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Quasar - Fire In The Sky CD (album) cover

FIRE IN THE SKY

Quasar

 

Neo-Prog

3.25 | 21 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Unidentified flying object

Quasar was formed in the late 70's and even if they to date only have two studio albums in their discography, they have apparently endured as many line-up changes as some of the most prolific and famous Prog bands! Indeed, band leader Keith Turner is the only member who is present on both of their albums. Fire In The Sky was Quasar's debut album and in a way this can perhaps be regarded as Proto-Neo-Prog. However, there is little indicating the release date of 1982. This sounds more like second-division classic Prog; this could have come out of the mid 70's, just as well. The vocals do, however, sound like they were recorded in the 60's! Overall, the album is not very well recorded and the vocals are its weakest link. The voice of singer Paul Vigrass is rather anonymous and his vocals lack power. The mood is rather mellow and the tempo is often slow with only occasional and brief instrumental outbursts. It reminds slightly of the Irish Symphonic Prog band Fruupp, particularly their later efforts, with a slightly Jazz-tinged feel to the vocals.

The album which has a running time of only 35 minutes consists of only four tracks, the shortest of which runs for only 40 seconds and the longest for 18 minutes. The latter is a four-part suite called U.F.O. and the title of the album is taken from the title of one this epic's sections. The album begins with a short keyboard-driven instrumental, a bit like how Camel started their Moonmadness album. This less than a minute long keyboard driven instrumental is actually one of the album's highlights. It has just the kind of energy and drive that the rest of the album would benefit from. This then leads into Seeing Stars (Part 1) which settles into a placid, dreamy pace. (Part 2 of Seeing Stars would later appear on the band's second album, and they were often combined in live performance). Mission 14 is another highlight. This 13 minute plus composition is the strongest of the album's vocal tracks and adopts a more symphonic sound with a stronger presence of keyboards. However, later live versions of the song are better. U.F.O. is a long, multi-part composition that in enjoyable but never truly gets off the ground.

Overall, this somewhat immature debut is by no means awful but instead rather enjoyable even if quite unremarkable and in the end underwhelming. Maybe this would be better with better vocals and production. Quasar would return some seven years later with an altogether different and much better album and then again in the 2000's with live performances and a new studio album is in progress.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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