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Morgan - Nova Solis CD (album) cover

NOVA SOLIS

Morgan

 

Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 31 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Doctor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I purchased this album primarily because I wanted to see what Tim Staffel got up to after leaving Smile. As a big Smile fan (as big a fan as one can be for a group that released only 6 songs clocking in for a total of less than 30 minutes), I had hoped for a bit of that Smile sound in this album. I wasn't quite sure what to expect of keyboardist Fisher, as I knew he would later go on to Mott the Hoople, and although a fan of that band, I wasn't sure how much in terms of "chops" the guy had. I was disappointed on neither account.

The vocal portions are quite reminiscent of the Smile/early Queen sound, especially on the Staffel penned "Alone" and on the chorus of "War Games" and of course on the old Smile tune "Earth" which made its way into the middle of the epic "Nova Solis". As others have said, the instrumental work reminds me a lot of ELP, that is bombastic, pretentious and a whole lot of fun. Fisher tackles the keys as ably as Emerson, and the bassist and drummer (Robert Sapsed and Mo Bacon respectively) are more than capable of keeping up and providing some over the top playing to go along with the over the top keyboard work of Fisher.

The epic "Nova Solis" is actually three songs, "Floating", the previously mentioned "Earth" and "May I Remember" connected with interwoven instrumental passages composed by Fisher (think Tarkus here). "Alone" is more of an accoustic song and definitely reminds of Smile, and a bit of the more accoustic ELP style. "War Games" has a bouncy, rhythmic piano during the verses, and the choruses are definitely Smile or early Queen in their sound. The opening track, "Samarkhand the Golden" kicks things off with ample amounts of pomp. This is an easy 4-star album, a great edition to anyone's prog collection. If you are a fan of Smile or early-Queen and ELP, add a star, as this is essential listening.

The Doctor | 4/5 |

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