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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Captain Beyond

Dawn Explosion

Review by Gary Hill

This album is not held in as high a regard by Captain Beyond fans as their first two. It features new vocalist Wally Daffern. It’s more straightforward and perhaps less experimental than the first two albums. It’s strong nonetheless. For my money there’s one track here that might get the skip button, but beyond that, everything’s good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Do Or Die
Drums lead out here. The guitar joins and we're off. This is a catchy number that rocks really well. I really love the instrumental section on this. It has some great guitar soloing. The tune really pushes upward from there, too, ramping up the intensity. This is such an excellent choice to lead the album out of the gate.
More musically dynamic, this starts with some tasty mellower music and then works out into a soaring kind of jam that’s perhaps closer to the first two Captain Beyond albums than anything else on the set. This is a great piece of music and one of the highlights of the CD.
Sweet Dreams
There’s a cool, swirling, almost prog rock element to the main progression on this track. It has a dream-like feeling relating to its title and some killer guitar soloing. 
This is the most straightforward, hard rocking cut. It’s a good number, but perhaps a bit too mainstream for this band.
Breath of Fire Part 1
This, and the next cut, as the titles suggest are essentially two pieces of the same composition. This one is riff driven and harder rocking. It’s a great tune and serves nicely to set things up for the second half.
Breath of Fire Part 2
A killer, dramatic, mellower tone makes up the intro to this half of the piece. It’s powerful. It builds gradually back up and then fades away to end the suite in nice fashion.
If You Please
If there’s a dog on the disc, this is it. The music isn’t bad, it’s just not all that great – and the lyrics are a rather silly attempt at empowerment. I’d hazard to bet that this song is the main bone of contention for those Captain Beyond fans who really disregard this disc.
Midnight Memories / Space Interlude
While not as strong as some of the other stuff here, this bluesy, mellower cut, is certainly a step up from the one that came before it. Of course, that’s just addressing the first portion of the track. This gives way to just what the title suggests – a spacey interlude that feels like it could have come from Sufficiently Breathless. This segues into the next track.
The swirling riff that comes up from the space feels a lot like a King Crimson styled riff, but the musical treatment is very much Captain Beyond. This is frantic, crunchy and very tasty. This instrumental is a great way to end the set.
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