Marek Arnold's Artrock Project -
Marek Arnold's Artrock Project

(CD 2023, 76:54, BSide Music, Tempus Fugit)

The tracks:
  1- A Story Of Separation And Lost(16:24)
         - a.) Preview
         - b.) No Place Like Arirang
         - c.) Review
  2- Stay(8:27)
  3- A Time Of Mystery(4:00)
  4- Papillon(10:20)
  5- Come Away With Me(4:24)
  6- Cold Run(6:24)
  7- Berlin 2049(26:49)
         - a.) Berlin
         - b.) Rain Will Fall 1
         - c.) Leave Well Enough Alone
         - d.) Rain Will Fall 2
         - e.) Riding The Line
         - f.) Reason To Lie

samples      Tempus Fugit Records

When an album comes across your desk which features 11 Vocalists, 8 Drummers, 9 Bassists, 9 Guitarists, 6 Keyboardists, 4 Brass players and 3 String players which includes names like Peter Jones, Melanie Mau, Marco Minnemann, Craig Blundell, Laurence Cottle, Kalle Wallner, Gary Chandler, Martin Schnella, Derek Sherinian, Sean Timms, and Adam Holzman, you sit up and take notice!

Welcome to Marek Arnold's Artrock Project! After more than 60 albums with his bands and projects such as Seven Steps To The Green Door, Toxic Smile, Cyril, Manuel Schmid & Marek Arnold, as a member of the German art rock legends Stern Combo Meissen and international bands like UPF, Flaming Row or Damanek, as well as a guest of established projects like The Samurai Of Prog, Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella, Subsignal, Argos, Soul Secret or Southern Empire, the German saxophonist, keyboardist and producer Marek Arnold presents his first solo album. The idea for this album was born when Uwe Treitinger, organizer of the established Artrock Festival Reichenbach/V. had the idea for a 'hymn' for the festival, asked Marek to do it and both asked well-known guest musicians. The song Stay was released in 2018 and was enthusiastically received in the scene, played by prog and rock stations and sold well at the festival for charity purposes. The requests for a complete album kept coming. This is how the work on the album started in 2020.

The album delivers exactly what you would expect from such a cast of characters - it features brilliant performances, enough bombast to make EL&P look almost like lightweights, over-the-top arrangements and orchestrations, amazing vocals and well written songs.

All of the tracks are excellent with the three epic tracks, A Story Of Separation And Lost, Papillon and Berlin 2049 making this an album that you simply MUST have if you are a fan of Progressive Rock.

I must mention that Arnold's signature woodwind work permeates the album (as you would expect) but, surprisingly, is not the centre-piece. While considered a “solo” album this is really a showcase for Arnold's writing, arranging and production capabilities - and the production values on this album are just beyond description.

This is not an album for the faint of heart listener, there are segments that will literally push you to wall but they are tempered with beautiful sections and some of the most incredible vocals I have heard in a very long time.

If you are a fan of Symphonic Prog, Prog Metal or just good old fashioned Progressive Rock, this is the album for you!

***** David Carswell

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