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Andromeda - Andromeda CD (album) cover

ANDROMEDA

Andromeda

 

Proto-Prog

3.73 | 55 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars This long-forgotten British album treasure from the late 1960's era has experienced something of a a revival with the advent of the Internet. The original vinyl album was released in 1969 and a new Definitive Collection 2-CD set was released in the year 2000, containing a wealth of bonus tracks. The album straddles the transitional period from Psychedelic Rock to Progressive Rock and this can be heard on the album with significant elements of both genres of music very much in evidence. The line-up features John Du Cann on vocals who later went on to achieve success with Atomic Rooster. The highlights of the album are the three epic 3-part songs, running at roughly 8 minutes long. The three lengthy epics feature beautifully melodious renditions of well-known classical favourites, cleverly combined with heavy solid rock to make a truly unforgettable rock album as a whole. Andromeda should appeal equally to fans of Psychedelic Rock and Proto-Prog.

The album opener "Too Old" is a real rocker featuring powerful ascending guitar arpeggios in the opening chords which really grab the attention and serve as a perfect opening to a superb album. There's an interesting change of pace nearly two minutes into the song when John Du Cann's impressive vocals kick-in. The vocals, heavy guitar riffs, throbbing bass and pounding drums combine together to make a very memorable and impressive song. "The Sea of Change" is the second song on the album, featuring a steadier pace with some very pleasant guitar riffs and soaring vocals. There's a powerful guitar and drum break halfway through the song, before returning to a steadier tempo for the conclusion. Track 3 "Now the Sun Shines" is a beautifully melodic and laid-back song with richly-warm uplifting vocals from John Du Cann, which makes a very pleasant interlude and nicely compliments the previous two heavier songs. Next up is "Turns To Dust", a hard-rocking number and the first of the 3-part epic songs. The song features a very appealing change of pace to a gentler tempo in the second section, before launching into some really heavy guitar riffs and fast-paced drumming to round off a memorably epic number. Track 5 "Return To Sanity" opens with the very familiar and powerful sound of Gustav Holst's "Mars" from The Planets Suite. This awesome opening to the second epic 8-minute song is a real highlight of the album. The song feature some wonderfully freaky psychedelic guitar riffs, combined with a solid rhythm section. There are dramatic changes of pace throughout the song which adds to the appeal. Track 6 "The Reason" is a traditional rocker with skilful changes of tempo to maintain the listener's interest, followed by "I Can Stop the Song" which represents another change of pace with some gentle guitar playing and warm and pleasant vocal harmonies. Track 8 "When To Stop" is the third of the 3-part epic songs on the album. The song opens in traditional style with some hard-rocking guitar and drumming, before taking a surprising change of direction midway through the song with a beautifully-played rendition of Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto, a deeply emotional and uplifting piece of music which sends the spirits soaring. Track 9 on the album "Go Your Way" is an out-and-out rocker and Track 10 "Keep Out 'Cos I'm Dying" has a slower more bluesy feel to it with a dramatic change of tempo partway through the song. This is followed by the "The Garden of Happiness", a song which continues in similar style with some wild psychedelic guitar licks and impressive drumming. Another album highlight is the next song, "Return To Exodus", an uptempo and powerful guitar-driven version of the classic theme from Exodus. The final song "Journey's End" rounds off the album perfectly with a reprise of the stunningly beautiful version of "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto" which affirms the fully-deserving five star status of this outstanding album.

A superb album which never fails to maintain the interest with the constant changes of pace and dramatic intensity, and combined with the memorable classical favourites, this is a very fine and memorable example of British Psychedelic Rock and Proto-Prog at its best!

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |

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