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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3021 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Very complex, powerful, and challenging music showcasing everything that is amazing about classic Yes (sans Wakeman... who in my opinion really isn't that amazing). Relayer is the anarchic companion to the ambrosial Close to the Edge; modern, edgy, and savagely noisy, it is by far the most unique album in the band's library, and holds its own when compared to their other classics.

Appropriate to the song's subject matter, Gates of Delirium is an explosion of chaotic, dizzying melodies and soloing, Anderson's lyrics painting a picture of war and destruction. As the central piece to the album, a lot rides on this epic's effectiveness, and it certainly delivers the goods-- but it may take a few listens. The tone of this extended song takes some getting used to; it is very metallic, with an emphasis on treble timbre and explosive creativity. Howe plays with much more slides and effects than on previous albums, while the inclusion of Moraz (over the cartoonish Wakeman) lends a completely different sonic tapestry to the song's background. All in all, probably the band's finest extended work after Close to the Edge.

Side B is just as different, with Howe and Squire's manic display of dexterity and virtuosity on Sound Chaser setting the bar impossibly high for follow up albums. Very jazzy, filled with great soloing and grooves, this nearly instrumental song has a solid energy as unique as the opener. The closing song flirts with a few new sounds, especially Howe's use of twang (and sitar?), and closes this album with a memorable and peaceful melody.

Not as good as CTTE in my book, but this largely instrumental album is still a knock-out, and a worthy addition to the classic prog fan's library.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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