Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3125 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

klvin
5 stars Beware, might cause Delirium....!

Now this again is my favourite, along with Close To the Edge from YES... I can't say which I like better, each has its own purpose - this for the emotional power(extatic sometimes!), speciality and contrasts, CTTE for its sheer musicality and integrity. The album's structure follows CTTE, one longer and two shorter songs. Some parts of Tales from Topographic Oceans already showed the change of Yes sound to a more rhapsodic, experimental and sometimes harsh sound. I sometimes think that the sound is even more genial than the music itself (the notes). However, we still get symphonic edged melodies with classical development.

"The Gates of Delirium" This song is like riding heaven and hell, really...! (and Earth of course, that's the first part!) It comes with a very bright opening, buzzing synth notes, chirping guitar passages and very soft drumming, a bit like sounds of nature. Sometimes it stops suddenly and from this stop emerges the Main Theme of the song, a strange rhytmic chant. I thought that the first vocal parts are not memorable, but this is mainly an instrumental song I think, completed with some lyrics (about war and peace). The very good chords, tricky bass lines and Moog-passages take the course of the song, and in the chorus a banjo-like guitar tremolo. As second theme appears a powerful, heroic guitar melody which goes through some sequences (classical development!) After the returning of the first theme, they bring the song to climax, and the middle part begins, entirely instrumental. This is in double tempo (3/4 to 6/8 to be precise) with overwhelming power, many time changes, fighting themes between guitar and piano and crazy sound effects. After a while the melodies disappear and there are the agressive chords with extreme noises... This second climax leads to an extatic part, like a celebration after a won battle, I think this is what they wanted to symbolise... The harsh music goes further and further, finally decreases as if it disappeared in the distance... I like very much as it flows afar. Of course after war there is peace. After a brief silence, a slow guitar theme appears in a (somewhat reverbed) solo, it's like from Heaven. Soon... oh soon the vocals start, a flowing music as it has almost no bass and drums! The march theme reappears in a very calm, transcendent manner. To make it even better we have a good cadence of 9 chords at the end... like a romantic film it ends, no? What could this be? A miracle...?

"Sound Chaser" This is not a serious song like the former! In fact, very crazy and modern, you feel at the first dissonant passages of glockenspiel, replied by heavy drumming and guitar chords. This song is again very instrumental, only a few verses are with a melody resembling The Court Of The Crimson King, but with a churming instrumental with repetitive guitar and lush keyboards. It contains a long guitar cadenza, seems like half-improvised, with few bass and organ notes. Sometimes very sour and dramatic. The verse after brings a moment of peace in the song, and then the reprise, now the vocals replaced by the ferocious "Cha-cha-cha!" rhythmic chanting (very strange time signatures!) And the keyboardist gives a jazz-influenced moog solo at the end. Very powerful, tumultuous ending.

"To Be Over" is the last song, a bit melancholic one, the too many repetitions make it less good than the first two ones, but still what a beautiful fragile melody... Just keyboard and guitar, a slow intro of deep melancholy, followed by relaxed vocal parts, with drums joining. The guitar takes up a faster tempo, but still dreamy and relaxed. The second part is more powerful and symphonic, and joined by one of my favourite keyboard solos of Yes, and then the return of the first melody, now a powerful reworking with guitar octaves and vocal chanting. This repeats many times, they could have made a better fade-out.

Yes. One of the most recommended albums, extraordinary if I can say... Please enjoy and do NOT overlisten, to keep fresh for yourself this special recording!!!

klvin | 5/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this YES review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.