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Volaré - Memoirs CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.66 | 17 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars How many Canterbury bands are there that have come out of the U.S.A.? I am familiar with the great band THE MUFFINS but none other except for this band. VOLARE's first recording never did get released on cd until now with this release. Interesting to note that these 5 tracks(from 1st recording) were all recorded live and the sax and cello were added later. Also we get 3 bonus tracks including "Memoirs Of A Misshapen Man" which is a song that they played live from the beginning, they had just never recorded it. This is a live version that was recorded in studio back in 1997.

"Oxford Don" was a song that didn't make it onto their debut "The Uncertainty Principle". This version was also recorded live in 1997 at a different studio."The Hive" was recorded specifically for this album in 1999 when they reunited briefly for some live shows. "North By Northwest" was inspired by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH. It opens rather softly with keys, light drums and cello. A full sound a minute in. The guitar is playing over the top. The tempo and mood keeps changing in this one. One minute it's a pastoral calm and the next it's a driving rhythm. Excellent tune. "Eighth Direction" is a heavier mid paced song. Quite a bit of bottom end on this one. Organ, drums and cello lead the way. Some prominant synth work 2 1/2 minutes in,but it's the drumming that impresses me the most here. Guitar and cello follow. Some great bass lines after 4 minutes. It calms right down except for the brief scorching cello.

"The Broken Waltz" opens with a pleasant melody as drums and keys are joined by cello. Pulasating keys 1 1/2 minutes in come and go. Intricate sounds fill the air. The sound changes 2 1/2 minutes in as piano comes in. A full driving sound a minute later. The drums are great. It calms back down to end it. "Three O'Clock" features acoustic guitar and cello melodies. Sax comes in as well. My least favourite track. The next 2 songs are my favourite tracks. "The Odessa Steps Sequence" has such a warm organic sound of light drums, keys and bass. When the guitar along with a full sound arrive 3 minutes in it's even better. I like the synths 4 1/2 minutes in. A nice heavy sound before 7 minutes with some excellent guitar and bass. "Memories Of A Misshapen Man" is next and I love the intro. The drumming is outstanding. Synths 3 minutes in. A powerful sound follows that is closer to metal than it is to Canterbury. "Oxford Don" opens with lots of atmosphere as they are creating some tension here until 1 1/2 minutes in. Then the guitar soars tastefully as keys,drums and bass play on. I like the way this guy plays drums. Nice synth solo. The song calms down 4 1/2 minutes in. "The Hive" opens with guitar leading the way as drums pound away. The guitar is beautifully played. Sax, liquid keys and throbbing bass fill out the sound. Is that mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in? Nice.

This is highly enjoyable Canterbury music with top notch musicianship.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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