Machiavel — Mechanical Moonbeams
(Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2225, 1978/2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-08-01
This is at least the third CD reissue of this third album by the Belgian band Machiavel: a near-bootleg issue transferred from scratchy vinyl was released in the late 80s, then last year it was released briefly by EMI. This latest issue is the first that's found its way to the States in sufficient numbers. This was perhaps the band's best known record, a strong and confident progressive rock fronted by chameleon vocalist Mario Guccio, the music a melodic hybrid of styles with pointers to early Genesis, Supertramp, and the German symphonic bands like Anyone's Daughter, Novalis, and Grobschnitt. Tracks like "Summon up Your Strength" and "Beyond the Silence" show they are not afraid to rock, yet tunes like "Mary" and "Rope Dancer" demonstrate a melodic sensitivity and warmth. But it's on the longer opuses like "Rebirth," "After the Crop," and "The Fifth Season" where they really show their best side: heavy use of dynamic range, powerful symphonics, heaps of Mellotron and bass pedals; what more could you want? The lyrics are in English, and, while they certainly won't go down in music history as some of the finest, they're not bad and tend to be unobtrusive. Unfortunately, only the first of the two bonus tracks fares well next to the others, the second one is a detraction and should've been left off. Unlike previous issues, the original cover artwork by Celle was preserved in miniature, complete with the gatefold.
Related artist(s): Machiavel
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more