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Galahad - Storyteller's Dance  CD (album) cover

STORYTELLER'S DANCE

Galahad

 

Prog Folk

2.39 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars On the surface, this 5th album by German Celtic Rockers GALAHAD lacks the allure of the couple that preceded it. For starters, for some reason Paul Alexander Jost handles the bulk of the vocal duties for the first time, at the expense of Ulli Koberg. Now, Jost has a distinctive enough voice that works well for some material, but his idiosyncratic fusion of LEONARD COHEN and MARK KNOPFLER with its quasi conversational style is perhaps best suited for at most half the songs rather than two thirds. Given that this was Ulli's last disk with GALAHAD, one might infer that she left while it was being recorded, which might also explain the slightly higher quotient of stuffing as well, with songs like "Seasons of Salmon", "Liberty or Just for you", and "Nightingale Flight" appearing to have fallen off the wheelbarrow before they were properly potted. Finally, other than the vague references to dancing here and there and to the possible ulterior meanings of the word that I won't go into, this lacks a concept of note or the mystique of the medieval tale so prevalent in prior works by this band.

Yet for all that, this is mostly a fine collection of occasionally hard edged folk rock with a progressive soul, a bounty of flutes, electric guitar and even a few sensible keyboard and orchestral arrangements. I am especially heartened by their restraint, as they rarely grandstand for the sake of it. Arrangements may at times be intricate but GALAHAD knows when to pull rank and bring us back to the song. Most of the highlights occur early on, with the best being the proggy and varied paced "Guilty"; the brilliant instrumental "Virtual Dance" with its dramatic harpsichord like flourishes and aggressive lead guitar solo; the Ulli-led "Be on the Right" with a smidgen of the oom pah pah in its sophisticated grooves; "Well Haired Golden Maiden" with its sublime melody again carried by Ulli, the choruses bolstering the tension building from the verses. I will add one more - the nervous "Fred Friendly" with its tale of a fellow who can't turn down a request for help from his friends who are of course convinced that their need is a gift to the poor fella. It reminds me of the more lighthearted numbers by KERRS PINK.

"Storyteller's Dance" suffers a bit in consistency and inspiration in comparison to the likes of "Myrddin" and "The Return of the Piper", but it is still recommended to those here with a penchant for Celtic Rock.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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