Murkey Red – No Hocus Without Pocus

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NPWH-album-coverThe Belgian progressive rock band Murky Red was founded in 2009 and in 2012 they released their debut album ‘Time does not Matter’. Murky Red had several setbacks, among others scams. But they weren’t put down by that. Recently they released their 2nd album.

A mysterious and a fairly quiet start of ’Pixelated Friends’. Soon the music sounds heavier. Luk Lantin with his bass is one of the responsible for this. It invites to turn the music louder. The voice of Stef Flaming is very low but it is fairly well understood. Not everyday lyrics here, but it sets your mind to think. This is followed by a long, fairly heavy instrumental piece. When the music becomes a bit lighter the organ from Yolanda Flaming fits in nicely.

Especially the organ playing at the beginning of ‘Stoned and Horny’ draws the attention. This forms a nice combination with the rest of the rhythm. The structure of the song is unusual. Despite that, or maybe because of that, you are triggered to listen with every fiber in your body. The details in the percussion from Marie Vancamp are barely noticeable at first. You discover this only after a few spins.

‘Collateral Damage’ starts quietly and compelling but slowly the volume increases. When the music turns to minimalistic, Stef starts singing. His whispered, warm voice and the beautiful lyrics of only a few lines are moving. Even when the volume and tempo go up, the impact remains. It is a pity that a small portion of this track sounds a bit flat through the mix. Still, this is a great song.

‘Elena’ starts with organ. After several twists the songs turns to a small play area. You hear some long slow notes on the organ. Again you get touched by the voice of Stef. The pace and rhythm go up and you expect to get some bombastic music here. But Murky Red puts you on the wrong track. The music stays calm but intense. Slowly the intensity builds up, the volume and the pace gets considerably higher. The intensity continues till the very last second.

You may have to get used to some parts of their music, but there are always pieces that you will appreciate immediately.

Different, mysterious, sometimes even a bit inaccessible. But everything fits great together. The music gets under your skin and will not let go. Big dynamics between the more quit pieces and the heavy/dark played passages. However, these 11 songs are balanced for sure. Well done!

There’s a lot of good guitar work by Patrick Dujardin and Stef. The drums of Rene Marteaux sound extensively.

Several lyrics contain language twists. Given by the syntax, words suddenly get a different meaning. This gives an extra dimension to the whole.

For now, this album is only available as a download including digital booklet.

Once Murky Red raised enough money to bring out a CD, they will certainly do so. I’m looking forward to get hold to a physical copy .

(8.5/10, Melodic Revolution Records)

Translated by Frank Peters

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