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Quasar - Live 2011 CD (album) cover

LIVE 2011

Quasar

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Sometimes, if you listen hard, the heavens are calling you, beckoning forth, to a dark star, where deep at its core, hidden the secrets of what we're here for."

Formed in the late 70's, Quasar is one of the original Neo-Prog bands. To date they have released only two studio albums, Fire In The Sky in 1982 and The Loreli in 1989. A brand new studio album is however in the making and has been in the pipeline for several years now (though no release date is set). One song on this 2011 live album, In The Grand Scheme Of Things, will presumably feature on that forthcoming album.

The sound of Quasar can favourably be compared to that of Landmarq under Tracy Hitchings. This is of course not surprising as the latter band has its roots in Quasar with several members of Quasar having went on to become members of Landmarq including Hitchings who did what is in my opinion her greatest vocal performance ever on The Loreli. In my opinion, Quasar is the better band and the present live album features most of their best songs. At first I was somewhat disappointed because of the absence of Tracy Hitchings distinctive voice, but once I got over that I started to appreciate the voice of the gorgeous Keren Gaiser in its own right. Then I saw the video clips on the bands ReverbNation page, and was charmed by Gaiser's stage presence and all-in performance. She is something of a young Prog goddess with all the right moves, and she also plays extra keyboards. When you see this you are going to want to hear and see more from this band.

Overall, these are strong performances of a strong set of songs from both of the band's two 80's albums with a focus on the excellent The Loreli material. Seeing Stars whose two parts originally appeared on Fire In The Sky and The Loreli respectively are here brought together into a longer suite. Some parts of the songs from Fire In The Sky (which had male lead vocals) are here sung by Robert Robinson who also is the main keyboard player. The alternating male and female vocals works to good effect. The band's founder Keith Turner plays bass, Greg Studley plays guitar, and Paul Johnson the drums.

The lyrical themes explored include space (Seeing Stars and Mission 14), nightmares (As You Fall Asleep...), myths & legends (The Loreli), and even politics (on the anti-war song Power In Your Hands). Tracy Hitchings' otherworldly vocal performance on The Loreli will never be matched, but these new live versions have other things going for them, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this as an introduction to this very good and terribly overlooked band. I am very happy to see that they still exist and play music today and this is very promising for the future. I'm looking forward to the band's new studio album and also hope for a live concert DVD in the future. I would certainly buy it!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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