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Mastedon 3 Frontiers Records
FRCD432
· Produced By: John Elefante

· Running Time: 59.53

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: AOR / Melodic Rock

· Links: Frontiers
95%
Songs: 93%
Sound: 96%
I haven't had any prior experience with Mastedon – just one of those bands you miss from time to time. But I love John Elefante's voice! Who can forget his incredible Young And Innocent track from the St. Elmo's Fire soundtrack, his other more melodic Elefante project and of course production work with Petra and being a two time member of Kansas.
Mastedon in 2009 is a fair distance from the two hard rocking albums from nearly 20 years back. Mastedon 3 is more reflective of an artist that has matured and takes in all of Elefante's musical influences over the years.
This is one mighty fine record that is a little traditional AOR, a little pomp and a little progressive. The end result is a superb sounding record with some epic moments, some breathtaking arrangements, big harmonies and a brilliant vocal performance from John.
The album impresses on a number of levels. The production and crisp mix are spot on and John's vocals are just heavenly – power and melody at the same time.
The organ soaked melody of Revolution Of Mind is just about everything I love about this kinda of music – genius stuff.
The 6 minute Nowhere Without Your Love is epic AOR with one of the year's biggest and most passionate chorus harmonies. Truly immense and glorious to the note.
A definite Kansas influence here, but nowhere near as much as the 10 minute true epic that follows – One Day Down By The Lake. This tune is absolutely classic 70s rock and classic Kansas, even featuring Kerry Livgren on guitar.
The heart pumping Water Into Wine rocks, while It's About Time offers another true vocal highlight of 2009.
Then another highlight in You Can't Take Anything. Great lead guitar courtesy of Dave Amato and another sensational vocal that wraps around the harmony of the song and strengthens it.
Lying is yet another winner, making this one of the most consistent records of the year.
That's What You Do is another feel good melodic rocker with a punchy verse, but melodically blissful chorus.
Closing the album is a really inspired, haunting cover of the Kansas classic Dust In The Wind. Magic!
The Bottom Line
New or old to the name Mastedon, this album needs investigating and if you like intelligent AOR with a twist, then just purchase without question. I would have played around with the track sequence a little, but otherwise, the vocals delight, the songs are inspiring and the sound is a million dollar result.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· It's A Jungle Out There
· Lofcaudio
· 3

Line Up:
· John Elefante: Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
· Dave Amato, Kerry Livgren: Lead Guitars
· Dan Needham: Drums
· Anthony Sallee: Bass
· Dino Elefante: Additional guitars, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Essential For Fans Of:
· Mastedon
· John Elefante
· Kansas
Track Listing
· Revolution Of Mind *
· Slay Your Demons
· Nowhere Without Your Love *
· One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon)
· Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka) *
· Questions (It's About Time) *
· You Can't Take Anything *
· Lying *
· The Western World
· That's What You Do *
· Dust In The Wind

--*Best Tracks


06/03/10: Mark Donnelly - mark@journey.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Revolution Of Mind opens the album with powerful guitars and keyboards to accompany John Elefante’s fantastic vocals. The latter are not to dissimilar to Joe Lynn Turner in Sunstorm.

Slay Your Demons like several tracks on offer here has that pomp-feel of a Kansas album.

Nowhere Without Your Love has a real Boston feel to it especially the great vocals on the chorus.

One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon) clocks in at over 10 minutes, a time not out of place on a Rush, Dream Theater or Yes album but seldom found on an AOR album.

Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka) is a real rock n roll track a la Styx.

Questions (It’s About Time) shows how you can write a song with meaning without compromising the quality.

You Can’t Take Anything is the softer side of AOR similar to REO Speedwagon.

Lying is a lot harder edged than the previous track especially the chorus.

The Western World has more Kansas pomp overtures.

That’s What You Do with its killer chorus is my favourite track.
Like so many releases in 2009, this is another album that does not have any poor tracks.

The bonus track is a real treat being a haunting version of the Kansas’ classic Dust In The Wind and a fitting way to close an absolutely superb album.

Production by John Elefante sounds a million dollars and is another plus point to the album.

AOR, album orientated rock or adult orientated rock? Mastedon certainly put both adult and album orientated into their rock! The quality of the songwriting, the musicianship and production are nothing short of perfection. Highly recommended especially for those who do not like their AOR too fluffy!

08/02/10: Mark Donnelly - mark@journey.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Mastedon are the brainchild of John and Dino Elefante of Kansas fame and the album also features the aforementioned band’s guitarist Kevin Livergren as well as Reo Speedwagon’s fret-man Dan Amato. With such a stellar line-up one would expect great things from this album and it does not disappoint.

Revolution Of Mind opens the album with powerful guitars and keyboards to accompany John Elefante’s fantastic vocals. The latter are not to dissimilar to Joe Lynn Turner in Sunstorm.

Slay Your Demons like several tracks on offer here has that pomp-feel of a Kansas album.

Nowhere Without Your Love has a real Boston feel to it especially the great vocals on the chorus.

One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon) clocks in at over 10 minutes, a time not out of place on a Rush, Dream Theater or Yes album but seldom found on an AOR album.

Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka) is a real rock n roll track a la Styx.

Questions (It’s About Time) shows how you can write a song with meaning without compromising the quality.

You Can’t Take Anything is the softer side of AOR similar to REO Speedwagon.

Lying is a lot harder edged than the previous track especially the chorus.

The Western World has more Kansas pomp overtures.

That’s What You Do with its killer chorus is my favourite track.
Like so many releases in 2009, this is another album that does not have any poor tracks.

The bonus track is a real treat being a haunting version of the Kansas classic Dust In The Wind and a fitting way to close an absolutely superb album.

Production by John Elefante sounds a million dollars and is another plus point to the album.

AOR, album orientated rock or adult orientated rock? Mastedon certainly put both adult and album orientated into their rock! The quality of the songwriting, the musicianship and production are nothing short of perfection. Highly recommended especially for those who do not like their AOR too fluffy!

20/01/10: Hollis - Hollismccall@charter.net
Rating: 99
Stunning... Magnificent... Some of the best vocal harmonies I have ever heard for an AOR styled album. Even though is a christian oriented release, you are not getting overwhelmed with the message. Will end up being one of my top 20 favorite albums of all time. I simply cannot stop playing it. Highly recomended.

10/01/10: Peter - peter@edwardson.org.uk
Rating: 92
An excellent album with some great melodies and a really full, well-produced sound. You Can't Take Anything is the standout track for me. I'm aware of the devotional content of many of the lyrics but on the other hand plenty of artists include often very questionable political messages so it doesn't put me off.

13/12/09: Craig Chapman - CraigChapman@talktalk.net
Rating: 100
This album is absolutely superb. Within a month, I have bought 2 albums that will feature in my top 5 of all time, for a long time to come.

John's voice and the harmony vocals are superb, the melody lines exquisite, instrumentation perfect, and I don't even mind if the lyrics are religious or not, though I can respect John's thoughts behind them.

Thank you for this superb album.

11/12/09: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 84
A "Very Good" cd, with highlights being QUESTIONS(IT'S ABOUT TIME) and the incredible cover of Kansas' DUST IN THE WIND (so reminiscent in production and arrangement of "Chasing Shadows" from the Drastic Measures cd). Very strong Kansas influences throughout, which I found ironic as I always found those classic influences lacking when John Elefante was the lead singer for Kansas.

04/12/09: juan - l0ck3123@yahoo.es
Rating: 100
Album of the year

02/12/09: bob in nashville - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 100
The best most interesting musically well produced release I have heard in many years. NOWHERE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE brought back memories of the first BOSTON CD. Layered vocals and guitars and it just builds and builds. It's, for me, the perfect power ballad and a lesson for everyone making rock music. Six glorious minutes of music.

ONE DAY DOWN BY THE LAKE. 11 plus minutes. Very progressive vibe. Very cool back-to-bakc with NOWHERE b/c they are musically so different.

John Elefante sings his heart and has a great vocal style. The guitar work is stellar all the way through.

WATER INTO WINE, LYING,WESTERN WORLD, IT'S ABOUT TIME are brilliant. Actually, there are no weak cuts on thsi disc.

I ranked this slightly ahead of W.E.T. because of the diversity of meuical styles.

I've had this a couple of weeks and have listened to virtally nothing else. FANTASTIC CD. A MUST HAVE for those that like classic rock. Brillaint, stunning, pick the superlative of your choice. Better yet, go get this CD.

02/12/09: alaskaman - andrew@fortuine.net
Rating: 93
A superb album that is less rocking and aggressive than the two previous Mastedon albums, but is more mature and settled. The production and vocals are top-notch and "One Day Down by the Lake" is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time.

Recommended!

02/12/09: oliver - ogi2121@web.de
Rating: 80
To me this sounds more than a Elefante solo release than a Mastedon CD. Not bad at all, but I´m missing the strong melodies and chorusses, also this one is a bit too laid back.
If you like Elefantes solo outputs you´ll like this one. If you expect Mastedon songs like on the first 2 releases you better check this one before bying.


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