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Man on Fire


The Undefined Design

Year: 2003
Format: CD
Label: ProgRock
Genre: [Progressive Rock/Progressive Metal]
Overall Rating: 8.5
Music: 8.5
Production: 8.5

Man on Fire's second album, the Undefined Design, brings new life to the progressive rock genre... Most of the new progressive rock artists follow in Dream Theater's footsteps by sounding exactly like them. Fortunately Man on Fire has their own distinct, unique style. They combine different styles in their music, but they're still able to maintain solid wholeness. Their music contains melodic vocals, fretless bass, multi-layered keyboards creating different soundscapes, polyrhythms, heavy guitars and some catchy hooklines. They have incorporated even some technoish parts to their songs. Their self-titled debut CD (which I haven't heard) was released back in 1998.

Song material on this album is varying everything from softer rock to heavier metal is covered. One of Man on Fire's strengths is quality of songs... there aren't any vain, unnecesary songs. On this album the band is supported by some additional pro musicians to add breadth to their sound and enrich their music. For example, three songs feature the violin work of David Ragsdale (Kansas, Smashing Pumpkins).

Production is very good... only complaints regard some of the higher pitched samples and noise... The noise could be heard, for example, on Two Views' guitar parts apparently the guitar wasn't correctly noise gated (and it had too much distortion)... I could also heard some clicks which may have occurred because of clipping (maybe the famed mastering engineer Rodney Mills have mastered it too loud). Other than that, production is first class.

The Undefined Design is a very good, refreshing progressive metal album... If you're open minded progrock listener searching for new, creative music, I recommend you to check out Man on Fire. Once again I advice you to navigate to ProgRock Records' website so you'll be able to form your own opinion about Man on Fire.

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (04.08.2004)


Hodges, Jeff: Vocals, Keyboards, Samples, Loops
Sands, Eric: Fretless And Fretted Bass, Guitars

Carroll, Steve: Lyrics, Esoterics

Special Guests:
Ragsdale, David: Violin on Tracks 5, 9 & 12
Smith, David: Drums & Percussion on Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 7
Mouton, Jimmy: Drums on Tracks 5, 6, 8, 9 & 12
Stoker, Adam: Drums on Track 10
Howell, Trish: Backing Vocals on Track 2
Producer: Hodges, Jeff
Mixing by: Hodges, Jeff
Mastering by: Mills, Rodney
Man on Fire - The Undefined Design  CD  Cover Image
01. Awake: Prayer in the Moonlight
02. Awake: Bitter Tears Burning
03. Awake: Ascension
04. Seven Thunders Wide
05. Where is the Light?
06. Entertaining Angels
07. Great Divide
08. Inside of the Circle
09. Clouds in the Sun
10. Wasted Time
11. Two Views
12. Just Out of Reach
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