Short album reviews by The Prog Yak. No puffery here, just a simple review and score from 1 to 5 yaks! Have a new album you'd like The Prog Yak to review? Let us know.
Guy Manning released “On Track," his first album from his newly formed Damanek project band back in 2017. It was a solid debut and quickly became a favorite. Then, only a year later, came Damanek's second release, “In Flight,” which was absolutely brilliant! Big Eastern, the three-part epic which ends the album, is 30 minutes of pure prog heaven. I reviewed it at the time with a solid 5 yaks. Then…the waiting began. It’s been 5 years since In Flight, so there has been great anticipation for their third album, “Making Shore,” due out on January 13th, 2023.
I was apprehensive if they could match or exceed their first two albums, but I felt a tinge of hope when I saw the track listing with 12 tracks, a 72 minute runtime, and ending in a five-part, 30+ minute epic, “Oculus.”
When I received the album, I started at the top, listening to the seven “appetizers," and was very pleasantly surprised. Not a "filler" in the bunch. Seven tracks with socio/economic/political themes, loaded with the “jazzy” prog sound Damanek does so well. But, could the main course, the epic Oculus, keep up and really deliver, the way Big Eastern had five years previously? Half-way through the nine-minute “Overture” to Oculus, I had my answer…a resounding “YES!" This was amazing! My trepidation subsided, confident that the other 21 minutes would not let me down, and I was right. The four “acts” that then completed the Oculus epic had every bit the mastery shown in Big Eastern.
It’s with great pleasure I can give Making Shore my full five-yak rating! As mentioned, the album will be out next month, with pre-orders being taken now. If you’re a Damanek fan, you will not be disappointed in the least with Making Shore. If you’re not familiar with Damanek, check out Big Eastern from their last album, and I’m confident you will become a big fan.
To get an early preview of this great album, turn in to Prog Radio where we’re already playing several of the tracks from "Making Shore" in our New Music rotation.
Thanks Guy, Sean, Marek and crew for delivering another wonderful Damanek record. It was well worth the wait!