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Gandalf - Visions  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.62 | 26 ratings

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3 stars The fruitful collaboration between Gandalf and the WEA label during the first half of the 80's continues with the Austrian's second album ''Visions'' in 1981.Gandalf plays almost all kind of string instruments and keyboards plus percussion, yet he receives for the first time some outside help, it came from Jatinder Thakur on tablas and Sinus' leader Robert Julian Horky on flute.The album was recorded at the Beginning Soundstudio.

''Visions'' is a beautiful mix of Tolkien-inspired fairytales and MIKE OLDFIELD-like instrumental Art Rock, drawing influences from a variety of musical sources, but always ending up in ethereal and atmospheric soundscapes with a proto-New Age touch.Eight mid-length instrumentals connected with seven short musical themes was the album's structure proposed by Gandalf.As these themes are basically working as short bridges between the longer tracks with folky, Electronic and Classical echoes, the bulk of the album's interest falls on the extended instrumental cuts.These are characterised by plenty of acoustic strings and lots of symphonic and orchestral keyboards, but manage to draw different colors every time.With the use of mandolin, percussion and sitar Gandalf introduces Mediterrenean and Eastern landscapes into the mix, which had always a strong Ethnic vibe.Other tracks are more symphonic, based on dominant layered synths or organ-washed intros with a bit of Classical influence in the background.And there is still this cosmic, TANGERINE DREAM-like numbers with the electronic samplers and the questionable sound of drum machines, which offer the more atmospheric moments of the release.The electric guitars are used sporadically, but even so the overall mood remains gentle and relaxing, always performed with a nice, instrumental depth.

The Austrian answer to MIKE OLDFIELD's attempts.Cinematic, dreamy and mellow instrumental music with strong doses of Ethnic orientations.Cool and recommended stuff, despite the absence of obvious dynamics.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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