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Saga - Images At Twilight CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.18 | 220 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The band Saga have been with me in a visual sense ever since my early teens. Back then you bought vinyl and sometimes the inserts had these "ads", or what you'd like to call them. The record label at hand wanted to push for other bands in their stable. Anyway, I clearly remember seeing the albums "Images at twilight" and "Silent knight" by Saga that way. I was amused, enthralled and intrigued by what I saw, especially when it came to "Images at twilight". What was that? An incredible sci-fi image of some robotic creature from outer space wreaking havoc upon a major city. That has to be a seriously great album, I surmised, but when I first listened to the bloody thing I was bemused and disappointed. From the speakers came not heavy metal or progressive rock as I liked it. I thought it to be pop music and never ventured back. That is until quite a few years later. I picked it up again and now I heard something completely different, even though the albums content obviously was the same.

By the early 80's music had changed. Progressive rock as it sounded in the 70's had almost all but disappeared. The old giants tried their best at adapting to the new musical climate and sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Saga was new to the game as the new decade dawned upon us all. They took their progressive leanings and molded their own brand of pop infused prog. In that way they tried to create something that would prove viable in the new decade, if they got lucky.

Now, in hindsight, I think they did a pretty good job at doing that. It certainly isn't the new King Crimson or Yes but it is something else. A sort of easily digested pop-rock concoction with clear and entizing prog elements. The songs are concise, the longest being "Images (chapter one)" at 6.29 minutes, most of them land at 4-ish minutes, but filled with some nice synths and cold, screaming electric guitar. It's all very 80's sounding, which is not surprising. It has some new wave-ish, art-rock-ish vibes amidst the pop-rock which is nice.

The album opens with "It's time (chapter three)" which sounds sort of proggy and it sets the tone quite well. It is a pomp rock celebration, not unlike Styx around the same time. The prog light sound of the song is alluring and I like it alot. It's a great statement. After that it rolls along, mixing pop and prog into a radiofriendly typical for the time brew. Not bad at all.

The longest track, "Images (chapter one)" opens up with some nice, harmonious keyboard and guitar. At heart it is a progressively embellished ballad that could be described as a semi-symphonic piece. To me it's one of the moments on the album that really shows their progressive roots. The best track, though, is the last one: "Mouse in a maze". This is serious 80's prog with lovely keyboards, sort of staccato instrumentation and a vocal melody that is wonderful. I love this track and think it's well worth the wait of the first seven tracks. It is a cold, fullbodied, spacey and utterly lovely track. The complexity is at it's peak here but don't expect anything totally avant garde. It's still easily digested.

My review won't really add anything new. This is a three star album with it's good parts and some less interesting bits. Still it is a very enjoyable album and sometimes that is quite enough. If you like 80's prog or want to see where prog went after the 70's I think this is quite a good album to listen to. Especially since Saga was a new band back then, not having lived through the past decade and now feverishly tried to forge their former sound into something new. This is a new band forming their sound in what was to be their decade. Saga fared reasonably well throughout the 80's and released several albums and are still around. By now dinosaurs in the same way Yes and Genesis were in 1981. Still, I love dinosaurs and I love that cover.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |


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