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Leviathan - Leviathan CD (album) cover

LEVIATHAN

Leviathan

 

Crossover Prog

3.40 | 40 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With their sole, eponymous album, American act Leviathan delivered quite an interesting item for the history of North American prog rock during its seminal stages. While not precisely a masterpiece in itself, the "Leviathan" album comprises a catalogue of energetic performances and solid melodic ideas. The band displays influences from early British symphonic prog (Procol Harum, Genesis, even PF and Nektar, to a lesser degree) and heavy art-rock (Uriah Heep, early Deep Purple) fluidly fused into a standard American hard rock basic sound, taking this hard rock nucleus to a harder edge than their more stylish compatriots of Kansas. Even thought there are three musicians on keyboards, dividing duties on Hammond organ, mellotron and piano, it is the guitars that take center stage most of the time, not only because the riffs and harmonies are heavily pronounced in the mix, but also because the solos are almost exclusively left as a guitar responsibility. The organ is the most featured keyboard in the global sound, while the mellotron is used for flourishes and ornaments. The opener 'Arabesque' is catchy, but only a hint of the level of sonic sophistication that the band is capable of building up within its well-traced confines. 'Angels' is an acoustic guitar-based ballad that gradually gets enriched by noticeable piano adornments and elegant mellotron layers (flute and strings): during the final section, the piano player begins to do some effective Wakeman-isms. This is closer to Genesis' "Trespass" than to, say, Grand Funk Railroad's "E Pluribus Funk". Next comes the longest and most complex piece in the album, 'Endless Dream'. Starting with eerie organ minimal layers, a simple bass sequence serves as an intro to the main motif, a melancholic semi- bombastic episode in which the influences of Pink Floyd's languid psychedelia and genesis' melancholic vibration are combined. The interlude gives room for the emergence of alternate organ and guitar solos that may bring the expert listener memories of early Nektar. Tracks 2 and 3 are the most notable gems in the album. The next two pieces, all segued in a continuum, find the band exploring their rock side more consistently on a mid-tempo pace. All in all, they never forget the occasional keyboard adornments that bring a casual extra symphonic appeal to the overall sound: for instance, the piano and mellotron in the middle section of 'Seagull'. 'Always Ned You' is a rock ballad with featured piano and added guitar riffs, somewhat Procol Harum- influenced but also bearing similarities to the regular slow songs by Doobie Brothers. The 7 minute long 'Quicksilver Clay' closes down the album as a moderately majestic semi-ballad, comprising an accurate recapitulation of the moods displayed in the previous three songs, partially recapturing the colorfulness of track 3. Well, "Leviathan" is a very good album that reveals an interesting, albeit undeveloped vision of art-rock, an effort that should be regarded as a serious attempt at scoring a cornerstone in the early prog scene of the USA.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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