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(Mascot Records M70852)

Former Mystery Bloom and Phantom's Opera members, Bob Gilmartin (guitar/bass/vocals) and David Garcia (drums/keys/vocals) have got together to form New Machine. New Machine takes a variety of influences from both their previous bands plus adding a distinctive progressive edge to much of the music on offer here.

The short opener 'Going Home', with its vocal harmonies, makes for a great start to the album. Next up 'New Horizons' where the band's progressive side emerges along with some superb guitar playing and keys. Lighter moments include 'Meant To be', which will delight AOR fans - again harmonies and keys are the song's bedrock. The same is true of 'Blood In The Ocean' a real Kansas style ballad. For those after crunching guitar try 'Cold' where the band go prog metal! The album's masterpiece is the eleven minutes plus of 'Waterfront', which moves from mellow harmony filled passages into guitar driven passages. One for your headphones'

An album that looks both backwards and forwards in its musical style, making a refreshing addition to the melodic rock genre. The album is a distinctive grower and all the better for it.

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Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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