The album Wither Down from the Canadian band Monarch contains six songs, and three of them lasts for more than 10 minutes. Monarch Trail is a project of Ken Baird, a progressive artist who have played on many prog albums. A number of the band members, including Ken Baird, perform or are members of Art Griffin’s Sound Chaser.
The album Wither Down is the third release from Monach Trail, and the debut album Skye was released in 2014, and three years later came the album Sand.
The Monarch Trail story for the debut album Skye and how the band was founded:
When keyboard player/vocalist Ken Baird had written some music which seemed to require more collaborative arrangements than usual, he asked drummer Chris Lamont and Bassist Dino Verginella if they’d be willing to be a part of Monarch Trail. Lamont had played on Baird’s previous three albums and Verginella on the previous two, so it was a natural thing that it could be called a group.
The first stage was to set up several rehearsals for the trio to work on arranging the new pieces. Important changes were made to the charts; an extra set of bars here, a new melody line there, a different tempo over there and so on. Even more importantly, these rehearsals also turned out to be a ton of fun with no lack of shenanigans!
They made the decision to start recording the music right away and add other musicians when needed. As it turned out, there was to be a fair bit of guitar on the record, so guitarist friends were brought in providing“the right part for the right track. True to the spirit of the project, John Mamone, Kelly Kereliuk and Steve Cochrane all had major creative input on their solos and sections.
The recording was done by Ken Baird, but in the final months of the record, Cochrane also lent his studio and his recording and mastering abilities. Drawings by Annette Roche had initially helped inspire the lyrics, so these drawings ultimately became part of the album artwork.
1. Wither Down (10:53)
2. Echo (5:59)
3. Canyon Song (6:32)
4. Waves Of Sound (11:00)
5. Megalopolitana (15:18)
6. All Kinds Of Futures (6:47)
Total Time 56:29
Chris Lamont: drums
Dino Verginella: bass, guitar and additional keyboards (on one track)
Ken Baird: keyboards, vocals, guitar (on three tracks), penny whistle, recorder, french horn
Kelly Kereliuk: guitar (on four tracks)
Steve Cochrane: acoustic guitar (5)