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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory  CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1007 ratings

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Il Tastiere
5 stars To me this is the best LP of their carreer. The power and the glory is a concept album based on the life of a monarch who first gain in popularity with his political power but then he found himself to abuse the power and become as others in the past making his promises of a brighter futre vain. To many, this is considered the most complex Gentle Giant LP making it one of the most hard-listening album of their discography. I personally think that this could be a great starting point for everyone who want to start to discover their music, infact songs like Proclamation, Aspiration, Playing the Game, Cogs in Cogs and The Face presents all the good characteristics of their music: complex melodies, polyphony, hocketing, polymetrics, and so on. So, let's begin analyzing all the tracks.

Proclamation is the S**t! Sorry for swearing, but this track is so awesome that you cannot find a better word necessary to describe its coolness! It begins with a syncopatic jazzy riff played with the Rhodes piano, then all the instruments comes in and it's delirium. Later the tempos and riffs changes and it becomes even better than the beginning. Then the song stops and you'll going to hear Derek Shulman singing "hail to power and to glorious way, day by day" under unusual chords and harmonies creating a dark and hypnotic atmosphere... Just awesome! Then the songs goes back to the initial style but with different tempo, the songs fade out and so you heard one of the most awesome song of progressive rock history!

So sincere it's another great track, definitly more relaxing than the previous... at least in the beginning! Very different from the first one, it starts out smoothly with saxophone and violins and then slowly the other instruments comes in. There's a great guitar solo played by Gary Green and a fast and funky piano passage after it, played by Kerry Minnear of course. The song is very nice and smooth, and it relly has that experimental Gentle Giant feeling!

Next is Aspiration, an even softer track than the previous. It really looks like a love song, but it just give that impression. The lyrics are more like a pray, an adimrational speech to the monarch; it is surely a satirical and ironical lyrics, the people have so much trust to the monarch they give him, as the lyrics suggest, future and fate. The music keeps the same tone for al the song, there's no much to say about but it is really enjoyable.

Next song is Playing the Game, and this in set in a more Gentle Giant style since the beginning: Polymetric, sounds experiments, influence from medieval music, all good stuff. The song changes in the middle part in a more softer way but then it hits you with a great Hammond solo, one of my Kerry Minnear favourites. The song is simply a great classic, one of the best in Gentle Giant's repertory.

Cogs in cogs is actually the shortest song of the LP (with exeption of the power and the glory which was not included in the original release), but I think is one of the most complex the band ever created. In 3.08 we hear everything these guys can do. If you want to hear a 100% Gentle Giant song, you can put this song on and see what their music is all about. The beginning looks like a mess but everything is played in an astounding precision and that's was one of the best things the Gentle Giant was the best at, as in the polymetric in the middle part; not only two voices plays in different tempos but so is the bass and the organ. Every second of this song is simply a masterpiece.

No Gods of Man is another calm song of this LP, I personally think it's the weakest, but still an ok song. We hear different instruments in the beginning, such the vibraphone and the clavinet which a dominant sound in this song and set the tone for the rest of the time. The music is nice and calm and it has that distinctive medieval influence that many Gentle Giant songs has. This is a song that you surely you want to check out.

The Face is one of my favourite of this LP. It starts out with a violin intro with the guitar and keyboard playing in the pauses making a great syncopatic melody. The song has a very adrenalinic tempo and great solos in the middle part, expecially the electric violin one. The singing is awesome too, and the monarch has reach the limit of its power.

Valedictory is the last track of the LP and it recovers some of the riffs of Proclamation. The promisses made (and that's probably why the recall of Proclamation) have not been kept and the monarch tries to redeem himself telling that he is the same person as before though the power abuse. As the song goes the theme gets claustrofobic, riff changes and they get even claustrofobic. The hammond does a great job in this tracks, there is some great passages and i personally love its sound in this song. Then... HAIL! And the LP is over.

This LP is a classic and it's my personal favourite of their discography. It has everything that Gentle Giant music is all about and though it could be an hard-listening for newbies it still my personal raccomandation... for most of the songs in. Gentle Giant music is very intresting and for a full comprehension of their music you should listen the entire discography. This album is not an easy listening one but if you want a general idea of Gentle Giant's music, pick up this one!

Il Tastiere | 5/5 |

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