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Mangrove Facing The Sunset album cover
3.68 | 37 ratings | 8 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Facing The Sunset (13:53)
2. I Fear The Day (10:12)
3. There Must Be Another Way (12:31)
4. Hidden Dreams (20:58)

Total Time: 57:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Roland van der Horst / guitars, lead vocals
- Chris Jonker / keyboards
- Joost Hagemeijer / drums, vocals
- Pieter Drost / bass

Releases information

CD Mangrovian Music #: 8 175440 003118 (2005)

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MANGROVE Facing The Sunset ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MANGROVE Facing The Sunset reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The debut CD Touchwood by the Dutch symphonic rock formation Mangrove was a nice effort but in general the opnion was that their live sound was way more powerful and captivating. Listening to their new album entitled Facing The Sunset it's obvious that Mangrove has worked to improve their compositions and studio sound. I also could witness this while listening to them as support-act for USA sensation Echolyn.

The new album contains four compositions (between 10 and 21 minutes) evoking the good old days from mid-Genesis, early Hackett solo and early IQ. Especially the wonderful Mellotron samples (produced by a special sophisticated computer programm) and the beautiful, very sensitive electric guitar work are strong points in Mangrove their pleasant symphonic rock sound. I notice that Mangrove has put many fine musical ideas into their songs like a great build-up with huge tension between electric guitar and fiery eruptions in the titletrack, a compelling violin-Mellotron solo with acoustic rhythm-guitar in I Fear The Day, a tight beat with biting electric guitar and a bombastic grand finale in There Must Be Another Way and howling guitar runs with choir-Mellotron in the long final song Hidden Dreams. At some moments the music sounds a bit fragmentic and the musicians are obviously no virtuosi. Nonethless, Mangrove has done a good job on Facing The Sunset, I am sure this CD will please fans of 24-carat symphonic rock!

Review by progrules
4 stars This is my first album of this Dutch band and I think I will buy some more. This is for sure a pretty convincing effort. It's the kind of album I like to see. Just four songs of respectable length and each song of high quality. There is some difference between them though. The first two songs are a bit alike, somewhat slow, good instrumentals and not too great vocals. The third song is an instrumental sounding very nice. The last is the longest and maybe also the best. Long instrumental solos and interesting melodies.

So in all a very good album that deserves the 4 stars completely.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mangrove maintains the illustrious Dutch standards of prog excellence but the musicians offer a somewhat diverse menu from the recent slew of great symphonic and outstanding neo groups, closer to fellow countrymen Triangle than Odyssice, Ice, Trion, Flamborough Head, Novox, Lady Lake or Nice Beaver etc... With a classic gt/k/b/drs lineup with respectable vocals reminiscent of Helmut Köllen era Triumvirat, the lads prefer extended pieces (4 tracks, 3 over 10 minutes and 1 is a 20 minute whopper) where they can take their time stretching out the arrangements without sounding contrived or ostentatious. In fact, nothing really sounds at all commercial here, even though some PA experts have rightly commented about obvious Genesis/Banks/Hackett or Marillion/IQ comparisons. But the influences are more style than substance as there is no "Gabnicholls" or "Fishoggarth" either here to seize the audience. It's all in the music with shimmering keyboard expressions, both as a symphonic backdrop (love that Mellotron) and with some inspirational synthesizer solos from Chris Jonker, partnered with the solid and oh so fluid lead guitarist Roland van der Horst. The flamboyant bass and the intricate drums are really quite exceptional as is most often the case with our lowland progsters. The title cut casts off the seductive voyage with some seamless moods, with bass abuzz, whirling organs and whistling synths, all forewarning of a sizzling guitar solo that hees and haws, screwing up slightly the tension, furrowing in a bluesy mist until the axe glimmers in the setting sun. Nothing becomes too technical but most definitely is enjoyable. "I Fear the Day" salutes a piano and a simple vocal, quickly evolving into a dreamy tirade, with plenty of string atmospherics and a lazy six-string lead that exudes simplicity and the acoustic guitar navigates well within the choir-mellotron waves, a bejeweled slide solo adds a little gusto to the symphonic luxuriance. A long instrumental exhibition is next and frankly the best thing on this record, with searching shifts, driving rhythms and unabashed exuberance, mostly from the melancholic piano stylings and the guitar/synth unison riff that hammers the complex theme home with a sense of impending doom and chaos. Nice. An acoustic guitar bridge glides over the sonic canals, offering a medieval aura of peaceful contemplation, finished off by a slow burn Gilmourian jaunt that takes off majestically, evolving into a grandiose flight, high and away beyond the stars. This is a keeper, worthy of the Dutch Masters! "Hidden Dreams" is the ultimate colossal 21 minute epic that consecrates this recording as a more than worthy addition, with Jonker unleashing a multitude of blistering ivory blasts, constantly goading van der Horst to torture his fret board just a little more, alternating dreamy passages (more of those placid vocals) with more vibrant musical tornados. The last 2 tracks are really quite tasty and will appeal to all symphomaniacs (with or without latex protection). While far from a masterpiece, this is more than honorable stuff, well deserving of a keg of Amstel, a ball of Gouda and 4 bicycles.
Review by friso
5 stars Yes! Another great record from the Dutch. Four compositions taking 57 minutes from your clock. I sas Mangrove live before I ever had an album of this group. They were playing before the mainact: Knight Area. Though I like the work of the latter, I think Mangrove has made the best record. The show they gave was powerfull and had a very good sound. The amplifications were good and the mix was perfect. This good be the true power of prog: we don't have to play the music so loud you can't hear it anymore.

But what kind of band is Mangrove? Mangrove is an heavy symphonic progrock band with a guitarist who also does the vocals, bassguitar, a drummer (who does backing vocals) and a keyboardplayer that is surrounded by electric equipement in order to use as many sounds as possible. The first two releases of Mangrove I do not find very interesting, but with Facing the Sunset this band realy showed of what it is capable of! The music is sometimes heavy, almost always symphonic, some weird cues are used and the vocals ain't quite the main ingredient. Roland van der Horst is better at playing guitar then as a vocalist, but his voice is different from other vocalist so it gives the band an own sound. The guitaramplifications could have been better though. Sometimes the music gets very complicated with chords that are hard for the non-prog ear. Then the music becomes very melodic with drama and details. Between we hear great ways to build up songs and compositions. The keyboardpars are like realy good! Chris Jonker, he's a busy man on stage. I love this musician!

Facing the Sunset has four sompositions: A dark opening were the lyrical themes are introduced. Later on the mood of the song changes and an epic is born. I fear the Day is more of an ballad with lots of instrumental parts, again a long song over 10 minutes. There must be a way is one of the best creations of Mangrove of all time. Beginning with strange rythmes wich work very well for them going to a dark section, a more classical theatrical scene to a very powerfull ending. No lyrics on this one, only damn good musicianship! Hidden Dreams is the last epic on this record. It's long, 21 minutes almost. The main themes are very atractive and the instrumental parts in between again brilliant! The song ends great so the album is finished with an mood giving satisfaction to the listener.

So in in summary: great compositions, great musicianship, great live performance and nice concept. There isn't a thing I do not realy like about this album. So.... FIVE STARS!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Well, it's their second and also 2nd I've tried. And I have to say that I'm not disappointed, but also not satisfied. But I almost never am, I mean fully. Only few achieved this goal.

But don't be sad, "Facing the Sunset" is a good album. Atmospheric a lot, depending on longer compositions, they offer well structured musical experience. One of these, where I just can close my eyes and dream, just imagine all these images that it brings to my mind, while I'm sure that this will provide enough resources to continue dreaming. Intriguing enough, not much experimental, but still brand new to some extent. As I said, nothing weird and certainly not possessing two of bad attributes of music ("not from this world like" & "ugly sounding"). They don't sing much, over 40 minutes here are done in solos, keyboard and guitar ones. Melody is not so clear as in their (2009) new album, songs depends more on their length. So for this, I'll give

4(-), not bad, indeed well done, could be better, but what's better after all. Better melody ? Better layered song ? Nope, this is enough for very good album.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I couldn't find an inch of interesting stuff in their debut album "Touch Wood" and I approached this follow-up with extreme care.

When you look at the track list, the elements are there: four tracks clocking at almost one hour. But when I looked at the line-up my enthusiasm was severely tempered. Roland van der Horst is still in charge of the vocal department which is all but great news.

Still, I have to be honest and tell that some instrumental parts are well crafted but too reminiscent of "Genesis" to be fully interesting. One can't feel the passion that animated the early "Marillion" or even "IQ" either. To cut a long story short the title track is only a third tier neo tune: good guitar though and pleasant mellotron (but nothing from the other world).

Vocals during "I Fear The Day" are quite dreadful and the band is trying to emulate some of the great Scandinavian scene with the use of the Mellotron and with some very cold lines. The contrast with the warm guitar is very pleasant though.

The best that this band could do is playing some instrumental piece: and that's exactly what happens with "There Must be Another Way" (indeed)!!! This is a travel between neo and prog metal for the start, an almost Hackett / Howe for a short acoustic guitar break (quite pleasant) later on, an average middle part quite chaotic which opens on a fantastic and bombastic guitar finale.

Two real great minutes of music: it gets to your heart (at least to mine) and fills your ears with joy. Excellent (but the whole song lasts for over twelve minutes).

The epic holds some fine moments as well; but very much derivative from the great ones I have mentioned already.

This album is better than their debut (easy task should I say), but I am much less enthusiast than my fellow colleagues. Two stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is Dutch band MANGROVE's second album released in 2005. It's a concept album that the drummer created. So we get four long tracks ranging from about 10 to 21 minutes. The vocals are average but I do like the sound of the band. The second half of the album is stronger than the first half in my opinion. While they are listed under Symphonic there are a lot of Neo- Prog elements to their music.

"Facing The Sunset" has this epic intro but it sounds so much better when the song settles in with a beat around a minute. A calm with organ after 2 1/2 minutes as reserved vocals join in. It picks up before 6 minutes with guitar. Another calm before 8 1/2 minutes this time with piano. Reserved vocals join in. Sampled mellotron before 11 1/2 minutes. "I Fear The Day" opens with laid back piano as reserved vocals join in. Mellotron 2 1/2 minutes in. Relaxed guitar a minute later.The strummed guitar before 4 1/2 minutes with mellotron is good. More guitar before 6 minutes then the vocals return.

"There Must Be Another Way" is the best track and it is an instrumental. Piano to start before drums and a fuller sound take over. This is good as the guitar becomes prominant. It settles 4 1/2 minutes in as acoustic guitar comes in then the synths roll in before 7 minutes. It then starts to build. An uptempo section after 10 minutes with guitar out front is a highlight as well. "Hidden Dreams" is the closing 21 minute epic. I like the intro of guitar and drums. Synths follow then vocals. It settles after 5 minutes with vocals and piano. Mellotron before 6 minutes. It picks back up. A dark calm 9 1/2 minutes in as mellotron rolls in.Vocals a minute later.This is GENESIS-like. It picks back up 14 1/2 minutes in. Vocals are back before 17 minutes.Relaxed guitar and sampled mellotron end it.

Overall a pretty good album. If the first two tracks were as good as the last two i'd give this 4 stars for sure. Still an enjoyable listen.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Great album. Their first album Touch Wood was a good one, with some great tracks. This new one is much better. Great keyboards, great guitarwork. Straigt drumming and bass-work. The album consists of four long tracks and tells us about someone searching for and struggling to find the reason of ... (read more)

Report this review (#60172) | Posted by | Monday, December 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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