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Big Big Train - From Stone And Steel CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.40 | 78 ratings

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PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Rings a bell, yeah ... BIG BIG TRAIN obviously have justified my focus again with this one. Man! What a fantastic offering, even if this solely might be declined as an appetizer for the blue-ray release 'Stone & Steel'. Except two songs this is comprised of outtakes from 'The Underfall Yard' and 'English Electric (Part 1)' albums, well, this nearly matches my private best-of list concerning this band! What makes it to something special is that they've slightly refined their songs, while playing this stuff again under somewhat live in a studio circumstances.

Now, at first, just let me mention Rikard Sj÷blom, when it comes to the updated line up ... I never ever would have imagined to see him as a (steady?) member of this band, what a surprise! Hell, they've gathered a fantastic musician, that's for sure! Furthermore he seems to play a role for the new album recordings as well - welcome to the club, Rikard! And then I would also mention Rachel Hall, she's adding a new folk facet with her violin for sure.

BIG BIG TRAIN have had several lead singer in their ranks, but David Longdon's voice seems to be the best fit, so much empathy, spiked with a restrained portion of pathos. The prolific crew around founder Andy Poole (keyboards, guitar) and Greg Spawton (bass) are playing at their best here. Musically the band's portfolio is rather widespread, they also have offered tracks respectively complete albums with the focus on folk and pop, which do not have my preference. But this time it's progressive rock in the purest form.

The songs are complex mostly, rich in variety, decorated with much dramaturgy and suspense, twists and turns en masse but also catchy melodies. Something you really have to search for in these days. From time to time Genesis and Yes reminiscences are shimmering through - first of all when it comes to 'The Underfall Yard' excerpts, a perfect album I do not hesitate to count amongst the ultimate masterpieces of progressive rock. Which means on the same level as Foxtrot, Selling England or Close To The Edge by way of example.

Though provided with some jazz and pop touch I would emphasize Summoned By Bells as my favourite here anyhow. This due to a fantastic Chris Squire inspired bass work and the well put wind instruments during the emotional second part. Well, of course this album is made of songs we're already aware of, one or two may throw in with reason. I nevertheless do enjoy it to explore the refreshing nuances regarding some of my all-time song favourites - 4 stars are well deserved for this collection!

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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