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Fireballet - Night on Bald Mountain CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 97 ratings

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3 stars Night On Bald Mountain is the first of only two albums released by Fireballet, a prog band in the symphonic vein from the USA, but this album has more in common with the UK prog scene than the kind of bands that were coming out of America in the seventies. A five piece band, Fireballet have the benefit of two keyboard players alongside their guitar /bass/drums line up. Flute and alto sax is added by Ian Mcdonald of King Crimson fame who also produces the album, admittedly doing nothing more than an adequate job.

Five tracks in total, though a later Cd edition has the benefit of the addition of seven bonus tracks. The previously mentioned UK prog scene influence is noticeable in the Yes and in particular Genesis influences. Listen to Atmospheres twelve string guitar arpeggios and flute for a strong pastoral Genesis feel in particular. The first four shorter songs, although Les Cathedrales does reach the eleven minute mark are all worthy additions with lots pleasing instrumental interplay, particular in the duel keyboard team of Bryan Howe and Frank Petto who should please vintage Hammond, Moog and Mellotron lovers. It has to be said that the vocals are not the bands strongest point though.

Les Cathedrales makes a fine opener which after an atmospheric start turns into something that sounds a bit like Theme one by Van Der Graaf Generator in places, that is until it develops a bit of a reggae theme, thankfully short lived. It's a song of many twists and turns with some nice light and shade touches.

The undoubted album highlight though is easily the title track. At almost nineteen minutes long it's a relatively undiscovered epic and prog gem. Though there's more bombastic moments it works particularly well in the quieter parts where ethereal beauty are the keywords. Some of the backing vocals bear more than a passing resemblance to Uriah Heep and Mcdonald adds some sax flourishes. Once again though it's the keyboard work that makes it such a strong piece, with some particularly enjoyable and powerful pipe organ and Hackett-esque guitar work.

This Cd will no doubt be very hard to find these days but despite not being an outright classic lovers of seventies symphonic prog will find much to enjoy here and would be advised to grab it sharpish if lucky enough to come across a copy.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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