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The Room - Beyond The Gates Of Bedlam CD (album) cover

BEYOND THE GATES OF BEDLAM

The Room

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
3 stars

I was having a conversation with David Elliott from BEM recently, and he asked me if there were any bands in the back catalogue that I would be interested in reviewing, and one of those I requested was The Room. I wasn't sure why, but knew that I had heard about them from somewhere, but for the life of me couldn't remember why. As soon as I started playing this it all came flooding back, as the man on vocals was Martin Wilson, ex-of Grey Lady Down, a band I saw many times back in the Nineties, and whose original demo I still have (blackmail anyone?). The other musician I also knew was Steve Anderson, who was latterly in GLD, but who I know from Sphere, the band he was in with Neil Durant (now in IQ). The line-up for this their second album is completed by Andy Rowe (bass), Steve Checkley (keyboards) and Chris York (drums).

This is music that hearkens back to the Nineties, when everyone involved in the UK progressive rock scene really felt that things were about to explode into the mainstream, as there were so many good bands that could be heard virtually every week in London. GLD, as with many others before them, played at The Marquee (with Jump as support on the night I saw them), yet as with most of the neo prog scene didn't make the leap into the big time. A large part of the album is neo-prog, although there are also strong melodic rock tendencies, and there has been a great deal of thought with the arrangements.

Steve is an interesting keyboard player, one that is prepared to solo when needed, or stay more in the background playing the perfect accompaniment, and that comes through particularly on songs such as 'As Crazy As It Seems', which is far more laid back than one might expect from a band like this. There are lots of different influences in what they are doing, and perhaps it isn't surprising that GLD is one of these, but bands as diverse as Credo, Marillion and Magnum all have a part to play as well. Martin's vocals are perfectly suited to this style of music and provide a significant point of difference, with emotion being very important indeed. This is a really solid piece of work, and I look forward to hearing more from The Room.

kev rowland | 3/5 |

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