The German duo of Melanie Mau and Martin Schnella came about through mutual love of classic rock, and particularly prog songs, and indeed most of their output up until now has consisted of unplugged covers, but they are always working on their own material. With Invoke The Ghosts, they have drawn us into their own musical world. Running the gamut from Celtic to Folk to straight out Prog, this album will leave you breathless, exhilarated and wanting more.
The album wonderfully pairs the amazing voice of Mau with the virtuoso guitar work of Schnella. Joining the duo are bassist Lars Lehmann, percussionist Simon Schröder and vocalist Mathias Ruck as well as guest multi-instrumentalist Jens Kommnick, vocalist Siobhán Kennedy and violinist Steve Unruh.
The album takes us through stories of witches and pirates, through mystical worlds and dream-like moments that simple carry the listener away. Along the way we are treated to some of the finest guitar work of the year, amazing vocal harmonies (Mau's voice is incredible on it's own, but add in these intricate harmonies and we are simple in vocal heaven), and fantastic production which provides the album with amazing clarity.
The best tracks in the collection are Calypso and Of Witches And A Pure Heart - but there really are no bad tracks to be found here.
There is also a Limited 2CD edition available from the band's website which features instrumental versions of many of the tracks and a couple of guitar/vocal versions and one additional track.
Fans of Loreena McKennitt, Gentle Giant or Dave Bainbridge will find much to enjoy here. This album is an absolute treat for the ears and will most definitely be in my top ten come the end of the year. I really cannot say enough about this release - an incredible soaring musical journey!
**** David Carswell
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