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Mantra Sunrise - Mantra Sunrise

Mantra Sunrise - Mantra SunriseMantra Sunrise released this self-titled album in 2000 after spending a year recording it.  Much of the album is said to be inspired by the journeys of John Miner (he of K2 fame), and that includes the lyrics as well as the music.

Lead vocals are provided by bassist Joel Bissing with Wayne Garabedian wading in with drums, percussion and keyboards leaving John working his magic on electric and acoustic six and twelve string guitars and providing additional vocals.

There is a strong 60's element from the start, those days from which prog was born.  Not that I would ever suggest that the band slipped a 'tab or two' to get into the mood of the era, but there is no denying that laid back at ease with the world (to a point) atmosphere that has all the hallmarks of an otherwise sober trippy psychedelic rollercoaster of delight.

A lot of this delight is down to John's acoustic playing.  The instrumental Brudenell is a classic masterpiece.  The one sound that no review I have read has picked out so far is that of Led Zeppelin/Robert Plant, which does make me wonder if it is just me.  Listen to Dying Day and you might hear what I mean.  Brilliant track with some great haunting flute courtesy of Ann Jorgensen.

The main melodies in the songs are simply addictive, so much so that one begins to imagine that you must have heard songs like Northern Light (note, NOT Northern Lights!) before somewhere.

Although the music has that 60's feel, it does have a foot in the prog camp, which is most obvious in the epic 20-minute Land Of Sprinagar which steps into the early 70's when everything in the rock world had some proggish involvement.  The term 'far out' doesn't do it justice.

Sadly, those with only an interest in the narrower world of prog may find Mantra Sunrise lacking but if good music matters more than labels to you, get this album now.  Recommended.

Jem Jedrzejewski

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