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Gordon Giltrap - Fear Of The Dark CD (album) cover


Gordon Giltrap

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Melancholic lullabies and inner dreams

This is a very nice little, almost entirely instrumental, guitar dominated album. Giltrap is a very good guitarist and he plays primarily acoustic, but also some electric, guitars. Other instruments like drums, bass, piano, keyboards and violin complement the sound as well as female vocals on one track. The album is very well crafted and the pieces are perfectly recorded and produced. Giltrap's guitar style is mostly a bit gentler than those of Steve Howe and Steve Hackett, for example. Perhaps Mike Oldfield is a good reference point, in his acoustic and most technical moments.

The music is mostly quite inoffensive but never dull. Titles like Melancholy Lullaby and Inner Dream describe the music quite well even if some parts are not very melancholic at all. The moods and feelings shift and the feel of the music often remind me of Anthony Phillips' albums. It is somehow innocent and fragile.

The title track is the hardest rocking number and perhaps also the most progressive piece on this album. However, this is not music that will take the Prog fan by storm. But I'm sure that many Prog fans can find some enjoyment in it.

Good, but non-essential.

Report this review (#213423)
Posted Saturday, May 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars In my review about "The Peacock Party" from 1979 ,((#561463) Posted Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 16:44 EST). I make a humble advice for the prog community, for to give more attention to Gordon Giltrap's work, and due to this advice, nothing is more appropriated which write a review from another album from this great artist. If you take a look in this above mentioned review, the main difference between the two albuns be which in this "Fear of the Dark" Giltrap shows a more symphonic-prog "approach", while in "The Peacock Party" there's a more country "landscape". This symphonic atmosphere can be perceived soon in the first track "Roots (Parts 1 & 2) with the Keyboards creating a simulation from Horns or Trumpets in the first part of music and the acoustic- piano, organ and mellotrons making a "pastoral" harmony, while the electric and acoustic guitar leading the melodyin the secound part. The overture of track 2 "Nightrider" is another symphonic prog moment and something in the initial theme remember CAMEL (Lady Fantasy) after this theme the music changes to a "minstrel song " or "court jester dance". The track 5 "Fast Approaching" shows a theme whit detachable choir and the incridible Giltrap's acoustic guitar which sometimes get confused with the harpischord, another detach is the beautiful electric guitar melody ! Although, this album don't cause the same impact like " The Peacock Party" is also a very good disk and deserves a place in my collection. My rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#569993)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another year passing by and another worthy album from this underated but in same time excellent guitarist and composser. Fear of the dark from 1978 is almost in same elague with previous 2 album, better then Visionary but little less inventive as Perilous in my opinion. Beggining by saing that the line up is the same as on previous two album, that means solid musicianship and damn fine moments overall. Again some passages are impressive like on Innera dream, Nightrider or Fast aproaching. If the previous 2 albums were entirely instrumental, on this one appers Shirlei Roden on Weary eyes a beautiful melacholical track. Again he was able to combine in great manner symphonic parts with acustical and electric resulting some fine moments. Mike Oldfield can be proud of such competitor in late '70s, both were at their peak of their career, similar one to each other in musical terms very much. The gentle, intelligent passages showing that Giltrap was and is one of the most respect guitarist ever. Orchestrations are grandious as always with memorable passages. Well, I can say that this is my second fav album from them after masterpiece Perilous journey. 4 stars easy and recommened another worthy album from him.
Report this review (#830725)
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Gordon's third album in three years brings to a close the set that is often viewed as a trilogy, with the same key musicians and producers as on the previous two. The major difference here was with the songwriting, as although there are plenty of solo writes on this album, there are also some which are credited to Gordon and keyboard player Rod Edwards. Due to issues at home, Gordon decided that they needed to have somewhere to write so they rented a house in the country to do just that. Apparently this is a practice that he stills continues to this day, as he found it so relaxing to have a totally different atmosphere.

The original 8 songs have now been extended to 15, including some TV themes that were released as a single (The Waltons works really well), so there is now well over an hour of music with Gordon showing again that he is at home on electric as he is on acoustic. "Weary Eyes" is a delight with wonderful orchestration, great piano, a warm fretless bass, sympathetic drums and a choir. Who could ask for more? These three albums cemented Gordon's reputation as a performer of the highest order, yet he has still never really gained the acclaim that he should have. I don't believe that he has ever released a poor album (even his Christmas album is listenable) and these reissues by Esoteric with bonus songs makes this a great time to investigate his music.

Report this review (#1041143)
Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Sunday Times refered to ''Perilous journey'' as ''one of the best albums of the year''.It climbed to No.29 in the UK Albums Chart, while the track ''Heartsong'' received some serious airplay and reached No.21 in the UK Singles Chart.Same track was used as a signature tune on the ''Holidays'' TV programme of BBC.In 1978 Giltrap returns with ''Fear of the dark'' with his regular group supported now by multi-instrumentalist Graham Preskett on violin, female singer Shirlie Roden handles the vocal parts and Roger Hand provided the string arrangements.

This work shows a return to Giltrap's Folk roots, containing plenty of bucolic, acoustic parts, sitting comfortably next to the electric ones.The music comes like a cross between STEVE HACKETT's solo albums, SKY, maybe a little bit of STRAWBS and, of course, MIKE OLDFIELD.It refuses to abandon a strongly elaborate, sophisticated and mainly instrumental profile for the sake of the trends of the time, but simultaneously it sounds pretty accesible to a wide variety of music fans.With Giltrap setting up a true seminar on classic guitar, Hand providing a grandiose string-based background and Edwards offering the gentle tones of Classical Music through his keyboard and piano work, ''Fear of the dark'' comes as a nice proposal on soft, instrumental Prog Rock music, as certain tracks are entirely based on acoustic textures with mellow keyboard surroundings, while the electric pieces are mostly pretty melodic with calm solos, sporadic choirs, piano and keyboard waves and a confident rhythm section.This ones ends up to be closer to Orchestral Folk Rock than Prog Rock at moments, still Giltrap's composing talent and guitar excellence shines through, after all providing well-crafted, memorable tunes over a bunch of demanding arrangements is a hard thing and the man did a pretty great job.

Closer to the lines of ''Visionary'' than the more electric/Steve Hackett-like ''Perilous journey''.Soft instrumental Prog/Art Rock with folky and Classical underlines and some pastoral aesthetics.Recommended.

Report this review (#1379737)
Posted Sunday, March 8, 2015 | Review Permalink

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