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Mark Kelson - Resurgence (2014) - Review

Band: Mark Kelson
Album title: Resurgence
Release date: 3 November 2014
Label: Self-Released

01. Samana (Part I)
02. The Only Way Out Is In
03. My Own Degradation
04. Ocean Blue
05. Wide Awake
06. Ācariya
07. The Aftermath Of Apathy
08. Samana (Part II)
09. Everything I Thought Was Real [Bonus]

Mark Kelson is for sure one of those musicians who deserves a huge respect, being active in the underground dark music scene since early 90s, followers of doom/death metal scene must remember him from Cryptal Darkness, but Mark is best known as the frontman of Australian finest and most popular dark rock/metal band The Eternal, then he took part of Alternative 4 (a new band of ex-Anathema bassist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Duncan Patterson), he formed as well the ambient/doom metal band InSomnius Dei and played a supporting role as a performer/collaborator/guest artist in countless outfits along the way (which include outfits such as Virgin Black, The Bleeding Lights and Rainshadow to name a few). But beside being a musician and songwriter, Mark is as well a producer, sound engineer and mixer at his own Kelsonic Studios in Melbourne. Now Mark on his debut solo album shows a new side of himself, with an album that is completely self-done from every possible aspect.Yeah, Resurgence is written, performed, engineered and produced entirely by Mark and must be considered as his most sincere musical statement.

On Resurgence Mark delivers an astonishing musical spectre of many different mostly deeply melancholic rock aspects. Like he's pouring his soul out through the most vivid collection of intriguing music that he couldn't express anywhere before. Still those who embraced the last two albums of The Eternal should find in here a lot of similar touches, but Resurgence is much more, it's main orientation is 70s art rock, then prog rock, but as well he's not afraid to make a lot of experimentations with harder stuff, psychedelia, dark rock and of course everything is nicely coated with kind of nostalgia and melancholia that slowly, piece by piece grabs the listener and penetrates the hearts of those who are not afraid to be overflown by deepest emotions. Resurgence is like a warm inner journey, a healing place for the hurt ones, it embraces with many sweet melodies and captivating vocal lines.

Those who have found their peace in art/progressive and evergreen sweeping atmospheric rock of later era Pink Floyd will find their home in here. Tracks like the soaring "The Only Way Out Is In" (be attentive to the guitar play somewhere in the middle, it's just like listening to David Gilmour on The Dark Side Of The Moon) or highly emotive "Ocean Blue" are perfect examples of that, it's almost unbeliveable how nicely those guitar lines build the ambiance together with tender atmospheric synths, and Marks touchy sympathetic voice carry the listener with ease through those vintage passages and stanzas. But it's not just about the vintage stuff in here, not at all. For example "My Own Degradation", even if many elements, especially guitar riffs could sound similar to Rainbow, maybe also to Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, there's present a modern experimental touch that evolves even to a higher, almost heavenly grade in "Ācariya", where Mark inserts some oriental vibes in this collage of well thought flowing sounds. The beautiful melancholic ballad "The Aftermath Of Apathy" could be as well taken off the last The Eternal album, and the final one - a bonus, the tearful and emotional self-expressive "Everything I Thought Was Real" is a culmination of everything we heard until now on this album.

There's still a lot to be found on Resurgence, even the instrumental tracks, both parts of eerie, yet soothing "Samana" and "Wide Awake" give some necessary break between the tracks and together with the rest form kind of an entity, an integral whole. Fans of Anathema, Antimatter and similar modern melancholic atmospheric rockers will as well enjoy on many segments where harmonic guitar lines cut deep into the soul, but most of all this album is by all means a recognisable Kelson's work and should be taken as his most profound inner output. Yet with a very good, balanced, strong production and perfect final mix it offers more than a relaxing journey for all of us who strive after good nostalgic and melancholic rock music.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

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