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Big Big Train - Grand Tour CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.04 | 364 ratings

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5 stars BIG BIG TRAIN - Grand Tour (2019)

I have always said, that Big Big Train, is an unquestionable progressive rock band, permanently goes a step further in its evolution. Since its debut in 1994 and through 11 albums, it has been in constant progress; gaining in sound complexity, composition and technique. And it is absolutely proven that it is so, if one reviews the entire discography of the band. Today we have the new work here, which is the one that consumes the first dozen full Lps of study, recorded by the band. "Grand Tour", is another genius of the British. Inspired by the seventeenth and eighteenth century customs of the Grand Tour, where young men and women traveled to expand the mind; Big Big Train has made an album of songs set in distant lands. Nine tracks lead us to an epic journey by land and sea, through time and space. The journey begins with the brief introductory "Novum Organum" (it is the name of Francis Bacon's book, called "Novum Organum Scientiarum", that is, New instrument of science published in 1620); to enter a journey at full speed, to explore the world, to see the unknown and express the feeling of being alive with, "Alive", a simple and cheerful song used as advancement and dissemination. With folk air and excellent choirs, we continue with the third piece, which for me is dazzling, with the rhythmic changes typical of ProgFolk, taking as reference Leonardo Da Vinci, the visionary painter of fine techniques. This is how this musical segment develops, superbly designed by the band; She is "The Florentine". The remarkable musical moments are continued, with the mini suite, "Roman Stone", inspired by the Colosseum in Rome; fractionated into 4 bright sections. With lyrics and music by Greg Spawton. It begins with The Foundation, with outstanding arrangements of winds and strings; the first break occurs at almost 3 minutes, where the second part of the suite begins: Rise, a highly outstanding instrument. Ne Plus Ultra, the third section, of elegant calm passages, to go growing with tenuous musical intensity until another fantastic change takes place with protagonism of the wind instruments executed superbly by the Big Big Train Brass Ensamble, and here is the beginning of the second instrumental phase of this suite, the phenomenal: Fall, with a blunt work D'Virgilio, the transverse flute of David Longdon enlarged by the bronzes of the Ensamble, with a very dynamic touch to later conclude with the epilogue of Roman Stone, returning to the relaxed sound to finish with great delicacy. "Pantheon", is the fifth track of the 9 that includes the plate; instrumental brilliantly composed by the multi-faceted Nick D'Virgilio and splendidly executed by the entire band, always supported by the Brass Ensemble and the string arrangements, led by Rick Wentworth. Here Nick tries to convey the atmosphere and majesty of the powerful and extraordinary building, used almost 2000 years and is one of the most complete survivals of ancient Rome. "Theodora in Green and Gold", is a very good track, whose music was composed by D'Virgilio and Spawtom, where Rikard Sj'blom (former Beardfish) takes the lead, at the piano and shares voices with Longdon. "Ariel", is a cycle of songs from this spectacular work of BBT, with lyrics and music by David Longdon, divided into 8 remarkable units, which is related to the character Ariel, who is a spirit of William Shakespeare's Tempest. Of melancholic character in almost all its development, with some moments of greater intensity. Longdon's voice is constantly supported by the choirs. Towards the 5 minutes, a noticeable change takes place, creating a more intense atmosphere, soon to return to what is the general spirit of this part of the disc, the dramatism of its music; and I insist on the fundamental role of David Longdon. "Voyager", extraordinary long suite whose composition ran by Greg Spawton, based on travel to explore the solar system, known as Grand Tour. Here the band is manifested with some more vigorous parts, we can appreciate some solos of electric guitar, almost absent in all this work, providing a dose of more strength, if you will, to all this relaxed work of the English. Magnificent also, in all its development. We arrived at the end of the Grand Tour, with "Homesong", also written by Spawton, makes reference to that every trip comes to an end and here counts the return home, England. So maybe, this beautiful song is more like the classic compositions of the band, leaving aside, a little at least, all that anguished but wonderful music that took us through this extensive journey.

Grand Tour, is one step more in positive, for one of the brightest bands of the current progressive.

- David Longdon / lead vocals and accompaniment, flute, acoustic guitar, mandolin, , strings and metals. - Dave Gregory / guitars - Rikard Sj'blom / keyboards, guitars, accordion, choirs. - Danny Manners / keyboards, double bass - Rachel Hall / violin, viola, cello, choirs, string arrangements - Greg Spawton / bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, chorus. - Nick D'Virgilio / drums, percussion, choirs. ' -Big Big Train Brass Ensamble ' -A string arrangements led by Rick Wentworth ' - Cover art: Sara Louise Ewing ' -Graphics: Steve Vantsis For more information on this conceptual work, the album will be published with a bulky internal book, where you can find out more about this story.

dannypereznec | 5/5 |


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