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The Sign The Second Coming Frontiers Records
FRCD219
· Produced By:

· Running Time: 55.49

· Release Date: November 22

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Frontiers Records
80%
Songs: 85%
Sound: 75%
The key to enjoying The Second Coming to its fullest potential is to sit back and take the album in from start to finish in one hit – concentrating on the music as much as possible.
This album picks up where the debut left off, but is different in several important ways.
The main drive behind the album is the continuing story line involving Aryon, introduced on the first album. But this time the story is musically far more complex and requires a degree of concentration to absorb.
The story behind the album even getting finished is as complex as the music contained within. The line-up has changed a little, with Billy Greer and Bobby Rondinelli gone and Mark Mangold installed as drummer, adding to his already large work load as composer and keyboard player.
Although part of the band in every way, I felt the input and musical influence guitarist Randy Jackson, less apparent. A second guitarist Jon Bivona is also credited.
Vocalist Terry Brock is certainly featured in all his glory, and he too gets a credit for guitar parts. The biggest influence on the record is the Mark Mangold/Terry Brock partnership.
This is not an album to go picking hit singles from. Nor is it an easy album to get into. Much of the music is woven together and flows in the context of the album, with several instrumental interludes acting as bridges between chapters of the album.
Listening to the album track by track I'd say there aren't many tracks that could be singled out as standalone classics.
As stated, it is far more complex than the debut, certainly more ambitious and musically challenging, but at the same time it does lack the killer punch the debut provided with tracks like Crossed The Line, The Wait, Forever Again and Nothing But A Heartache.
That aisse, there remains some brilliant musical moments and I would go as far to say that this is one of the best ever performances by Mark Mangold – his keyboard playing is something to behold here and truly weaves the album together.
There were some complaints about the production quality of the debut and The Second Coming suffers a similar ailment. At times the sound is a little thin and certainly doesn't do justice to the bombastic arrangements, but sound is always a subjective argument.
Track By Track:
Aryon Overture is an intro following on from the influences of the debut.
Stained (Gone) is pretty close to the sound of the debut, with Brock in good form. The track features a fairly progressive drum beat and a good chorus.
The Morning After (Time To Run) is a moody track which rolls along smoothly backed by organ accompaniment. At the three minute mark the track gets turned on it's head, with the song picking up pace and urgency. At this point Mark Mangold goes to town on his keyboard, turning out a highly enjoyable solo before the track returns to the way it started.
Motorcycle Messiah is a darker and heavier track that mirrors the pace of the mid-section of the track prior. Due largely to a flat chorus, I can't say I'm a fan of this song.
Nor am I blown away by Shine, which has a more stripped back feel, but lacks a killer hook.
Bliss is a haunting 2 minute instrumental interlude which runs directly into one of the album's best tracks If For One Moment. This track should prove popular with all, given that it features an emotional vocal. Once again the structure of the song is abandoned mid way through as it turns back to the haunting vibe of Bliss, this time as a slow guitar solo guides the listener through it. Then it's straight into Flame Of The Oracle, which is another highlight. Dare I say that this mid-album passage of tracks is the best part of the album.
Flame Of The Oracle is an more uptempo track that features a strong vocal and an interesting musical arrangement.
The Ooze is a 2 minute track featuring a tough and urgent vocal and a tempo to match. As you can see, listening to the tracks out of context just won't work. This leads directly into the softening instrumental Inner Child (Exorcise), which is a companion piece to Bliss.
Black Mountain is a stand alone track which has that Led Zep vibe the debut had in places, and like the debut, features a Randy Jackson lead vocal. Solid song, but perhaps lacks a powerful rhythm section.
Keep On Breathin' is a little gem – a big, powerful ballad in the style of the debut and a raritiy on this album in that it could be played on it's own, outside the album.
Shine (Finale) is a return to the earlier track (which sadly I didn't really take to), with added musical parts from elsewhere within the album. Interesting track.
Rapture (Ode To Aryon) is an instrumental outtro that is a reprise of Bliss yet again.
Maniac is a bonus track that works outside the mold of the album. This is an enjoyable stand alone uptempo pop/rocker with a good chorus.
The Bottom Line
The Second Coming is a good album with some great passages. But overall I wouldn't class it as a great album per se. It misses the magic of the debut and doesn't have the same vibe. Not surprising when the line-up has changed as it has.
Mark Mangold plays his heart out and when listening to the album from start to finish without pause, it gives the listening a wild ride that few other albums are capable of. But it does lack the knockout punch of a couple more killer tracks and a somewhat soft production quality in places. It just isn't as tight and as emotional as the Signs Of Life was.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Signs Of Life
· The Second Coming

Line Up
· Terry Brock: Vocals,
· Randy Jackson, Jon Bivona, Terry Brock: Guitar
· Mark Mangold: Keyboards, Drums, Vocals
· Jon Bivona: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· The Sign
· Mark Mangold
· Terry Brock
Track Listing
· Aryon Overture
· Stained (Gone)*
· The Morning After (Time To Run)*
· Motorcycle Messiah
· Shine
· Bliss
· If For One Moment*
· Flame Of The Oracle
· The Ooze
· Inner Child (Exorcise)
· Black Mountain
· Keep On Breathin'*
· Shine (Finale)
· Rapture (Ode To Aryon)
· Maniac*
--*Best Tracks


19/04/05: Russ - travellingintime@aol.com
Rating: 80
Think Andrew's got this one spot on and I don't have much more to add. Yes its better listened to as a whole album, yes the production's poor, I like and respect it for having fairly obvious Kansas influences, Terry Brock doesn't sing lead anyway near enough, tracks like Keep On Breathing and Maniac are top quality but it isn't anyway near as immediate as the first album. Its enjoyable without being a classic.

09/02/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 55
Well, what I'm going to write now is so difficult for me, cause I'm one of the biggest admires of the great talent that Mark Mangold is !
But this is a big disappointment.
Not pompy enough, songs are not catchy as usual and the production could be a lot better.
No, the first was great, this is not what I expected.

18/01/05: guillefrmo - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 50
Tan solo un breve momento con Terry Brock emocionado y cantando a doscientos por hora el resto del album bodrio progresivo para olvidar

01/12/04: The Sims - Simmer@Sims.com
Rating: 80
Before telling you how good/bad is this album, let me tell you that for me, the biggest, best, timeless band/album ever made is and will always be Paul Sabu band/album called ONLY CHILD (1988), no even HAREM SCAREM ST or MOOD SWINGS comes closer.....now.....

THE SIGN - Second Coming is a really nice album that you'll enjoy with every track, the only thing i don't like (liked also earlier) is the vocals, i love voices like PAUL SABU, HARRY HESS , NEWMAN etc....

an 80% score is fair enough, if you don't own the 1st album then get it instead of this ;)

25/11/04: A Zedd - andrelebau@yahoo.it
Rating: 100
The Sign - The Second Coming

Finally I received from IndigoRecords the new "The Sign" album. I was amazed at Signs of Life. I think it is one of the best Rock records of the last 10 years, at least, and I thought it was impossible to repeat such a great job.
But they surprised me, in the unique intelligent way (we are speaking about the VIP of the rock scene !!) it is very DIFFERENT.
So, we are in the presence of another milestone, the mystic journey of Aryon continues, The concept is still there.
Mark Mangold (all lyrics) painted a full-emotional screenplay, song by song, between our fears and our doubts,
but the message is always positive, "What a wonderful time it is to be alive."
The difference is that in their previous CD each song was outlined in its entity.
This time they are more musically linked and we are in a presence of high PROG moments. You will find again that particular sound encountered in Signs of life,
the unique music style they created as "The Sign" project, but you will be positively surprised at the different impact. This CD is very difficult to "classify" using the usual adjectives we all know. eg. Aor - Hard Rock - Progressive, you can find all of these or none !
The result is unique.
Starting with the irresistible chorus of "Aryon Overture", you'll then be knocked down by the amazing "Stained" and then "The Morning After". But you cannot breathe too much 'cause the band is putting you on the cycle of "Motorcycle Messiah" and you will face the wind blowing. Then you can relax awhile with the surprising "Shine" where you will find the incredible choruses that contributed to make Signs of life great,
Then from track 6. "Bliss", a strange/dark intro from "Inner Child" you'll be lost in a whirl of magnificent choruses like "Flame of the Oracle", solos, bridge moments like only these musicians can do, and just when you think it's over ... the Zeppellinian "Black Mountain" will wake you up. What a song ! - but the best is yet to come ! One of the best ballads ever heard waits for you, "Keep on breathin'". No comment about this one - believe me - a self explanatory title. Then the album goes to the end from 14. to 16. another PROG delicious part.
The American version ends with the bonus track "Maniac", a great solid rock song opened by Terry's unique voice
and then Randy with Terry (!)
I dont know which song will be cut from the European version, but for all fans I suggest you buy the CD
directly from Indigorecords.com. The sound is fantastic and you will not risk losing any tracks.
For those who loved Signs of Life I also recommend buying the American version (always from Indigorecords.com)
It contains the fantastic bonus track "Love is Alive" and a different version of "Wine"
(in my opinion better than the european one).

Andrea Zedd Zerbinati

24/11/04: Mika - erkkonen8@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
One of the biggest disappointments of 2004, i don´t want it to be but it really is just a few songs make the day why did they not write more songs like the AMAZING Manic a fantastic pompaorsong but still this is better than many other crappy bands around not good, not bad, just wanted it to be great so thats the reason for my disappointment...........keep it rocking


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