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Bram Stoker - Heavy Rock Spectacular [Aka: Schizo-Poltergeist] CD (album) cover


Bram Stoker


Prog Related

3.83 | 58 ratings

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4 stars The obvious reference points are ELP and the Nice, with a bit of Deep Purple heavyness and Atomic Rooster/Black Sabbath demonic doom thrown in.

As befits a band with their enigmatic name and style not much is known about them. A bit of Googling found that the T Bronsdon credited with the material and excellent keyboards is Tony Bronsdon, and that the band originated from the south coast of England (Bournemouth area). The other members are listed as Pete Ballam - guitars and vocals, Bob Haines - drums and percussion, Jon Bavin - bass and vocals.

The album is often presumed to have been a session man cash-in effort to capitalise on the early 70s prog boom. The fact that it was issued on the cut price Windmill imprint owned by those well known purveyors of prog Woolworths probably contributed to this belief. They never got signed to a major label which is a great shame as they certainly show lots of talent and potential here.

The stand out tracks for me include 'Blitz' which tells the haunting story of a man whose wife dies in a World War Two bombing raid.

'Poltergeist' is also excellent, again managing to conjure up an extremely doomy and oppressive atmosphere.

'Extensive Corrosion' (maybe Mr Bronsdon's car was playing up that week) has a great middle section with a combined piano/organ riff followed by some blazing Hammond soloing that Emerson at his peak would have been proud of.

'Fingal's Cave' is a lengthy classical adaptatation which, while not exactly an adventurous choice, is very well done.

The album does not cover ground that other bands hadn't already, but it's never less than well-performed and imaginatively played. The main reason to get it is the keyboard work, which is of a very high standard throughout.

| 4/5 |


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