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Mantra Vega - 'The Illusion's Reckoning' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e7/25/46/mantra-vega-the-illusions-reckoning-82-1473534385.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 10, 2016    
 
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Although intended to be absorbed as a whole, each track has enough of an identity to be appreciated singularly.

The Mantra Vega project is the brainchild of Mostly Autumn's former lead singer Heather Findlay, and Sound Of Contact main-man, Dave Kerzner. 'The Illusion's Reckoning' is their first (and likely only) album and has been almost two years in the making since Findlay and Kerzner first got together. I guess the overall sound is not a million miles away from that of MA, maybe a little less Rock with more emphasis on atmospheric moods and subtleties.

'Island' is the proper album opener and has also been chosen as the first single. It has a great commercial edge and flows like a Stevie Nicks song, though I have to admit Findlay sounds uncannily like Kate Bush at times. There is also a Bush feel about 'Veil Of Ghosts'. The low-key intro gives way to a crashing chorus before settling back into the almost lullaby nature of the pre-chorus. The song features some excellent lead guitar work alongside hard-hitting drums from Alex Cromarty (MA). Findlay's are the primary vocals during the course of the album's ten tracks but there are some male contributions to add an extra dimension to the sound and instil an element of light and shade.

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'In A Dream' features some relaxing woodwind work and, alongside an infectious hook, there is some more neat guitar and drums interplay. The ten-minute title track brings things to a close, encapsulating everything that has gone before. It is expansive and beguiling, with an epic quality that brings Pink Floyd to mind. The core performers are Findlay, Kerzner, Cromarty, Chris Johnson (guitar), Dave Kilminster (guitar) and Stu Fletcher (bass), but there are a number of guest contributions from the likes of Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon/Star One) and Angela Gordon (MA/Odin Dragonfly).

'The Illusion's Reckoning' is essentially a Progressive concept that moves naturally from one track to the next. Although intended to be absorbed as a whole, each track has enough of an identity to be appreciated singularly. It will appeal to fans of MA (naturally), PF, Bush and Findlay's solo work, though the commercial nature of the material opens it up to anyone willing to give it a chance.

Dave Bott

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