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Return To Forever - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy CD (album) cover

HYMN OF THE SEVENTH GALAXY

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 214 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Return to Forever - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973)

I'm going to be a bit of a party-pooper here, but I just can't write much positive about this acclaimed masterpiece of fusion-core. I've tried to listen to this once and a while, but every-time I had put the record on it ended in disappointment (or others asking if I can put it of).

Return to Forever is a super-group with leading figure Chick Corea on keys, Stanley Clarke on bass, Lenny White on the kit and Bill Conners on guitars. All are highly technical fusion musicians.

Now, the music itself is actually quite horrible (to my ears). Being professional is about playing tight and knowing which sounds are appropriate at any given moment. RtF sounds extremely busy, misguided, on speed and amateurish at the same time. That 'tight playing', something every-one seems to refer to, is nowhere to be found. There are many good melodic passages but there's always an element to ruin it; an ugly played or over-distorted guitar, bad mixing, chaotic speed, unlikable atmosphere/sound or lack of direction. Now, I know this record was recorded in 1973, but still it's sound is unacceptable for my (relatively) forgiving ears.

Perhaps this record was the first of it kind, heavy rock based jazz-rock on high speed. This itself is an achievement. Furthermore there are good passages on this album, but then again; every track has moments that totally ruins it. Annoying moments.

Conclusion. I think it's important to point out this is a highly technical fusion album that many like because of it's technical, heavy and fast approach on the genre. If you however like sensitive, meaningful progressive music it might be better to look elsewhere. Later on Return to Forever would record the very strong 'Romantic Warrior', an album I would highly recommend to fans of technical progressive music. For this Hymne of the Seventh Galaxy (a title that is as meaningful as the music) I can only give two stars. I have a suspicion a lot of reviewers are influenced by the authority this album is made to be.

friso | 2/5 |

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