Album: Marek Arnold's Artrock Project

Genre: Progrock

Release Date: July 14th, 2023

Country: Germany / International 

Label: BSide Music, Tempus Fugit


After having released more than 60 albums as part of countless bands and projects (such as Stern Combo Meissen, Cyril, Flaming Row, Seven Steps to the Green Door…), German multi-instrumentalist Marek Arnold now shares his solo debut with us. While he’s responsible for the compositions, production as well as many instrumental and vocal parts, the list of illustrious guests who joined him for “Marek Arnold’s Artrock Project” is long. The idea for it grew during the work on “Stay”, which was originally written as a hymn for the Artrock Festival and can be found on the record as well.

A certain self-confidence is needed to open with a 16-minutes epic, but since we’re talking about prog this might appeal to fans of the genre. “A Story Of Separation And Loss“ picks up the song “Arirang” from Toxic Smile's debut “M.A.D.” (2000) and draws us in with long, mesmerizing instrumental parts.

“Time of Mystery” is only performed with clarinets, saxophone and vocals, which brings in a beautiful, warm sound, and could easily also be part of a musical. The following “Papillon” is one of my favorites due to its great dynamic, carrying the listener away in musical waves of blistering solos and great melody lines.

“Come Away With Me” has a more balladic character, beautiful at first, but a bit too repetitive during several spins. "Cold Run" is another classic from Marek's feather, and was now recorded with today's possibilities, but couldn't fully grab me either. 

The tracks 7-12 can respectively be seen as one, closing the album with a 26-minutes progrock suite. The lyrics for “Berlin 2049” were written by the American author George Andrade and deal with the topic of artificial intelligence. Music-wise, it's the third highlight for me due to the amazing, creative kind of musical story-telling. 

With his solo debut, Marek Arnold offers a wonderful piece of progrock. Besides the one or other length in between, most of the album convinces with varied compositions and skillful performances of all musicians and singers involved, which are melted together by a well-balanced production. Even though we can hear many guests contributing great parts to the Artrock Project, they’re always woven into the songs naturally, so the album appears as a strong unit. Recommended to dive in :-)

Written by Katha


1. A story of separation and loss

2. Stay 

3. A time of mystery 

4. Papillon 

5. Come away with me 

6. Cold run 

7. Berlin 2049 - Berlin 

8. Berlin 2049 - Rain will fall 1 

9. Berlin 2049 - Leave well enough alone 

10. Berlin 2049 - Rain will fall 2 

11. Berlin 2049 - Riding the line 

12. Berlin 2049 - Reason to lie


Marek Arnold - Keyboards, Saxophone, Clarinet, Tenor/Sopran Recorder, Seaboard, Background Vocals, Programming


Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales, Camel, Colin Tench Project, Reed Bazar)
Arno Menses (Subsignal, Sieges Even, Journeye)
Larry B. (Toxic Smile, CYRIL, Stern Combo Meissen)
Manuel Schmid (Stern Combo Meissen)
Anne Trautmann (Seven Steps To The Green Door)
Melanie Mau (Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella, Gray Matters, Flaming Row)
Kiri Marie Geile (Flaming Row, Steel Protector)
Eric Castiglio
Andre Weller (Seven Steps To The Green Door)
George Andrade (Seven Steps To The Green Door)

Drums / Percussion
Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, The Sea Within, The Mute Gods, +) Craig Blundell (Frost*, Pendragon, Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, +)
Sebastian Lanser (Panzerballett, Obsidious, Obscura, +)
John Macaluso (Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphonie X, ARK, Michael Romeo, James LaBrie)
Niklas Kahl (My Inner Burning, Erdling, Lord Of The Lost, Flaming Row, Joachim Witt) Dominique „Gaga“ Ehlert (Dark Suns, +)
Ulf Reinhardt (Seven Steps To The Green Door)
Simon Schröder (Persona, Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella, ISSUN, Cryptex)

Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath, Alan Parsons Project, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Clapton,)
Lars Lehmann (Freiberufler, Solist, Dozent)
Piotr Witkowski (Collage, Mr Gil)
Robert Brenner (Toxic Smile, Seven Steps To The Green Door, Stern Combo Meissen) Yenz Strutz (Crystal Palace)
Marco Bernard (The Samurai Of Prog)
Denis Strassburg (CYRIL)
Martin Schnella (Flaming Row, Gray Matters)
Martin Fankhänel (The Laterizer, Seven Steps To The Green Door)

Kalle Wallner (RPWL)
Gary Chandler (Jadis)
Martin Schnella (Flaming Row, Gray Matters)
Martin Fankhänel (The Laterizer, Seven Steps To The Green Door)
Marcella Arganese (Ubi Major, Mr. Punch)
Luke Machin (The Tangent, Maschine, Francis Dunnery Band)
Jane Getter (Jane Getter Premonition)
Jörg Sweikowski (Chorin Night)
Stephan Pankow (Seven Steps To The Green Door, Toxic Smile, smalltape)

Keyboards, Organ, Synths
Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Sons of apollo, Black Country Communion) Adam Holzman (Miles Davis, Steven Wilson, Michel Petrucciani, +)
Alex Grünwald (Münchener Freiheit)
Marius Leicht (POLIS, Mother Engine)
Sean Timms (Unitopia, Southern Empire)
Luca Di Gennaro (Soul Secret)

Brass Instruments
Steven Tailor, Flöten (Toxic Smile´s Classic Extension Orchestra)
Luis Márquez, Oboe
Claude Lumley, Horn
Yakiv Tsvietinskyi, Trompete

Steve Unruh, Violine (Resistor, The Samurai Of Prog, Unitopia, UPF)
Markus Dreßler, Violine, Viola
Carmen Dreßler, Cello