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Quasar - Fire In The Sky CD (album) cover





3.31 | 33 ratings

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5 stars While most progheads are aware of the New Wave of British Progressive Rock through bands like Marillion,Pallas,IQ and Pendragon,there were some ''smaller'' bands earlier to set the seeds of the movement's explosion like Chemical Alice,Twelfth Night,Tamarisk and the presented QUASAR.The band was founded in 1979 in London by bassist/guitarist Keith Turner and singer Mike Kenwright and the first line-up included also drummer Steve Clarke, guitarist John Clark and keyboardist Geoff Banks.Very soon Turner found himself alone on board and a fresh line-up was establuished featuring Cyrus Khajavi on guitars,Steen Doosing on drums, Peter Shade on keys and Paul Vigrass on vocals.This personel recorded the band's debut ''Fire in the sky'' in 1981,released on Q Records and re-issued on CD in 1989 with the presented cover ((the original vinyl release had a different one).

STYLE: ''Fire in the sky'' is one of the best examples of the emerging British Neo Prog sound,balancing dangerously between the raw and the romantic.Highly symphonic and often dramatic,the album is based on the refined melodies,the great breaks and the majestic synths of Peter Shade.Notice that ''Fire in the sky'' contains two grand suites clocking at 13 and 17 minutes respectively.''Mission 14'' is a grandiose 13-min. epic featuring all of the above elements and one of the best compositions to be heard in the whole Neo Prog scene.Extremely lyrical,the track lies somewhere between synth-led complex prog and smooth Symphonic Rock with Vigrass delivering an excellent performance,supported by the pounding rhythm section and the sharp synths,often flirting with electronic sounds in a majestic soundscape.A must to listen!On the 17-min. ''UFO'' the band reaches a more accesible face,though this track is also very intricate and challenging.Again the track is filled with synth effects and keyboard solos,but this time in a smoother way.Lots of soft symphonic textures with intense lyrical moments,atmospheric keys and even some acoustic passages.Vigrass sounds even better that on the first track.Another example of the band's talent and a big slap against the commercial music of the days.

SOUNDS/INFLUENCES: Mid-70's GENESIS seems to be the band's main influence along withe classicism of THE ENID and the electronic soundscapes of VANGELIS,but anyone who have heard even touches of early PALLAS knows what to expect.

PLUS: A trully gifted vocalist who knows when to be aggressive and when to sing calmly. Fantastic keyboard work,among the best to be heard from the scene,with influences from classical,progressive and electronic music.A very tight and raw rhythm section.An extremely talented band,a fact taped in the amazingly well-crafted and arranged long compositions.One of the rare efforts not to be spoiled by the mediocrity of the production.

MINUS: Not much of guitar sounds around.

WILL APPEAL TO:...Fans of the early neo sound:this is a masterpiece for you!An excellent addition also for fans of Classic Symphonic Prog and even lovers of Electronic Music.

CONCLUSION: Seems that the early-80's ''dead'' prog scene has yet much to offer.QUASAR and their debut belong definitely among those lost pearls of underground Progressive Rock music,which deserve a better chance.Extremely highly recommended,this effort belongs to the monumental archives of early 80's prog...5 stars.

apps79 | 5/5 |


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