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Band: Ark

CD Title: “Wild Untamed Imaginings”

Band Website: http://ark.grango.org  

Label: ProgRock Records

Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com

Release Date: 2010

 

Not everyone gets a second chance but when that chance comes around again, the advice is usually to go for it. That’s exactly what’s brought us the new CD entitled Wild Untamed Imaginings from 80’s proggers Ark. They were originally called Damascus but quickly changed their name to Ark and from about 1987 through to 1990 released a series of recordings including a 7”, an LP a video and a cassette. They eventually produced three CDs before splitting up. Original bass player John Jowitt wound up with a steady gig in IQ and the others went elsewhere. It was Jowitt’s musings about the band never getting the opportunity to be heard that led to the reformation of the band. Ark is comprised of John Jowitt (bass), Tony Short (vocals, flute), Pete Wheatley (lead guitar), Steve Harris (guitar, synthesizer) and Tim Churchman (drums). More rock than prog, Wild Untamed Imaginings will still please many music fans.

 

Wild Untamed Imaginings features 11 tracks with nothing much over the 5-minute mark making these compact compositions that feature a well constructed heavy rock style not dissimilar to bands such as Magnum, Nighwing, or other such pomp rock bands. The progressive rock embellishments are sprinkled throughout; some sound effects here, dramatic crescendos there, a dose of dramatic tension, then a slight shift in time and tempo, but those creative elements take a back seat to the band’s more straight forward heavy rock approach. Their original distinctive sounds; namely their use of flute and guitar synths are very much present and go a long way to provide a defining and unique flavour. The compositions are essentially song driven, revolving around the core melodies and the band do manage to write some pretty catchy and hummable tunes such as “Flagday” [3:27] which even features more than a hint of Mellotron strings and choirs along with flute. One of the more proggy tunes is “New Scientist” [5:47], the longest of the bunch, but here too is a tune that stays pretty true to its melody line.        

 

Let’s get one thing out of the way, these are not complex prog epics; rather these are well performed and well arranged heavy rock songs in the manner of band’s already mentioned. So my guess is if you enjoy the music of bands like Styx, Magnum or even early Magellan or Savoy Brown you’ll find the music of Ark right up your alley.

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