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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.29 | 1733 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
5 stars Gentle Giant are one of my favorite bands in a couple ways. first, they go back to the roots of music, medieval music, for their influences. Nothing else has really influenced them, making them an incredibly unique band. Second, they use many many instruments, overdubbing them all to make a large sound that plays well with me. Enough about them, lets get into Octopus, which is easily the best album.

Advent of Panurge: Starts off quietous and mysterious, it soon moves into a hard rocking section with good piano and keyboard fills. the guitar is outstanding, as Gary Green always is. Theres a more spacey section that follows the short trumpet interlude which is very good. My favorite on the album

Raconteur Troubadour: Nice violins accompanied by a narration type thing from Phil Shulman, the whole song seems to have come right out of King Arthur's Court, complete with tambourines. when the xylophone enters, its gorgeous, followed by an even more beautiful violin solo accompanied by organ. i just LOVE the sound this group makes!

A Cry For Everyone: A tough rocker with distorted guitars and hard pounding drums. then some guitar/piano shared lines come in, and the keyboard soars into the stratosphere. Kerry Minnear is a highly underrated keyboardist. He can even make the synth solo halfway through sound good. it moves into a more upbeat, bongo section that is even more amazing in terms of overdubbed riffs.

Knots: The amazing vocal harmony/odd instrumentation song. the xylophone and sax notes are perfectly placed to make the main riff seem like its coming from all sides. the vocals of course are complex, even though theyre all saying the same words with different melodies. I especially like when the drums begin pounding, and the guitar and keyboard take the dark, heavy melody. a very complex song overall. and of course the xylophone solo is the first of its kind.

Boys in the Band: This is by far the most complex instrumental ever in the history of prog. the main riff takes 8 seconds to fully complete, and the whole song is filled with prog goodies and many keyboard overdubs. you have to hear it to believe it.

Dog's Life: Starting with a curious acoustic guitar riff, the violins and classical melodies soon kick in. the middle part has some odd keyboards and percussion, and theres an instrument that im not quite sure what it is. it sounds like an oboe, but i dont think it is.

Think of Me with Kindness: classical melodies and piano, this is the closest gentle giant ever came to a ballad during their prog period, and its gorgeous. they should do this more often! the piano is great, and the drums are good but not too much.

River: Nice opening riff with keyboards and xylophone, soon kicks it up with violin, guitar and drums. the vocal part sounds strange and a little evil almost. the keyboards and guitar make nice background riffs while phil sings about "danger coming".the middle part with soft keyboards and soft vocals sounds almost jazzy in its feel. then it kicks up again with some amazing drumming, and one of the few actual guitar solos by Gary Green we ever hear, and it is quite good.

Overall, their most inventive album, their last with phil shulman, saxophonist extraordinaire, and the set up for a slightly more serious stage of their musical career, starting with in a glass house, and a MASTERPIECE of the type of prog gentle giant has invented.

The Ace Face | 5/5 |


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