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Grey Lady Down - Forces CD (album) cover


Grey Lady Down



3.16 | 38 ratings

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3 stars For those of you who like neo prog music, this band might be considered in your collection. Especially, if you love PENDRAGON, this GREY LADY DOWN (GLD)'s music is very similar. Martin Wilson's voice is very close with Pendragon's guitarist and vocalist: Nick Barrett. I owned this CD since 1997 when I regularly received a direct mail from Cyclops and amazed with the fact that prog was still alive - looking at the list of band names in Cyclops catalogue. Sinkadus, Land's End, Citizen Cain, Flamborough Head, Mostly Autumn, etc. .. ugh man I was totally left behind with prog news in that period. Ok Ok .. let's have a look on this record.

Even though I love bands like Marillion, IQ, Arena but I never consider myself as neo prog die hard fan as I also enjoy other category of prog like Dream Theater, Pain of Salavation etc of The Flower Kings etc or even Return To Forever or Hatfield and The North. For me, almost all kind of prog I can enjoy it. As for this GLD, I set my mood into totally a neo prog mood, and this is my view about this album .

"Paradise Lost" is a good track with heavy emphasis on keyboard work with some guitar solo, performed in an upbeat tempo. "The Nail" is in the similar vein with the opening track, performed in upbeat tempo. There is some exploration of drumming and percussion in the middle of the track. The keyboard work is stunning.

"Battlefields Of Counterpane" starts like a fanfare with a trumpet sound and some female narration - it's basically picturing a war situation, I guess. The music flows nicely in mellow style with good voice line. The music turns louder in the middle of the track with symphonic keyboard at background and it turns into keyboard solo augmented with guitar work. It's an excellent part. For my personal taste, the integrity of this track is erupted when vocal returns back on track. It does not sound natural to me.

"Without A Trace" is a good composition song performed in an upbeat tempo, exploring the guitar work at the background of singing passage with stunning keyboard sound in symphonic style. There are some tempo changes as well as transition into quieter passages. Those who love neo prog would really enjoy the guitar and keyboard works here.

"The Cold Stage" starts mellow with nice violin and guitar fills followed with voice line. It's a melodic opening, augmented with soft piano work. Unfortunately, when the drum enters the music, it sounds like a pop stuff even though the guitar fills nicely at background. Keyboard plays excellently in symphonic style and it turns to piano when it accompanies lead vocal's singing passage. Structure-wise, this track was composed in a way that the music flows gradually from a very slow opening and moves up into a higher register notes followed with a faster tempo music. The combination of keyboard and guitar sounds is good and enjoyable.

"I Believe" is an upbeat tempo music that starts off with a combination of guitar and keyboard work. Keyboard then take the lead in the rhythm section, augmented with guitar. This track has a very nice keyboard and guitar work at the ending part. Stunning!

"The Flyer" is the band's truly epic in this album. It's funny that I start liking this song when I listened to the live album "The Time of Our Lives" that I owned at the same time with this CD. Overall, it's a very enjoyable track that explores and pushes the music forward in nice melody, performed theatrically - backed with symphonic keyboard and 70s guitar fills. It's typical neo prog music, basically. The guitar solo is really excellent. The music flows into a faster tempo exploring guitar solo augmented with keyboard sound. [Effectively this song takes 13:06 minutes duration but I don't know for some reason there is another 13 minutes leftover that is filled with approx 5 minutes silent and it is then continued with studio out take of unfinished material. Is it intentionally? If yes, it's a lousy concept, I think. But if it's an accident - it's a very poor quality control. In any case, it's a bad thing.]

Overall it is a good album with good keyboard and guitar. Unfortunately, it lacks variation on drumming part and also on mixing. Overall rating is 3 out of 5 stars. - Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

Gatot | 3/5 |


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