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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Galahad

In A Moment of Complete Madness

Review by Gary Hill

Galahad originally released this album as a cassette to sell at their shows. As orders grew, it eventually became this CD, augmented with a few bonus tracks. The disc has some shortcomings, mostly because of its humble beginnings. The group seemed a bit inexperienced, and their sound comes across as underdeveloped on a lot of the material. The overall leaning here is toward classic prog, in the likes of Yes, Genesis, Marillion, Starcastle and others. As a collector's item for fans of this band, it is highly recommended. However, it probably would not be a good introduction to the group. Considering its origins, though, it doesn't seem that the group ever intended for it to serve as one. It should be said, though, that the last couple of songs, albeit very Marillion-influenced, are the strongest. So, if you check this one out, be sure to either stick around for those, or skip to them.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
One For the Record
A hard-edged droning starts this one off. The track begins building on that format with jazz oriented overtones, and this becomes a frantic, quirky, unpredictable and very fun jam. It shifts gear for a time to a melodic sort of old-fashioned tune with a definite country tinge. This contradiction of sounds is quite intriguing, and the band really rocks out on this track.
Second Life
With a Genesisish intro the cut is on its way. The verse on this one is more like a cross between Yes and Marillion. The vocals certainly sound a good amount like Fish, but even have a little Rushish edge. This one includes a smoking instrumental break.
Parade
A tribute to rock stars, this one feels a lot like mid-period Genesis. The chorus is a great change up. The percussion on this one really stands out and feels quite a bit like Phil Collins' work. The instrumental break in particular feels very much in the mode of Genesis' "Trick of the Tale" era.
Earth Rhythm
Although this does feel just a little Fishish, it is truly very generic and cheesy. This is one of the weak points of the disc.
Lady Messiah (From Beyond The Sun)
With a very dramatic intro, this one comes in in sharp contrast to the previous piece. The intro shows a definite sense of mystery and is quite strong. The song proper feels somewhat like a cross between Starcastle and Rush with the occasional Marillionesque moment. It drops into an instrumental break that calls to mind all of the aforementioned bands while still coming across as original. The vocal segment that ensues continues the musical themes. It cuts down to a sedate, atmospheric section, showing a good dynamic range. A triumphantly textured mode erupts from there, with a bit of a Starcastle edge to it. Then a great groove emerges from that. Rushish tones end the piece. This is definitely a strong cut, and shows what the band can do if they put their mind to it.
Painted Lady
An acoustically driven ballad, this has a bit of a Spanish texture. It is a fairly brief number that doesn't wander far from its roots.
The Ghost of Dertal
Space sounds begin this one very slowly in an almost creepy vein. A guitar melody comes in gradually, bringing with it more "friendly" tones. As the vocals join, the cut takes on the markings of a Fish song. Keys herald in a new melody, but that one rises, then vanishes. Suddenly a new melody that is quite Marillionish emerges. The band reworks this one, with it becoming more potent as it carries on. It eventually drops back down a bit to the earlier tones of the Marillion-oriented segment. It then, seemingly, ends. Weird textures take over, though, moving the composition back into the creepy zone. Spoken French lyrics come in over the top, and then another new fast paced segment comes in, again Marillionish. That segment runs through, then quickly ends. Bass heralds in the next segment, and as the keys come in the mode takes on an early Genesis texture. As that runs out, the Marillion sounds come back in spades, carrying the cut through to its end. This is a "keeper"
Welcome to Paradise
Keyboards begin this one. As the instruments and voice enter a Marillionesque (Fish era) texture ensues. This feels a lot like something from that band's first three albums. A slow segment makes up the early moments of the track. Then a keyboard line heralds a new section, and as the band builds on it, the stronger, faster tones carry in, but not wandering far from the sound of Marillion. It continues by following on the themes already presented. This is the most blatant Marillion influenced cut on the disc, but also the strongest.
 
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