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Gandalf - Invisible Power: A Symphonic Prayer CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.28 | 15 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Powerful yet relaxing

Invisible Power: A Symphonic Prayer may well be Gandalf's most "symphonic" creation, though it would be a mistake to expect Symphonic Prog here. 'Symphonic' in this case means sweeping symphonic soundscapes, Classical piano, bombastic percussions, some lovely Steve Howe-like acoustic guitar segments, and occasional electric guitar parts. This album follows in a somewhat similar style to that of the previous From Source To Sea, and once again I am strongly reminded of Mike Oldfield (this time particularly of Incantations). Even though this is not as playful as many of Oldfield's works, it does share several similarities with Oldfield's music.

On his previous three albums - the vocal The Shining, the electronic The Universal Play, and the relaxing From Source To Sea - Gandalf was trying out new things, and seemed unsure of where he was going. He has (re)found himself on Invisible Power. As such, this was a return to form. Whatever you think about the style he has adopted here - and I must confess that it is not normally my cup of tea - it is hard to deny that he is very good at what he is doing here (which is something rather different from his first four albums). At first I planned to give it the same rating as From Source To Sea (two stars), but unlike that album Invisible Power grew on me with further listens.

Like on many of Gandalf's works there is also here a New-Age feel created by sampling of "nature sounds" (birds, waterfalls, winds, etc.) and a vague appeal to "spirituality" in the song and album titles. This time he has created a musical "prayer", presumably directed towards some "invisible power". Please note however, that these are only tendencies and it would be out of place to call this music New-Age overall. Symphonic-New-Age-Rock would maybe be a better term. If it is not an oxymoron, then "powerful relaxation" could perhaps describe this music.

One of the most memorable tracks here is the two part title track with which I was previously familiar from the very good live album Gallery Of Dreams Live (part 2). The live version is rockier and the jazzier aspects have been emphasised in the live version compared to this album version, but both are good in their own ways.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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