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Saga - Worlds Apart CD (album) cover

WORLDS APART

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 154 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With this album Saga cancelled the era of their first eight Chapters, while musically speaking, continued to explore in their fresh matured sound they had so successfully achieved in their preceeding work 'Silent Knight', while laying a bridge between this one and their next 'Heads or Tales'. All in all, the listener can easily notice a few slight variations. For starters, Saga's new repertoire incorporates some obvious leaning towards AOR in some numbers: the opening 'On the Loose' - which was the first single -, 'Amnesia', and 'The Interview'. Now, I know that AOR is usually a very reviled thing, but it doesn't have to be in this case, since Saga deliver this stuff without losing a miligram of their powerful prog sensibilities. The prog factor is still predominant, as it is shown in the amazing eerie track 'No Regrets (Chapter V)', in the ambitious epic 'No Stranger (Chapter VIII)', and the attractive jazz oriented instrumental (with a funky twist) 'Conversations', whose explosive closure sounds actually pretty heavy, almost Iron Maiden-esque. But the heaviest thing in this album is incarnated in the neckbreaking 'Framed': Ian Crichton's guitar really shines here brighter than a hundred suns!! Another new element that should be mentioned here is the electronic factor: Negus' enthusiasm for electronic drums is displayed notably on 'Wind Him Up' and 'Time's Up'. The latter brings Saga closer to the technopop wave that was becoming increasingly popular in the early 80s, specially in Europe and the UK, but this goes beyond that: figure a mixture of Ultravox and the deepest side of early 80s Tangerine Dream, and you may have an idea about the kind of beauty achieved in this song. The latter has a more complex structure and a major level of artistic accomplishment: its clever mixture of technopop synth paraphernalia, heavy guitar riffs/solos, and amazing symphonic layers make it a fantastic example of modernized prog. 'Wind Him Up' also made it as a single, and may I add that it's one of their best popular tunes: since then, it has been played recurrently on stage and celebrated by the crowds of fans. In many ways, this track concentrates all the strong points of 'Worlds Apart'. As a whole this album doesn't equal the energetic brilliance of 'Silent Knight', nor does it keep the freshness of their debut album... but it's a very good work, full of some real bright moments.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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