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Galadriel - Chasing the Dragonfly CD (album) cover

CHASING THE DRAGONFLY

Galadriel

 

Neo-Prog

2.89 | 24 ratings

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Gerinski
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Strange album, I have owned it for 18 years now and I still hesitate to make a statement if it's good or not.

Galadriel's debut "Muttered promises from an ageless pond" was retro-symphonic, evoquing the soft side of early Genesis and Yes, but it was immature and very poorly recorded. After that the band lost several members most notably keyboardist David Aladro and guitarist Manolo Macia whom I believe were the most competent in terms of musicianship and responsible for that Hackett-Genesis & Yes feel. Consequently the style here is completely different: the skilled-fingers playing leaves room to more quiet and atmospheric playing, and the band brings in a lot of guest musicians for the solos and other complex parts, suggesting that they lacked the competence themselves. The only linking thread with the debut is the distinctive voice of Jesus Filardi, who if we are critical we may say that he continues to sound a bit as a Jon Anderson wannabe. The problem is that his singing style is so calm and lazy that he seems to slow down the music themes themselves. Someone said that it's as if "he's trying to make us all fall asleep" and while this is obviously an exageration, I get the point.

On the positive side, the production is very good with great attention to details, and the music does not fall into the easy trap of cliché neo-prog or other relatively easy styles. The music is a strange and quite original mix of classic prog, neo-prog, world music, new age and eclectic. The total result is maybe closer to Eclectic than to what we understand as Neo.

"Senshi" starts very softly but picks up some tempo blending pop-neo-prog-new-age in a style similar to some modern Yes, in the middle it has a guitar solo sounding like Pat Metheny and some spanish guitar and cajon.

"Passport to Tora" is a short instrumental, basically a guitar solo on a bed of supporting instruments, a bit Hackett-like. Simple but pleasant.

"Alveo" is a bolero. I'm not very fond of boleros but it's a sort of musical curiosity and it has some nice moments.

"Under a full-coloured sky" is more world music, with sitar, melodic percussion and spanish guitar.

"Merciless tides" is a very curious track, difficult to describe with some odd beats and key changes and a soft middle section. Quite interesting from a musical point of view, unusual and eclectic.

"The gray stones of Escalia" is the suite, clocking at nearly 19 min, but it fails to deliver. It starts interestingly and intriguingly, immersing us in a slow epic pilgrimage accompanied by very good vocals, but it takes very long to reach anywhere, instead of picking up to some clear point it keeps lingering in soft world music lazy moods. It's not until over 9 min that it gets some energy but then it's in the form of an unconvincing pop-rock section. It softens again to a nice promising soft bridge section, only to end up again in a disappointing finale borrowed from standard Neo-Prog motives.

Not bad but not good enough. I have no problem at all with soft calm music, but when music does not have energy it should supplement it by feeling and emotion, or by sheer musicianship skills, and this album does not have enough of any. Interesting enough not to deserve 2 stars but not more for my taste, although more eclectic minds than mine may appreciate it more.

Gerinski | 3/5 |

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