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Andromeda - Andromeda CD (album) cover





3.84 | 69 ratings

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5 stars When we mention John Cann (or Du Cann) (guitars & vocals) we always mention Atomic Rooster and never Andromeda, a trio formed together with Mick Hawksworth (bass & vocals; then in the fantastic Fuzzy Duck) and Ian McClane (drums & vocals) who in 1969 (for RCA) released an album that is described as Psychedelic Progressive but which has interesting Proto Metal moments, judging with today's eyes.

The best thing to understand this album is to dive into the music. That starts with "Too Old". "Too Old" is a bloodthirsty piece ... Proto Metal and Jazz, to understand. A piece a la Jimi Hendrix (to describe it as they would have described it at the time) but with a more European air, as more elaborate and endowed with a melody that, at times, is close to a psychedelic Folk which, however, also presents a neoclassical arrangement due to the band's musical background. If Progressive Metal had existed at the time "Too Old" it would have been a worthy example of this subgenre. "Day Of The Change" is a great piece with funky bass and lysergic atmosphere, played on choir and a really engaging folk guitar. As a rhythm it is a mid tempo with almost Free Jazz accelerations that create a really interesting controlled confusion. "And Now the Sun Shines" is a psychedelic Jazz Folk that can remember certain things more Folk than Rock and demonstrates an ability to create songs with an uncommon atmosphere, especially for the arrangements of the vocal parts. Nonetheless we are faced with a truly remarkable and not at all easy piece that is very poetic and emotional. "Turn To Dust" is a suite divided into 3 parts. The first part ("Discovery") is a great emotional Hard Rock that I would put in Garage Rock. However it gradually transforms into an extraordinary Progressive Rock piece a la ELP to lead to the psychedelic "Sanctuary" which is a soft Jazz score with Folk atmospheres and a sublime (and neoclassical) guitar. Finally, "Determination" is the opposite: a psychedelic guitar solo a la Vanilla Fudge or Iron Butterly (to understand, in terms of style) which takes up, in the finale, the main riff of "Discovery". "Return To sanity" is also divided into three parts and starts with "Breakdown", a gothic march at the beginning which, however, becomes more and more colorful and airy that leads to "Hope", a long section with psychedelic elements, Jazz Folk, Blus Rock and Hard Rock / Garage metal / Proto Metal played on an emotional vocal score and changes of rhythm and non-trivial atmospheres, so much so that, even if it is very complicated, easily assimilated, so much so that it can easily be hummed after one or two plays. "Conclusion" is an avoidable psychedelic outro. "The Reason" is a Hendrixian piece even if more shifted towards a Hard Rock but in some moments also neoclassical and, in any case, more Folk and Jazz with the usual emotional singing which, in hindsight, I could also define Beat. "I Can't Stop The Sun" is a psychedelic folk song that can remind you of certain things from the very first David Bowie. "When To Stop" is still a three part composition. After a Hard Rock start "The Traveler" (the first part) becomes a great Psyichedelic Folk piece with quiet and melodic parts and Hard Rock accelerations. Overall it's more of a psychedelic than Progressive piece, despite being Progressive, as a genre. "Turning Point" is the umpteenth tribute to Jimi Hendrix (good guitar solo) and "Journey's End" is the long western movie finale dominated by the acoustic guitar and it is really exciting, so much so that, at least I, I wish it would never end.

After this album Andromeda disbanded when John Cann joined Atomic Rooster and Mick Hawksworth joined Fuzzy Duck, who recorded an album closer to progressive Hard Rock than Progressive. Thus ended the brief existence of one of the most brilliant bands of the period. Unfortunately.

Prog123 | 5/5 |


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