Mavara are a progressive rock band from Iran (!). In English this means 'beyond everything you think'. This rock project started in 2001 and can be seen as a musical vehicle for composer and keyboard player Farhood Ghadiri . As far as I know, Mavara are the first Iranian band to explore the neo-progressive rock genre. They not only have performed in their own country but also abroad. They regard their appearance at the French Crescendo Festival in 2010 to be one of the highlights in the band's career. So far they recorded three albums: Ultimate Sound (2007), Forgotten Inside (2009) and Season Of Salvation (2012). Unfortunately I never heard the first two albums, but in 2013 Background Magazine received their latest CD.
The musicians who recorded Season Of Salvation are Ashkan Hamedi (vocals), Anis Oveisi (piano, keyboards), Arash Radan (guitars), Sina Khodaiefar (bass) and of course Farhood Ghadiri (keyboards). Furthermore some female singers contributed to the album. The music on this almost sixty-minute lasting album starts with Period Of Innocence, a neo-progressive rock piece slightly in the vein of Marillion. However, after that the music shifts towards a more modern sounding style of bands like Porcupine Tree and Riverside, but occasionally on certain tracks the style of Pink Floyd comes to the surface as well. The guitar and the vocals mainly evoke those comparisons.
Although the musicians hail from the Middle East, you can hardly notice a musical part that's common for that part of the world. Only the lead singer has an accent that proves that he doesn't come from an English speaking country, but his vocal skills are of a rather good level. Overall my opinion about this third release is rather positive. Whilst listening to Season Of Salvation I found it a pretty entertaining album, so thumbs up for this Iranian band.
Finally I have to mention that the band members have spent a lot of time in the USA. They even have an American drummer in their line-up and they give concerts in America! At the moment it seems that they're looking for another guitarist as well. The music of Mavara is especially recommended to people who appreciate bands like Porcupine Tree and Riverside.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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