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Sebastian Hardie - Live in LA CD (album) cover


Sebastian Hardie


Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 17 ratings

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3 stars Nostalgic if meagerly-recorded performance by this veteran prog outfit, it yields some good things and is a warm throwback to the heady yesterday of symphonic rock, represented boldly years later by this warhorse. I've got a friend, an old-school progster, who loves this group. He also loved Camel and Genesis, which makes perfect sense as this band's music does resemble those symphonic rock heroes. But Sebastian Hardie, once Australia's only real prog claim to fame, also has enough personality to hold their own and remain a distinctive classic-sounding prog band. I like these guys, and their music, and though this set is not a prime display of their abilities or sound, it does provide a very pleasing taste of their past and of a symphonic rock rarely still heard. And the 1994 ProgFest crowd loved it.

Taking the best of the mellotron washes of early Crimson, the arranging flair of Camel, churchly qualities of ELP and organ swells of Genesis, Sebastian Hardie weaved a pastoral but powerful blanket of rich harmonies and tasteful vocals. Brimming with walls of chords and much feeling, SH puts on a good show with thoughtful and subtle execution. 'Glories Shall Be Released' is melodic and large, and 'Dawn of Our Sun' reminds of the tranquil passages on 'Selling England By the Pound'. 'Journey Through Our Dreams' and 'Everything is Real' continue the central theme in this period of their music and 'Rosanna' is a heartfelt ballad with nice guitar-keyboard harmonies and tight playing from all. 'Windchase' rocks, Mario Millo shows off his Santana-like chops, and we finish with the conclusion to 'Openings' and a nod to Bizet's Carmen... hey, a prog band that still plays their epics in tact! Hats off to them.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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