Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella -
The Oblivion Tales

(CD 2017, 67:24 Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- The Spire And The Old Bridge(5:19)
  2- Treasured Memories(6:09)
  3- Words Become A Song(4:35)
  4- Close To The Heart(5:04)
  5- The Horseshoe(7:54)
  6- Wild West(5:43)
  7- My Dear Children(6:57)
  8- Die Zwerge Vom Iberg(8:16)
  9- The Dwarfs King(6:04)
10- Erinnerungen(5:40)
11- Melanie's Theme(5:39)

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The last couple of months, the acoustic music seems to be gaining the attention of the average progressive rock fan. To be honest, the acoustic albums that were offered to me for a review, were all quite above average and did hold interesting music. This time The Oblivion Tales by Melanie Mau and Martin Schnella landed on my desk. Both names that should ring a bell, for both were shortly members of Frequency Drift and participated on the 2016 release Last (2016, see review) and Martin Schnella still is Flaming Row's mastermind and joined the ranks of Seven Steps To The Green Door two years ago.

What The Oblivion Tales holds, are acoustic progressive songs, with a heavy folky and even Celtic touch. Some of the tracks are inspired by the Harz mountains of their homeland Germany. The album immediately reveals their strongest point during the opener The Spire And The Old Bridge, the combination of both vocalists is absolutely beautiful. Melanie and Martin are accompanied by a third voice in this perfect harmony, so credits for Stephan Wegner wonderful vocals harmonies. The album shows how you can blend various percussion with tin whistles and delicate violin and various stringed instruments. Words Become A Song almost could be labelled as an acoustic, funky AOR composition and should appeal to a wider audience. Along the numerous guests on the album I need to mention former Spock's Beard drummer Jimmy Keegan on several tracks as well as bass player for the mentioned band Dave Meros on The Dwarfs King. One of the rare electric up tempo track is the German sang Die Zwerge Vom Iberg. Where the German language really adds something to the song's atmosphere. The other song in their native language, Erinnerungen; Memories, still is fine, but doesn't get to me as much as the previous mentioned composition. The final track on the album is Melanie's Theme, which is played by Martin Schnella by himself. A beautiful intimate ode.

Perhaps not the regular progressive album, but an album that is very enjoyable, especially the two and three vocal combinations are absolutely brilliant

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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