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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2167 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The excesses of Tales From Topographic Oceans was a step too far into self indulgency for even Rick Wakeman and he jumped ship, but returning one album later for Going For The One. In his place is Swiss keyboard wizard Patrick Moraz. Whether it was some new blood or wanting to let off steam after Tales... I don't know but on Relayer Yes play with incredible fire producing some of their most powerful material ever.

Perhaps after the lukewarm reception Tales.. received Relayer takes a step back to the format of their highly regarded masterpiece Close To The Edge and comprises of three tracks. One sidelong epic (on the vinyl version) and two shorter but still substantial pieces on side 2.

The Gates Of Delirium is an incredible 23 minutes. A roller coaster ride of a track, which covers the ground between incendiary instrumental workouts and sublime beauty. After the early vocal passage the tracks builds into a battle section with one of the bands longest and most stunning instrumental breaks. Moraz and guitarist Steve Howe trade licks in wild abandon as Alan White and Chris Squire underpin it all with a driving 3/4 rhythm with some particularly impressive bass work from Squire. As a total contrast to the dense and chaotic battle section Soon is Yes at their most sublime with a lovely vocal from Jon Anderson.

If the instrumental interplay of the first piece wasn't noisy enough for you then Sound Chaser should nicely do the trick. Yes venture into jazz territory on this brutal track. Howe plays at his most ferocious with jagged and angular riffs as if he really has something to prove as he plays with incredible speed. It also features some of White's best drumming ever and a fantastic keyboard solo from Moraz.

As if any more of this potent musical brew might be too much for the listener To Be Over is a total contrast with its sweet melodic tones. There's still room for an excellent Howe solo however and Jon Anderson excels in the vocal department.

It's a pity that Relayer was the only Yes studio album to feature Moraz. As much as Wakeman is an integral part of the Yes sound, and most of their best work would feature him, another album of this inventive intensity would have been very welcome. No Yes collection is complete without this excellent album.

Nightfly | 4/5 |

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