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Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond CD (album) cover


Captain Beyond


Heavy Prog

4.02 | 235 ratings

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4 stars Captain Beyond is a low-key supergroup that somehow never managed to garner the acclaim it deserved. You'd think with members from Deep Purple (lead singer Rod Evans), Iron Butterfly (guitarist Rhino Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman) and the Johnny Winter Band (drummer Bobby Caldwell), Captain Beyond would be a household name, but it's rare to find anyone who's heard of the group. What is truly galling about Captain Beyond's anonymity is that this debut album is a blistering, throughly enjoyable work.

Personally I think the problem is packaging myself. This album came out in 1972 during the Golden Age of Prog, and I'm certain that if Captain Beyond had presented its 13 slices of music (which frequently segue into one another) in the form of three lengthy, multi-part epics then this album would have been gobbled up by the then-voluminous prog-rock crowd.

Initially the music here (for which drummer Caldwell was almost solely responsible) will probably seem a little simple to most prog fans. There are lots of heavy bluesy guitar riffs (Raging River Of Fear even sounds like Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child (Slight Escape)) and no electronic keyboards, flute or strings whatsoever. Despite that, an attentive listen to the whole album will reveal hidden treasures.

Firstly there is Evans' cool, fantasy-based lyrical imagery that starts with Dancing Madly Backwards and continues through Mesmerization Eclipse onto Thousand Days Of Yesterdays and concludes with the interlaced I Can't Feel Nothin'/As the Moon Speaks tracks. Even more important is that fact that Caldwell and co create a really wide range of sounds and styles despite the seemingly limited weapons at their disposal. While much of the music may be high-octane rock, there are lush acoustic moments, off-kilter spacey explorations, jazzy interludes and the like ... and I'm just talking about the 9 minutes that make up Thousands Days Of Yesterday (Intro)/Frozen Over/Thousand Days Of Yesterdays (Time Since Come And Gone)!

It's hard to point to a single oustanding musician in Captain Beyond, but their collective sound is really quite refreshing. If you're a fan of creative hard rock music, and don't come to this album expecting a complex masterpiece, you will find this to be one of those lost gems that slipped through the cracks. ... 76% on MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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