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Raising The Mammoth

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Raising The Mammoth

Artist: Explorers Club
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: August 2002

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

The wait was far too long for me for another Explorer's Club album! I loved the first one and "Raising The Mammoth" is unquestionably a serious prog-rock opus from some of the best performers in the genus. It never ceases to amaze me how these wonderful artists consider all this prolific and thought provoking work as side projects. That is an indication of the level of professionalism and talent that we are dealing with here. Lord knows how they all find the time to juggle their busy schedules to contribute to these projects. Just look at the names involved in Trent Gardner's newest onslaught for your ears…Steve Walsh, Kerry Livgren, James LaBrie, John Myung, Terry Bozzio, Gary Wehrkamp, and a host of others that are very recognizable names in the industry today.

Note that there are 44 tracks listed, do not let that be a misunderstanding; it still manages to clock in just under an hour. This is your representative progressive rock format with explicitly long and drawn out soloing, and one song lasting nearly half the album. Its overkill, overindulgence, whatever you want to call it, it is the way it should be. It all works like a charm thank you very much. It turns out sounding like one big jam session that never ends, it's great and I loved every minute of it. This CD is leans heavily on the instrumental continuum, and rightfully so. Everyone needs to strut their stuff, and they do it in a big way. This is a decidedly keyboard oriented recording, which comes as no surprise, after all its Trent's gig. It sounds like everyone is having the time of their lives on this session, even though the intensity level is so high. You can tell that the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Walsh and LaBrie sound great, former Megadeth lead guitar slinger Marty Friedman is allowed to go nuts; he is all over the musical map from beginning to end. It seems as though Marty was able to purge his soul after the untimely break up of his legendary group.

I am just beside myself every time I listen to music like this. It sucks me right in and mesmerizes me. I always find myself craving for more once the CD stops. That is what the entire purpose of music is, to sweep you away to some far away place where nobody can see you or communicate with you, it's just you and the music. I don't know about you, but prog-rock like this always does it for me. I never feel like I can do the music enough justice with my words on an emotional level. It always moves me so, at times beyond any words that I could possibly express. If all of that is not enough motivation for you to check this CD out then I think its time to put your stereo in the attic. Now with that, I bid you farewell until the next prog-rock masterpiece comes out that I can gush about.


Kerry Livgren - Guitar
Steve Walsh - Vocals
Marty Friedman - Guitar
Terry Bozzio - Drums
James LaBrie - Vocals
John Myung - Bass
Trent Gardner - Keyboards, Vocals, Producer
Gary Wehrkamp - Guitar
Hal Stringfello Imbrie - Bass
Jeff Curtis - Guitar

Raising The Mammoth 1-Part One-Passage to Paralysis (15:03) Tracks 1-13
Part Two-Broad Decay (11:45) Tracks 14-19
Part Three-Vertebrates (11:17) Tracks 20-27
Raising The Mammoth 2-(AKA Prog-O-Matic) 1.) Gigantipithicus (Instrumental) (28:44) Tracks 28-44
Total: 59:28



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