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Gerard - Save Knight By The Night CD (album) cover





3.14 | 11 ratings

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3 stars This 4th album of Gerard (here presented as "Toshio Egawa's Gerard") brings much different line-up compared to previous and next releases of the band (bassist Hasegawa Atsushi from future line-up & Fujimura Yukihiro from the past one, but here only on vocal duties + new drummer, guitarist & additional female voices). However it's not as good as later - "power trio"+vocalist reincarnation - it's still enjoyable effort.

1. "Into The Dark" - first composition is an instrumental track which begin with some soft digital piano notes and synth background but very fast changes into powerful tune with constant swirling organ (which became a trademark of Egawa), synthesizer flights and stomping drums. New guitarist Sawamura Taku also provide some brief solo near the end. Very good beginning.

2. "Evidence Of True Love" - first version of "Evidence Of True Love" - which was later re-recorded in 1997 and released on EP called "Evidence Of True Love" - is as good as their later version with Robert G. Suchy on vocals, however Fujimura Yukihiro's English isn't as good and that's why lyrics are sometimes difficult to understand. But never-mind, who listen to Gerard because of good vocals anyway?! The most important are of course keyboard sounds created on Egawa's huge keyboards instruments ring! And after softer vocal part, Toshio presents us long, bombastic synthesizers soling witch we always expect from him.

3. "For Piano" - it's exactly what title suggest: 5 minutes of beautiful piano compositions (with some eerie synths in the background), where Toshio proves his fantastic skills even in so soft composition like this one.

4. "Don't Leave Me Now" - the shortest track on the album is more in the pop-rock vain. It's generally vocal-laden (Japanese lyrics this time) song with some very nice electric guitar solo. However Hammond organ - evoking classic, 70s staff - throughout the whole song is the best element here.

5. "The Memorable Melody Of The Song" - very soft ballad based on acoustic piano and mellow synthesizer sounds. Vocals are mixed here, both Japanese and English.The biggest problem of this song is that melody of it, isn't as memorable as title says... For sure the weakest track on this album...

6. "Trio" - ...but followed by the best one! "Trio" is a fantastic instrumental composition which was some kind of preparation for future power-trio formula of Gerard. It begin rather calm but when the huge organ sound arrives you know that you're in ELP fans heaven. Hammond organ solo with all of these crazy sounds and shimmering effects in the middle is truly great.

7. "Save Knight By The Night" - final composition is mostly very calm instrumental. First half is based on soft acoustic guitar tones but later fanfare-like keyboards are building more symphonic atmosphere. Near the end acoustic guitar "strikes back". No drums at all here. Not so good closing of the album if you want to know my personal opinion...

In general it's better to start your "adventure" with Gerard from their later, ELP-ish releases or first two neo-prog albums. However if you like more laid-back atmosphere and softer approach this album can be a very enjoyable experience for you (just like their previous one called "Irony of Fate"). And even if you like constant attack of bombastic organ/synths, you will also find something for yourself (especially tracks "Into The Dark" and "Trio"). To sum up: 3,5 stars from me.

ozzy_tom | 3/5 |


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