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Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond CD (album) cover

CAPTAIN BEYOND

Captain Beyond

 

Heavy Prog

3.94 | 169 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Heavy and cosmic music from beyond the Myopic Void...

The amount of heavy prog bands that emerged in the early to mid seventies only to die off after their debut album is a number not easily counted. Many of these bands took advantage of a fertile market at the time where ''classic'' rock and progressive rock flourished and combined the styles into heavy, riff based progressive rock that brought up memories of Led Zeppelin while maintaining the high-brow complexities and depth of bands like Yes. Among so many forgotten relics is the debut from Captain Beyond, the project from Mk I Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans and former Iron Butterfly members Larry Rhino Reinhardt on guitar, and bassist Lee Dorman. What comes out of the mix is an amazing effort from the band featuring memorable riffs, spacey lyrics and very heavy passages in this gem of heavy prog.

One thing that's noted by many people right off the bat is the track listing for the album. Many people wonder how the band could possibly be considered progressive when there's 13 tracks on the album, and the longest of which is 4 minutes. Well, the progressive tenancies of the band extend far beyond simple track length, since within any one song the band well develop and change ideas in the blink of an eye - and do it well. Songs like the blistering opening track, Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air) and the killer Memorization Eclipse feature extreme changes in pace, tempo and speed that fit amazingly well into the context of the song. Of course the overall scheme of the album also becomes apparent after listening to it a few times. The album is actually comprised of only 5 songs that are broken up into segments. Dancing Madly Backwards takes up the better half of the first side while the second side of the album is comprised of only two suites, A Thousand Days Of Yesterdays and I Can't Feel Nothin'. One would wonder if more proggers would pay attention to the album if it was read with a shorter track listing, but we'll never really know.

What's great about the album is that it never lets up. It may give an occasional break from the constant bombardment of heavy rock, but those moments usually only last a minute before plunging back into the world (or outer-space) of heavy riffs. Raging River Of Fear is one of the few songs which actually stands on its own away from the other suites, and stand out it does. Those heavy riffs make for a constant attack while Evans' vocals bring the audience along for the ride. The second half of the album is just as good. Thousand Days Of Yesterdays starts with a slow and clam section which immediately gives way to the scorching sections of the Frozen Over segment before being reprised by the almost funky Thousand Days Of Yesterdays (Part II). I Can't Feel Nothin' is perhaps the most dynamic song in terms of pacing, working from the quick opening to the creepy, spoken word As The Moon Speaks (To The Waves Of The Sea) section to the brief and apocalyptic ending.

If you like Deep Purple, but have always wanted them to be more progressive, then this album is probably the answer to your prayers. Captain Beyond wouldn't recreate this sound for their follow-up, Sufficiently Breathless, but this album stands as a tribute to everything that Heavy Prog does best. 5 beaming astral ladies out of 5 for this wonderful effort. Highly recommended to anyone who likes heavy riffs, spacey elements and well thought-out suites.

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |

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