-members of Groovy Aardvark, Floating Widget, Karmadoza, and Lumberjack, but they have been working on this project since 1997.

"Grains of Sand" kicks off the CD in pretty heavy fashion, with thick guitar chords from Stephane Vigeant leading the charge alongside the vocals of Stephane Bellemare and Sophie Bourassa. "Green Giant" has a slight stoner feel like Queens of the Stone Age or Kyuss, but throw in a little early Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, as well as Janes Addiction for good measure. With quirky rhythms thanks to drummer Raphael Corbeil and bassist Patrick Falardeau, this tune really cooks with plenty of groove and off-kilter arrangements. The epic "Firefly" contains some massive guitar riffs, flute, and plodding rhythms, sounding like some bizzarro collision of Jethro Tull and Soundgarden, while "Awake Again" and "Spinwheel" recall Black Sabbath and Captain Beyond, with thick, evil sounding riffs and pounding drums, the latter with some particularly eerie vocals from Sophie Bourassa that reminded me of Lynnette Shelley from The Red Masque. After the complex and upbeat "Tumbleweed", the band lurches into the deep & heavy grooves of "Aqaba", a crushing piece that has a nice middle break for some meditative flute that will instantly appeal to fans of Jethro Tull, Focus, or Jade Warrior. "Double Barrel" is a faster paced heavy rocker, while the closer "The Walls of Kerak" is a moody and somber piece with solid lead vocals from both singers, helping the song slowly build in tension and drama.

Overall, this is a very satisfying slice of 70's inspired hard rock, doom, and prog, that will have fans of early Jethro Tull, T2, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Captain Beyond, Armageddon, Atomic Rooster, and even current stoners Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, and Witchcraft, banging their heads with delight. Madking utilize male and female vocals together quite effectively, and the marriage of heavy guitar riffs with jazzy/proggy flute & clarinet passages is very cool. I'm ready for more!

Track Listing
1) Grains of Sand (4:41)
2) Green Giant (3:56)
3) Firefly (8:10)
4) Awake Again (4:47)
5) Spinwheel (6:35)
6) Tumbleweed (3:53)
7) Aqaba (7:10)
8) Double Barrel (3:50)
9) The Walls of Kerak (5:45)

Added: April 17th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2847
Language: english

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