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MP3 The Franklin-Neumann Project - Machinery Of The Gods

Sci-Fi influenced progressive hard rock

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, ROCK: Instrumental Rock

Machinery of the Gods, the debut release from The Franklin-Neumann Project is a very potent, wide ranging collection of songs which range from grandiose progressive hard rock, driving neoclassical guitar instrumentals to even touches of well produced AOR.

The Franklin-Neumann Project, actually consisting of the obviously talented duo of Gary W. Franklin and Bill Neumann deserve alot of credit for creating music of this high quality mostly it appears, in their home studio!

Although the production is somewhat uneven at times, overall it is quite good, especially turned up at a high volume on a good sound system.

Beginning with the ambitious three part opening composition "Symphony of Man", which starts off with a gorgeous keyboard and guitar intro before switching to a fine progressive rock/metal workout which features some very fine lead guitar work, although the rhythm guitars sound a bit thin at times.

Overall though this is a fine opening track with strong lyrics and very appealing vocals.

"Mendelsohn''s Electric Guitar Concerto No1 in Em" is next, a brief neoclassical instrumental which also contains some excellent guitar work which unfortunately is too short!

The orchestral ballad "Forever in Your Eyes" is a very well constructed track which borders on AOR,with vocals that recall Chicago''s Peter Cetera, although a bit harder edged.

Continuing the album is another fine guitar driven instrumental "Mind''s Eye", which is very Satrianiesqe in nature ala "Surfing With The Alien", with a great guitar melody.

"I Can See Forever" is a very compelling progressive metal track which will remind listeners of the work of Shadow Gallery, although not an epic track, only lasting a little over three and a half minutes.

The third instrumental track "Android Dreams" is also the strongest, featuring more fine lead guitar work and is very good structurally.

"Event Horizon" is a somewhat straightforward hard rock composition with progressive overtones, mainly due to the well played keyboard work.

This track also features a very credible vocal performance.

Up next is "Need To Be (Osiris Gets A Mouth)", an interesting prog track which is notable for its complex time changes, which has somewhat of a Dream Theater feel.

"Countdown" is another strong instrumental track that features a great wah drenched guitar solo amidst a driving rhythm section.

Wrapping up the cd is the title track "Machinery of the Gods", a keyboard dominated track which ends the album in fine fashion, containing very strong vocals, along with very good yet unobtrusive keyboard work.

"Machinery of the Gods" is a very good, solid debut from two very talented musicians who, if this is any indication, can be counted on making much more fine music in the future!

The main weakness is the overall production, which although very good at times, especially the lead guitar parts, suffers from the thin rhythm guitar sound.

All in all though, this is a very promising debut, which is definitely worth investigating!

(above review by Keith Langerman, Metal And Hard Rock Area.)

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