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Sandrose - Sandrose CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 110 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This is not the sort of album that causes the jaw to drop on first listen, or even one that goes through that heavy rotation in the first few weeks of acquisition. In fact, until recently I thought I had at least provided a review for said disk in the 3 odd years of ownership. But it quietly slid to the back shelf only to be resurrected as a result of a relative flurry of recent reviews.

This is a fine symphonic progressive album from a pretty early period for the genre. The combination of celestial mellotron, expressive lead guitar and edgy feminine vocals brings to mind EARTH AND FIRE, but Rose does not curb her enthusiasm to nearly the same degree as Jenny Kaagmen. I wonder how different the album would have been had BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST not released "Once Again" a year prior, as the keening lead guitar/tron attack more than suggests John Lees and Woolly Wolstenholme. But SANDROSE is more adventurous and seemingly more musically versed. While it is not terribly intricate, this release might nonetheless appeal to fans across the prog spectrum, even those who like complex prog.

Influences dispensed with, it must be stated that Sandrose appears to have exacted their own influence on later French bands, in particular TAI PHONG, who borrowed a particular style of suddenly quieting the music in the middle of a vocal section, and the much later ECLAT for the reined in theatrical aspects.

Apart from a few weaker shorter tracks, this is all good especially the "Underground Session" , "Old Dom is Dead", and "To Take Him Away", highly melodic and gently improvised symphonic rock with richly layered guitars and electronic keyboards, and a colourfully dramatic side.

While not a classic, SANDROSE's self titled album deserved to be the beginning of a notable career rather than a one-off. Thankfully it remains a sought after relic with more than mere historic value. 3.5 stars.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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