Title - 'The Phoenix Has Risen'
Artist - Mark Murdoch
For those not in the know, drummer Mark Murdock has just released his brand new solo album, The Phoenix Has Risen and it was composed and produced by Mark during the lockdown of 2020.
Mark sites the Phoenix in the title as a symbol of hope in these pandemic times and sure, Mark just so happens to be from Phoenix, Arizona, but actually now resides in Tokyo.
The music leans more to the Prog side with hints of rock and pop embellished within it and the immense 12 song CD features guest artists.
These include guitarist Fernando Perdomo, veteran Prog drummer Ronald Howden of Nektar (who guests on two songs), bassist Alan Thomson, who played with John Martyn and currently the Martin Barres Band, U.K. vocalist Tim Pepper and Joe Berger lead guitar and more (full list below).
1. 'The Phoenix Has Risen' (6:25)
2. 'Reoccurring Scenes' (5:56)
3. 'Heal My Wounded Soul' (4:46)
4. 'Compromised' (6:15)
5. 'Exit Door' (4:23)
6. 'The Starfish And The Four Phases Of The Moon' (5:10)
7. 'When Thoughts Collide' (4:51)
8. 'Silence On Empty Streets' (3:50)
9. 'All Fools Fade Away' (6:49)
10. 'The Unknown Man' (6:01)
11. 'Set Your Heart on Fire' (4:33)
12. 'In the Future Of' (4:27)
On an album that Mark not only composed all the music and lyrics for, but all the keyboard tracks (including orchestral sections), it opens with the melodically free flowing title track 'The Phoenix Has Risen' and backs that up with the subtly paced 'Reoccurring Scenes,' the synth-infused 'Heal My Wounded Soul,' the funky 'Compromised,' and then both the storytelling of 'Exit Door' and the expansive journey taken on 'The Starfish And The Four Phases Of The Moon' are brought forth.
With vocalist Tim Pepper (TheId) coming across as a mid-'70s Phil Collins, next up is the joyful pop bounce of 'When Thoughts Collide,' then we get the calmer, almost spoken word 'Silence On Empty Streets,' the rock opus 'All Fools Fade Away,' the euphoric ambiance of 'The Unknown Man,' with the album rounding out on the foot-tappin', gentle prog roll of 'Set Your Heart on Fire,' closing on the synth-laden AOR of 'In the Future Of.'
Mark Murdock (Empire, The New Empire) - drums, synthesizer, piano, orchestra horns, percussion and backing vocals
Tim Pepper (TheId)- lead vocal
Daniel Kubota- guitar
Katsumi Yoneda (French TV) - guitar (2, 3 & 12)
Joe Berger- lead guitar (1)
Preston Murdock- lead guitar (4 & 7)
David Rambeau- guitar (7), acoustic guitar (8)
Tatsuo Inoue-rhythm guitar (6)
Rodolfo Falora- bass (1, 6 & 9)
Ronald Howden (Nektar) - drums (2), double drumming (9)
Fernando Perdomo (The Out To Sea) - guitar (4, 6 & 9)
Alan Thomson (The Martin Barres) - fretless bass (4)
Official Purchase Links
Mark Murdoch Prog @ Facebook
Mark Murdoch (personal) @ Facebook
Cymbalic Encounters @ Bandcamp