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RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2058 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Yes: Relayer [1974]

Rating: 9/10

Relayer is yet another masterwork from Yes's classic period. Rick Wakeman was displeased with the controversial Tales from Topographic Oceans, and he left the band after its release. Yes did not let this phase them; they recruited Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz and created yet another opus. Relayer is a rather dense album, and is generally more serious in tone than other Yes albums. Some of the band's most complex and intense moments can be found here.

"The Gates of Delirium", the album's side-long epic, is a piece about the horrors of war. It's structured into three main sections. The first represents growing conflict; Anderson strays far away from his normal positivity here with lyrics such as "Burn their children's laughter on to hell." The middle section is a chaotic and intense instrumental passage that illustrates the battle. Unorthodox percussion is used here to mimic the sounds of swords clashing together. The final movement of the song deals with the aftermath of battle; this is probably Yes's most somber moment. Anderson sounds amazing here. "Sound Chaser" is a sprawling jazzy song that contains some absolutely stunning bass work from Squire. The only part of this track that isn't spellbindingly energetic is the Mellotron-laden middle section, which contains one of Howe's most creative guitar solos. This is one of Yes's most fascinating and experimental compositions. "To Be Over" is similar in mood to "The Remembering" from TfTO. It's a light-sounding song with more Mellotron and a fantastic conclusion.

Relayer is another essential album from Yes. This is the last pure masterpiece from the band, but certainly not their last great album. Relayer certainly isn't a good place to start if one isn't already familiar with Yes's music, as it deviates from many of the band's normal characteristics. However, this deviation is not of the elements that makes this album so enthralling and memorable. This is an essential landmark recording.

Anthony H. | 5/5 |

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