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 Explorerís Club - Raising The Mammoth

Explorerís Club - Raising The Mammoth The wait was far too long for me for another Explorerís Club album! I loved the first one and ďRaising The MammothĒ is unquestionably a serious prog-rock opus from some of the best performers in the genus. It never ceases to amaze me how these wonderful artists consider all this prolific and thought provoking work as side projects. That is an indication of the level of professionalism and talent that we are dealing with here. Lord knows how they all find the time to juggle their busy schedules to contribute to these projects. Just look at the names involved in Trent Gardnerís newest onslaught for your earsÖSteve Walsh, Kerry Livgren, James LaBrie, John Myung, Terry Bozzio, Gary Wehrkamp, and a host of others that are very recognizable names in the industry today.

Note that there are 44 tracks listed, do not let that be a misunderstanding; it still manages to clock in just under an hour. This is your representative progressive rock format with explicitly long and drawn out soloing, and one song lasting nearly half the album. Its overkill, overindulgence, whatever you want to call it, it is the way it should be. It all works like a charm thank you very much. It turns out sounding like one big jam session that never ends, itís great and I loved every minute of it. This CD is leans heavily on the instrumental continuum, and rightfully so. Everyone needs to strut their stuff, and they do it in a big way. This is a decidedly keyboard oriented recording, which comes as no surprise, after all its Trentís gig. It sounds like everyone is having the time of their lives on this session, even though the intensity level is so high. You can tell that the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Walsh and LaBrie sound great, former Megadeth lead guitar slinger Marty Friedman is allowed to go nuts; he is all over the musical map from beginning to end. It seems as though Marty was able to purge his soul after the untimely break up of his legendary group.

I am just beside myself every time I listen to music like this. It sucks me right in and mesmerizes me. I always find myself craving for more once the CD stops. That is what the entire purpose of music is, to sweep you away to some far away place where nobody can see you or communicate with you, itís just you and the music. I donít know about you, but prog-rock like this always does it for me. I never feel like I can do the music enough justice with my words on an emotional level. It always moves me so, at times beyond any words that I could possibly express. If all of that is not enough motivation for you to check this CD out then I think its time to put your stereo in the attic. Now with that, I bid you farewell until the next prog-rock masterpiece comes out that I can gush about.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Posted By: Keith Hannaleck
Genre: Progressive Rock
Record Label: Magna Carta

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