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Kyrie Eleison - Fountain Beyond The Sunrise CD (album) cover


Kyrie Eleison


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 63 ratings

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3 stars Well the sound quality is a bit rough at times, especially considering by 1976 most studios were capable of much better. And the Genesis comparisons are certainly fair, although really – how many European symphonic rock bands in the mid-seventies didn’t get compared at one time or another to either Genesis or Yes or ELP? But otherwise this is a very solid period piece that could be placed between 1974 and 1977 by a half-deaf blind man after hearing as little as three of four bars. So if that’s the kind of music you’re into, you won’t likely be disappointed by Kyrie Eleison’s second album.

This is rock theater stuff, every bit as pretentious and na´ve as anything that was released in the same period. The shortest track is the nearly nine-minute “Forgotten Words”, and all the rest are considerably longer. The use of mellotron and synths is as heavy as you could expect for the time, and the arrangements have the mark of classical leanings. My only real quibble is the drummer, who ranges from rather pedestrian rhythms to the haphazard.

The odd timbre of the backing vocals are the one thing I can’t recall hearing on any of their contemporaries’ albums, and I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good thing or not. All three backing musicians vacillate between almost chanting, falsetto howling and moans that make this sound a bit darker than it was probably intended to be.

One thing that strikes me is the heavy guitar and bass throughout, more like heavy rock than European symphonic (except for the keyboards), which is certainly okay with me. The ranging “The Fountain Beyond the Sunrise” is the best example of this, although the bonus CD track “Mounting the Eternal Spiral” also manages to lay it on pretty thick as well. In fact, this one sounds a bit like a Marillion demo track without Steve Rothery’s distinctive guitar work.

Really the whole thing sounds a bit like a demo, mostly due to the weak recording quality and simplistic production. But for those of us who grew up in the seventies this is only a minor distraction, and the hour long foray is quite an enjoyable indulgence. There’s nothing innovative in the recordings, and even with the cleaned up remastering this is still sonically substandard for a mid-seventies recording. But all that said I still like listening to this one, particularly in the evening. Three stars easily, and I may revisit that somewhere down the line if the CD keeps finding its way into my disc changer.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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