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Windchase - Symphinity CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.18 | 85 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Well this was a bit of a letdown, to say the least. When I heard the introduction “Forward We Ride” for the first time I thought, “Forward indeed!”. But this thing goes downhill fast, and there is very little to redeem it after the first minute and a half.

Windchase are pasrts of Sebastian Hardie plus the Pavlic brothers and drummer Doug Bligh from the early seventies Aussy band Galadriel. At first I even confused this album for the Sebastian Hardie recording also titled ‘Windchase’. This one is even cheesier though; a bit more polished, but cheesy nonetheless.

I wonder if the title ‘Symphinity’ is some sort of play on the multi-platinum Kansas title ‘Leftoverture’ that was still on the charts when this released. Maybe, but in any case it’s not really all that clever. Once the beautiful piano intro is past, the rest of the album is sort of an onslaught of what Barry Manilow would have sounded like if he were doing a medley of Yes covers with an occasional disco beat. That about says it really. Except that Manilow did manage to pen slightly more catchy lyrics at least. Keyboardist Toivo Pilt’s lyrics are not much more than a bunch of clichéd catch phrases strung together and delivered with lounge-act smoothness and very little energy.

The Mario Millo compositions are a little better, but even here they end up sounding like musically dumbed-down ELO tunes. “Glad to be Alive”, “Flight Call”, and “Gypsy” all fit this description, while the brief “Non Siamo Perfetti” manages to be a mildly interesting acoustic guitar piece that could have improved the album were it extended into a full- blown composition.

“No Scruples”, another Pilt track, manages to come off sounding like a preview of the first couple of Asia albums, hence another Yes influence and reference. But not as dynamic or complex as Asia even. Pretty good keyboards though.

Which leaves “Lamb’s Fry”, a nearly ten-minute piece that manages to actually sound prog-worthy for the most part. The layered keyboards and shifting guitar passages coupled with several almost clever tempo changes yield a rather decent track that I may rip and put onto an instrumental collection CD for traveling. Maybe.

Oh yeah, and the CD reissue includes a live version of “Horsemen to Symphinity” that is longer and more elaborated than the original studio version, but still not very memorable.

This is a disappointing piece of underachievement for the most part. The only reason I’m going to give it two stars is for “Lamb’s Fry” and in deference to the fact that this album was released at the very end of an era when progressive music was in serious decline, so the temptation of the band to put out glossed-over schlock is understandable, though still not forgivable.

Not really recommended unless you just are the curious type who doesn’t have very high expectations. Two stars.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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