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Sky 4: Forthcoming

Review by Gary Hill

The fourth album from Sky focused on new arrangements of music written by others. While there is an emphasis on classical music, there are other things included as well. The range of instrumental music we're accustomed to from this outfit (fusion, classical and prog) is still pretty well represented, but the fusion is the least common element here.

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Track by Track Review
Fairly mellow classical music is the concept on the early parts of this. It has an almost creepy carnival vibe to it. It works out to a more prog rock based version of this concept.
Ride of the Valkyries
Starting with a dramatic almost psychedelic section, this is a new arrangement of the well-known piece from Wagner. While there are some rocking elements to this, overall it remains closer to a full classical treatment.
March to the Scaffold
Starting with classical piano, this arrangement gets quite a bit of a progressive rock edge added to it. It's perhaps close to things like the more classical side of Rick Wakeman's catalog and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
To Yelasto Pedi (Theme From 'Z')
Playful classical elements open this number. It grows out from there with more of a decidedly folk prog styling. Still, it has plenty of the classical element, of course. The organ adds quite a bit to this arrangement. There is a drop back later in the track to a mellower section that shows off a bit of a world music vibe. It grows back outward from there with a definite Ethnic folk prog thing underway. That rather rocking section ends it.
Waltz No.2 (From Valses Nobles et Sentimentales)

There is almost an otherworldly vibe to the classical music elements that start this. A piano melody eventually rises up to take command. Still, this wouldn't be out of place in the soundtrack to a weird horror film as it drifts onward with other instruments in the mix.

Here we get more of a prog rock take on a Bach composition. This is a killer jam that again feels a bit like something Wakeman or Emerson might do. I like this one a lot. It's pretty cool stuff for sure.
My Giselle (From a Theme by Adam De La Halle)
There is a dramatic building element that leads this cut out of the gate. The piece gets quite rocking and is a standout of this particular album. It works out to more melodic stuff at times, but this is the most decidedly progressive rock number here. It has some great shifts and changes.
World music and more folk prog stuff seems to be on hand here. There is a bit of an edge to this that makes me think of Robert Fripp's circulation guitar styles that are the kind of thing California Guitar Trio uses.
With both rock and classical elements at play, this is another solid instrumental piece. It manages some particularly energetic moments.
A new arrangement of an old standard, this is slow moving and quite pretty. It definitely makes its way into pure jazz territory. It's another classy number.
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