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FLASH

Flash

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 80 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is an album clearly made in the shadow of that great progressive rock band Yes. However, unlike Starcastle and other such followers, Flash have a genuine excuse. The band was founded by Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, both of whom were unceremoniously ditched by Yes despite also being founder members of that esteemed group. While it's hard to dispute the fact that both Banks and Kaye were replaced by superior musicians (Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman respectively), neither deserved to be treated with such disrespect, and this album is an excellent riposte to their critics.

Flash preserves that sound of 60s Yes which somewhat ironically reached its zenith on 1971's The Yes Album. Small Beginnings in particular is an epic track which could have slipped quite comfortably onto that masterful album. It has all the hallmarks, with storming riffs (with some of Banks's best ever playing), an inventive rhythm section (bassist Ray Bennett and drummer Mike Hough), and even a nice organ solo from Kaye, while vocalist Colin Carter sounds very much like Yes frontman Jon Anderson.

The two other epics Children of The Universe and Dreams Of Heavens aren't quite as consistent but both have moments of great power. I love the break that occurs halfway through Children Of The Universe which leads into a Moog solo, with Banks then reasserting his general dominance of proceedings. Dreams Of Heaven is a piece that begins with some solo classical guitar by Banks before the whole band comes stomping through with a rhythm that screams Roundabout rip-off, but once again, around the 5 minute mark there are some excellent solo exchanges, with a breathtaking jazz solo from Banks a real highlight. The outro of this piece is also scintillating with Bennett and Hough propelled Banks to new heights.

The two shorter pieces are quite different in style from the storming epics. Morning Haze is a laid-back acoustic jam, with Banks playing some beautiful acoustic guitar, strong vocal harmonies too, while The Time It Takes is a moody, atmospheric ballad full of volume swells, guitar and keyboard washes and the sound of waves hitting the shore. It works surprisingly well as the album closer.

I would recommend this strongly to any prog fan in general, and deem it absolutely essential for those who enjoyed the first three Yes albums. ... 78% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |

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