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Ariel - Live!! - More From Before CD (album) cover

LIVE!! - MORE FROM BEFORE

Ariel

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2 stars Aloha must have been reasonably successful, because some months later the label decided to put out the remainder of the tapes from Ariel's farewell concert. (Eventually the two releases would be combined in a double album release.) Aloha gathered most of the new material, so this album is mostly padded out with oldies - including three selections from Spectrum's commercial alter ego Murtceps (but nothing from Spectrum's repertoire), and four older Ariel tracks, mostly from the 1975-6 period - "Jamaican Farewell" is the only selection from A Strange Fantastic Dream. In other words, there is almost nothing here for fans of the proggier side of Ariel or Spectrum. Even "Jamaican Farewell" is a disappointment - one problem with this final lineup is that neither of Mike Rudd nor Glyn Mason is an outstanding lead guitarist (though Mason is a competent blues player), and neither of them were capable of reproducing Tim Gaze's original guitar part - that task falls to Tony Slavich on keyboards. (Slavich takes up a lot of the slack for the two guitarists on both of the live albums - fortunately he is up to the task.) The new material here is the "Island Fantasia" suite put together for the occasion. If the mention of a 'suite' raises your hopes, forget it - it's three fairly unremarkable and unrelated pop/rock songs scotched together. But I have to give Rudd props for writing a song called "Dark Side of Yeppoon".

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Posted Sunday, June 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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