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Julian's Treatment - A Time Before This CD (album) cover


Julian's Treatment


Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 61 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars JULIAN's TREATMENT were a British band led by Julian Jay Savarin, a West Indian sci-fi writer and keyboard player born on the small island of Dominica. He moved to London in the early 1960's and formed a band, and the group recorded their first album "A Time Before This" in 1970. The twelve songs on the album were listed as chapters in the form of a sci-fi novel. The second album, "Waiters on the Dance" (1971) was credited to Julian Jay Savarin alone. Both albums were science fiction concept albums and the original LP albums have since become rare collectors items that are said to fetch incredibly high prices. Let's travel back in time now to the sound of "A Time Before This".

The "First Chapter: First Prophecy - First Oracle" opens forbiddingly to the haunting ethereal sound of Savarin's solo organ. The music has a very dark and doom-laden atmosphere with vocalist Cathy Pruden announcing ominously:- "Out of the cinnamon sky a face appears, Out of the tamarind byre, come darkest fears and the first prophecies." ..... The portentous doom and gloom ambience sounds very foreboding and it's enough to send a shiver up the spine and give you a touch of the heebie-jeebies, a bit like a well-known Bee Gees tribute band. The "Second Chapter: The Coming Of The Mule" is magnificent. Watch out though, because this is an angry mule with attitude! It's a vibrant keyboard piece featuring some outstandingly powerful guitar outbursts which kick like a recalcitrant mule. This incredible music picks up in pace midway through and thunders along to the finish-line like a runaway express train. The "Third Chapter: Phantom City" does indeed sound like a train rumbling along down the tracks at full-speed ahead. The pulsating music barrels along relentlessly with the wailing vocals of Cathy Pruden sounding like she's on some weird psychedelic acid trip. This express locomotive song is loaded with so much speed and incredible energy, you feel as if the "train" might be derailed at any moment. The "Fourth Chapter: The Black Tower" slows down the pace slightly, but there's still enough latent power and energy contained within this awesome music to illuminate a lighthouse with one million candle power. The powerful combination of Julian Jay Savarin's tremendous keyboards and Cathy Pruden's incredible vocal range are what really lifts this music into higher out-of-this-world realms. After all, this IS a science fiction themed album where the music sounds just as fantastic as the fantasy sci-fi storyline. The "Fifth Chapter: Alda, Dark Lady Of The Outer Worlds" is a magical mixed bag of tricks, featuring quiet and introspective keyboard pieces combined with wild dynamic outbursts of raw energy and power with Cathy Pruden's incredible vocals soaring right up into the stratosphere and beyond. In the words of Hawkwind, this stunning album debut represents "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music! There's a complete change of pace for "The "Sixth Chapter: Altarra, Princess Of The Blue Women", a beautifully laid-back Jazzy number with some charming honey-coated vocals from Cathy. The haunting other-worldly music sounds like it could have come straight out of a 1960's sci-fi movie. This gorgeous music is simply sublime!

Side Two opens with the "Seventh Chapter: Second Prophecy - Second Oracle", a haunting piano and organ prelude with a dark foreboding atmosphere where Cathy Pruden ominously warns us again:- "Out of the cinnamon sky a face appears, Out of the tamarind byre, come no more fears." ..... Spooky! The "Eighth Chapter" is divided into two 3-minute parts:- "Part One: Twin Suns Of Centauri" and "Part Two: Alkon, Planet Of Centauri". Part One is a heavenly celestial organ piece with occasional dynamic outbursts of reverberating guitar. Part Two represents a complete contrast though, where the music suddenly bursts into life with latent energy and vigour and where Cathy's incredible vocals take us on a wild psychedelic acid trip across the universe. The "Ninth Chapter: The Terran" is a storming Jazz-Rock keyboard instrumental that thunders along at lightning speed. This is the kind of barrelling powerhouse Rock music that might inspire you to skip the light fandango, and turn cartwheels across the floor, although try not to do yourself an injury. The "Tenth Chapter: Fourth From The Sun" is obviously a reference to the planet Mars. It's another boisterous and rollickingly good Jazz-Rock number, but We all know by now there are no such things as Martians, but Cathy is convinced she's "The daughter of the fourth from the Sun" and who are we to argue? After all, this was 1970, long before probes landed on the surface of Mars and proved beyond reasonable doubt that we weren't going to have a War of the Worlds-style Martian invasion any time soon. The "Eleventh Chapter: Strange Things" takes us on a magical journey across time and space into another musical dimension. We're on a TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) ride back in time to 1970 for an explosive rabble-rousing burst of high-energy Rock & Roll. Set the controls for the heart of the Sun, because we're coming to the end of our wild intergalactic ride across the universe now with the final "Twelfth Chapter: Epilogue - A Time Before This". This nine-minute-long stellar masterpiece is an ecstatic galactic, psychedelic pleasure trip back in time of truly epic proportions. This incredible album of Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music has gone into orbit and achieved instant five-star status with this fantastic out-of-this-world conclusion.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, came an album of such awesome brilliance, it shone like an exploding supernova. "A Time Before This" IS that album!

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |


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