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Galahad - Nothing Is Written CD (album) cover





2.44 | 90 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars "Like a time bomb, I'm primed to explode; some time in the future, depends on how heavy the load; but don't worry, it's not going to blow for a while; maybe, when a decision is reached, at the end of my internal trial..."

Nothing Is Written was Galahad's debut CD release, but they had already been around for half a decade or so at the time and recorded a cassette in the late 80's. The Fish-like vocals of Stuart Nicholson readily brings to mind early Marillion and in their early days Galahad fitted neatly into the early British Neo-Prog family with bands like Pallas, IQ and Pendragon. The present debut album hold up quite well among the early albums of these other bands but like with many of these bands it took years before they found their own direction and Galahad too had yet to find their individual style at this point. Still, the potential was clearly here and Nothing Is Written is a fine but slightly anonymous album. There are occasionally some fairly heavy riffs here, but this is not quite as hard edged as more recent Galahad albums. Rush seems to be an early influence on the band and Nicholson does indeed sound a bit like Geddy Lee on the more aggressive passages, most notably Motherland.

With the exception of the weak Evaporation and the strong closer Richelieu's Prayer, the best songs of this album come during the first half. The highlight for me, however, is the superb eight minute closer Richelieu's Prayer with its medieval-flavoured middle-sections with tasteful but all too brief Rick Wakeman-like harpsichord and church organ passages and some nice flute-like keyboards. The guitar sound often reminds me of Andy Latimer of Camel and Nicholson provides one of his strongest vocal performances on this number. It is quite unclear whether the song is about the famous French cardinal, but it is an interesting lyric nonetheless.

Aqaba (A Matter Of Going) features a lovely Far Eastern-flavoured lead guitar melody that brings to mind the Arabian dessert, the chorus of the song is, however, a bit trite and the keyboards are very 80's sounding here. The closest to 80's Pop the band come is though on the rather silly The Automaton. Songs like Evaporation and Don't Lose Control are rather poppy ballads which probably will put many Prog fans off, but while the former falls rather flat the latter is saved by some tasteful acoustic guitar lines, an emotional vocal and a nice electric guitar solo at the end.

Overall, this is a well-made and somewhat underrated Neo-Prog album that will appeal to fans of the genre. It is worth it for Richelieu's Prayer alone! There are a couple of really good further moments here too, but the band would do better latter on.

My CD version has 12 tracks one of which is a bonus track called There Must Be A Way and with the short organ introduction Bark In D Minor leading into a song called Legacy (which is not listed here for some reason).

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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