It's such a treat when a new band goes beyond the typical cliches of progressive music. Man On Fire does this brilliantly by adding both modern technology and memorable hooks to the progessive elements. Multi-instrumentalists, Jeff Hodges and Eric Sands provide the main part of the band. They enlist several players to fill the parts including David Ragsdale (ex-Kansas) on violin and several amazing drummers and a beautiful backing vocal track by Trish Howell.
The Undefined Design is both a complex and straight forward collection of progressive rock based music, combining a raw energy with symphonic atmosphere. It has some aggressive guitar moments but always in small bursts to avoid being pigeon-holed in one genre.
If you had to label Man On Fire's music, I'd say it's modern prog. This should appeal to the younger audiences, which will propell them (with the right promotion of course) to go very far within the progressive and, dare I say, manstream community.
One of the two songs that shows off what this is all about is the opening three part "Awake" and "Seven Thunders Wide", which I think is the single for The Undefined Design.
Man On Fire should hold it's place along side such acts as Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree, Echolyn, IZZ & their label mates Little Atlas.
In conclusion, The Undefined Design never leaves my cd player. It's constantly playing and at ever chance I recommend it to anyone who wants something different.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on August 3rd,, 2003