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Galahad - Battle Scars CD (album) cover





3.82 | 303 ratings

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5 stars Opening with the title track this album gets off to a majestic start. Deep rumbling bass leads into a symphonic overture and whispered, menacing vocals. You get the feel something big, bold and beautiful is coming and when the song kicks in with its bounce-along hook you certainly get that. This is a great power-opener and sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Battle Scars is a very different Galahad album ? still recognisable, but finally unleashing their true power and potential that has been so desperately bursting to get out. The production work by Karl Groom is superb ? everything is in its proper place, the levels are perfect and for an album with such a huge sound, nothing is lost in the mix.

Battle Scars powers on into Reach For The Sun ? you'll need to watch the CD player to spot the join ? a fast, power prog track with plenty of subtle Mellotron, some spikey keys and a thumping drum sound.

Singularity opens with swirling synths and very spacey percussion, moving into a solid prog beat. The chorus, when it arrives, is beautiful, Stu's vocals are on top form with wonderful haunting choral backing and a spine tingling melody ? ending with some cleverly underplayed fast guitar work from Roy.

Back to power-prog with Bitter and Twisted. With great patterns from Spence on the drums, massive guitar chords and snarling lyrics again with choral backing vocals ? there's a lot of venom in this song.

Suspended Animation is my current favourite track ? one of three written by the late, great bassist Neil Pepper who sadly died before the album was released. It's a true prog epic, loads of Hammond, intricate time-signatures, Mellotron, swirly stuff, great big bass it's got the lot!

A gentle start on Beyond the Barbed Wire doesn't stay gentle for long as it kicks into some more snarling vocals and another thumping beat. These are powerful tracks on CD, I can't wait to hear them live.

The last proper album track ? there's a bonus of Sleepers 2012 ? Seize The Day is a real surprise. Listen to the piano and vocals at the start ? very Gabrielesque ? then we are hit with what I would describe as trance! On a Prog album?! But wait it works, as everything else kicks back in, it suddenly all feels right. It's fast, it's slow again?.. It's small, it's big, then suddenly it's frigging huge ? what a finish!

A seminal album was once released with the tag, 'Expect the Unexpected' and the definitely applies here. Love it!

duckylips | 5/5 |


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