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Quasar - Live 2011 CD (album) cover

LIVE 2011

Quasar

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 7 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK band QUASAR was formed back in 1979, and is generally regarded as one of the lesser known bands in the so called neo progressive movement. They managed to record and release two albums, one in 1982 and one in 1989, and had at least three totally different line-ups in that period too. Then all went quite about this band, until they resurfaced as a US based band a few years ago. "Live 2011" is the second of two live albums they have released since then, and their first album featuring an all new, US based line-up.

The music on this album as well as their previous ones belongs in the neo progressive category. Melodic and accessible progressive rock, with a basis in the 1970's symphonic part of the progressive rock universe. The majority of the songs revolves around alternating gentle, slow or sparse movements, occasionally developing into arrangements richer in instrument textures with ones more pace-filled and energetic or richly layered, majestic constructions not based on an initial theme of a gentler or more sparse starting point. The band utilize the tonal ranges fairly well throughout to create both distinct and more subtle contrasts, and the guitars will occasionally add some darker toned impact riffs as well. Perhaps with less dramatic touches than some other neo progressive bands tend to opt for, but a sound and a style those who love the original neo progressive bands will find enticing. For just about the first time in the history of this band they have a decent recording quality on their material too.

I'll have to admit that on some occasions, I actually found some of the earlier versions of their compositions subtly more enticing, although the only song that gave me a strong and distinct impression of that nature was Power In Your Hands. Current vocalist Keren Gaiser is arguably a better vocalist as far as subtle details go, but on this particular song I found former vocalist Hatchings more dramatic and emotional delivery better suited to my personal taste. And while I'll be damned if I can expand upon it, I did think some of the other songs while overall coming across as improved in execution and performance perhaps have lost some minor dramatic edges on the way too. The one new track present on this disc does give promise for future studio albums by Quasar, a pleasant addition to their repertoire that I suspect might truly soar when recorded in a studio with it's gentle ballad slowly developing to more majestic and dramatic territories until a final dramatic eruption.

While I personally I find their second studio album "The Loreli" to be their most intriguing production so far, I'd recommend those unfamiliar with Quasar to start their inspection of the band with this live album due to an overall better recording quality on this more recent production. With those fond of neo progressive rock as it was made back in the 1980's as a likely key audience.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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