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Galahad - Seas Of Change CD (album) cover





3.91 | 309 ratings

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4 stars I am listening to this album on a sunny day in the garden, in New Zealand. I am one of the "Leavers" and it seems, so it should remain, as I shed a tear for all the "Remainers". Last year, Marillion had a go at the state of the nation with the album "Fear" and whilst that was open to some interpretation, you are left in no doubt that Britain is on the edge of collapse whilst listening to 'Seas of Change'.

In terms of the lyrics, there is some sarcastic humour that I like, commentary with similar effect and a reference to a government that we don't even know and who don't even know what they stand for. My only negative feeling here, is that during this one song epic, they never really tell a story, instead, continue to focus on the negative from different angles. There is certainly no solution to the on-going problems of Brexit and rising tension at the thought that our Englishness is being diminished. Well they said it.

The music varies. There is the typical wordy style of Galahad, where at times the words struggle to find their place in the rhythm, (a problem I also hear in Nick Barret's Pendragon at times). This is my problem with Galahad, on this album this is improved and the tone of Stu Nicholson's vocals to my ears are his best. There is a change of style throughout, which on one hand I really enjoyed and on the other left me feeling annoyed. On the positive, there is the inclusion of the flute to provide a more retro sound and a groove which goes beyond the usual for this band. The first half of the song provides some mellow moments, melody and then dips in and out of a heavy groove. Really great! After my first listen, I wanted to jump straight back in for another listen but at the same time there was a nagging feeling that I was enjoying this because it was familiar. Last year, Steve Hogarth left me feeling slightly annoyed when the same melody that had been used on his album "ice cream genius" was revisited at a key moment during the epic song "The Leavers". Last year, I got into Wobbler, it seems someone in the Galahad family has done the same. Certainly, the heavy riff dances between "Foxlight" and "La Bealtaine", there is even that "Yes" moment. Now Wobbler can be criticized for their retro sound and similarities to the past, not sure what to make of this. A bit too soon maybe. The second half contains some nice melodies and trademark aggressive vocals before a return to the gentle opening, warning us about the coming storm. There are brief moments when you feel that the song has overstayed it's welcome but then a new idea emerges. In particular, there is some delightful Gilmour guitar work towards the end.

Plenty of twists and turns, dark and light and all that goes to make a prog delight. I will be interested to read, what my fellow "Leaver" Kev Rowland makes of this album.

To my ears, annoyance apart, this will be one of my top albums of the year, hopefully alongside IQ, and it's only January.

shaunch | 4/5 |


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