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Tony Banks - Seven - A Suite For Orchestra CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

2.75 | 75 ratings

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3 stars #28 Review

This is my last Tony Banks review and i'll move into something more, i had hard times while aproaching this album, i tried like 3 times to do a review of it but i just wasn't in the mood of doing so.

I don't promise on getting back on reviewing more Tony Banks or Genesis, but i can say that if i ever do, it'll be the released Genesis B-Sides and the exclusive pieces and package of the compilation "A Chord Too Far", i'll obviously be back as soon as Tony releases a new album tho.

1.- Spring Tide 7/10 Well, it really feels like the title says, its magical. Starts with typical Tony Banks motion and then goes into his style chords, and that's why i may have felt a little bored with this record, the orchestra gives more protagonism to the chords than the melody that was created alongside that. As for this theme, at some parts it reminds me of "An Island in the Darkness" from "Strictly Inc." but with an orchestra that overtakes the melody as i said earlier. This theme has a prominent Piano from time to time, but i'd have liked it more if the piano took more over the orchestra.

2.- Black Down 6/10 This music was created after "Calling All Stations", wich is really interesting, i feel like that album needed more Tony Banks in it, but it also shows how that album was less "solos", less melodies and more chords than anything, and this theme is exactly that, it shows that shift in Tony of doing amazing thing like "Fading Lights" and "An Island in the Darkness" in the early 90s, to doing more atmospheric chords in the late 90s, something that i think started pretty strong in songs like "Holding on my Heart". I just don't feel this theme that much, i think that it is more designed to represent an actual place than an actual idea, if i think about it a little more, i'd say like it is a forest with an entrance to Dracula's Castle or something, but its actually just a pretty scenery of a dense forest, i mean, i could hear it in Black Down and be amazed but at the same time, it goes a little too dark and it has a small flow to it. A reference to the cover art also.

3.- The Gateway 7/10 Created for a possible future movie project and it feels like it, just as with the previous theme, this one also concentrates on chords and its pretty atmopheric. This theme reminds me of some old music works, but i don't know with who to compare, i just listened something like this at the radio the other day. At half the music it gets pretty exciting, like the gateway opened and the other side can be seen. Its a really beautyful piece that takes time to peak up.

4.- The Ram 8/10 Clearly a way to wake up the audience after all the other calm stuff, it goes without saying that this is the kind of stuff that Tony does best, i like the calm stuff that he does, but when you give him that someone is being chased, or something is about to happen that requires lots of actions, this is when Tony mostly shines. Reminds me a little of Slippermen with a little of "in that quiet earth", the only problem with this piece is that it gets tranquil for a little too long, but anyways, the best theme in the album so far.

5.- Earthlight 8/10 It feels like we went back to the previous 3 themes, but i think that this time is a little more dinamic, like it could be the second theme but sped up, if that's what i'd call dinamic, it just changes chords faster, and i really like that, reminds me of some Zelda and Star Wars soundtracks. It gets the job done in a shorter time, it could be more interesting though.

6.- Neap Tide 5/10 Done in the Strictly Inc. period, this theme doesn't feel meant for an orchestra, it repeats too much certain parts and i can hear how the theme would've sounded on Strictly Inc., this theme would've been better if added to another piece in the album, or shortened, or by removing the repeating part in the background. This theme could've survived the 5 because of the pretty ending, that part moved me but by an after thought i realized that it wasn't enough.

7.- The Spirit of Gravity 7/10 It starts pretty average when at the 2 minute mark it changes to a different thing, gets more adventurous, the problem so far is that would've been better if the piano was there instead of the orchestra, then 1 minute after it goes back, another minute after and the theme goes back at the start, now its reminding me of older happy classical compotitions again, so yes, this theme changes quite a lot, but i feel like the orchestra is not doing justice for more of the parts, this theme sounds more like an experimentation on doing an orchestra with a grain of classic Tony Banks on it. Again, i don't get the name or the complete intentions of this theme, but by the scope of it, it could be showing the planets and the life occuring on it. He is clearly stepping on new territory here.

In the end, this album gets a 69/100 and that means 3 stars, really close to 4, but i ultimately decided against it because as a whole package it can't be placed as better than Six or 5.

Thanks Tony for all the music, i really enjoyed reviewing all of this and Genesis, i still listen to some songs of A Curious Feeling, The Fugitive, Bankstatement and specially the entire album 5, wich i'm happy that i gave it 5 stars, now i think that i could review it again, still give the same score and talk even better than what i did, it is really a masterpiece and the culmination of his orchestral career, but as always keep surprising us, i'm looking forward for your next work.

And later i'll review someone that has really little presence here but its a close friend of Tony that has been sharing Genesis from all of Genesis life.

FalconBleck | 3/5 |


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