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Galahad - Nothing Is Written CD (album) cover




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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Typical neo prog that does not move me at all but for those who discovered it in 91 as there was hardly anything else coming out this might have sounded good at the time. This might explain why there are people regarding this album highly. Scarce resources and hungry progheads (let's face it, those were the Sahara crossing years) made that very average albums got undeservedly too much exposure.

Personally I always thought this neo-prog highly derivative of early Marillion, and this is to be ranked with Aragon, Galadriel and some Pendragon releases.

Report this review (#2772)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the modern neo-prog acts which I absolutely love through and through. GALAHAD combine the progressive sophistication of MARILLION with the early sound not unlike GENESIS. This album has an under-produced feel to it and I think that may be why I am so attached to it? GALAHAD create a nice array of moods and emotions on this album and get into some real nasty proggy moments. "Face To The Sun" is still one of my all time favorite tracks that they have ever recorded.!
Report this review (#2773)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Galahad is one of the reasons I developed a strong dislike for the neo-prog sound. Tinny drums, hollow synths, unpleasant jarring guitar leads and a vocalist who frequently sounds like he's trying to rip off Fish aren't my cup of tea. If you're one of those who enjoys post- Fish Marillion and Pendragon, you might derive some joy from Galahad, but I don't enjoy this album which to me sounds more dated than most of the 60s recording I own.

There's a good church organ solo towards the end of Richelieus Prayer, there are some brief semi-decent synth moments in Face To The Sun and Chamber Of Horrors, the opening of Aquaba is ok and Motherland is at least an attempt to add some life to this album. But the truth is that most of Nothing Is Written bored me to tears, and I actually think it's the worst album I've ever heard by a band that I consider to be prog.

To be fair, this is Galahad's first album (incidentally my CD has two additional tracks in Legacy and There Must Be A Way) and I heard the group got better, but I'm not going to bother to investigate any further. ... 12% on the MPV scale

Report this review (#2775)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Galahad's first CD is a typical exemple of a highly derivative band who still manages to deliever an excellent work. The production is thin, it is obviously that band had a lot to learn. They have a lot against them (even the time it was released). And Nothing Is Written is nevertheless a great album of songs. It takes a little to get used to, but, hey, in prog rock what does not? If you're a fan of neo prog you can go no wrong with this CD. Yes, they are very much in the vein of early Marillion. So what? I thought so of Pendragon, IQ and Twelfth Night, and after some time I found that everyone of them has its own sound and character. Even Marillion was for many years accused of being nothing more than a Genesis clone. The list goes on...

Galahad would develop in the next years, but I really think Nothing Is Written as an excellent piece of work in the neo prog vein. I don't rate it higher because the production (or lack of it) really annoys me, but that's only my opinion. the songs are very good, the musicians are as sharp as you expect from any prog act worth the label and there are no fillers here. Nothing is new or groundbreaking, but all is very well done. Do you like Marillion, Pendragon, IQ and other neo prog acts fo the early 80's? recommended.

Report this review (#95137)
Posted Thursday, October 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Very poor, pretentious and boring compositions. Vocal are Fish-like withoutu the same strenght. Even the production is poor, with ugly bass and drum sound. This group (not the vocalist) has improved with Sleepers and Moment of complete madness, and today is near to be a prog-metal band. for completists only
Report this review (#145225)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars There are good things and some other ones on this debut album.

The mood is very much "IQ" oriented (especially during the opener). On the vocals front, I am not highly impressed with Stuart Nicholson even if he is emotive during "Evaporation" which is a fine and melodic ballad. Very delicate. Like "Don't Lose Control" (on the mellow side).

But the best song of this album is IMO, the opening song. "Face The Sun" holds some good promises and depicts quite well "Galahad" style. Melodic neo-prog. Not as emotional as "Pendragon", not as dark as "IQ" and not as powerful of as "Marillion". The band doesn't play in the premier league of the neo-prog genre but still, this album isn't bad.

Some tracks as "Motherland" or "The Atomaton" could have been avoided, but they were pretty much in- line with the production of the early nineties and one can hardly blame this band for not being visionaries. They play their music: simple and straight-forward, heavily keyboards oriented but not really captivating.

Production of this album is also on the weaker end (but it is their debut) and some monotony might result in the listening of this album. I can fully understand both very high ratings from neo-prog lovers and very low ones from some other reviewers. I guess that I am somewhat between the two philosophies.

Liking neo-prog not because it is an exceptional and creative genre, but because it provides very good surprises at times and it revived a dying genre at a certain point of time. This is my approach.

No real highlights here (except the opening number) but some good songs like "Room 801" and "Aqaba" which sounds obviously Oriental (both musically and lyrically).

In all, this is not a great album. Average, would I say. This means five out of ten, downgraded to two stars. The more I listen to it, the less I feel great about it. Still, the closing number "Richelieus Prayer" is another great song. More complex, it displays several different themes and the voice is more accurate here than on any other song. Good guitar as well for the most symphonic piece of this album. But two great songs don't make a great album, I guess.

Report this review (#168959)
Posted Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I am not a big fan of Neo prog and I bought this group without knowing anything about them. While I will admit this isn't my cup of tea there are few noteworthy things here. Motherland for one. This is song that seems to fit the musicians and the singer well. Aquba is the same until the annoying vocals come in. In a positive note it reminds of the American group Touch when the vocals are present but then that album came out in the 60's.

I think it is the vocals that really bother me about this CD. Stuart Nicholson is maybe trying to point back to people like Peter Hammill or even Fish but it comes out contrived and sometimes downright bad. His voice works much better on a song like Don't Lose Control where it is more straightforward. The keyboard and bass player work very well together and the guitar when it is allowed is pretty good as well. The drums seem a little sparse and the whole thing is under produced and maybe because of the time period it came in. The band doesn't work so well on numbers like Chambers of Horrors and Evaporation songs that just dont seem to do anything or go anywhere.

All in all it is an OK album not one I would reach for very often and given the reviews of subsequent albums that are better this one may be for fans and the completion minded anyways. 2 Stars.

Report this review (#171171)
Posted Friday, May 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is definitely a kind of neo progressive music with mellow style and it's definitely different with Marillion's first four albums. For those of you who like a music that flows in slow pace, like space music, you might find this debut album by Galahad favors you. The music is packed with combined guitar and keyboard accompanying vocal. I especially enjoy the long sustain keyboard solo like during the interlude part of "Face To The Sun" (7:58) especially when it's combined with guitar solo. Or the basslines of second track "Chamber Of Horrors" (5:23) which unfortunately is not quite solid in terms of composition. You will find similarities with Pallas or Pendragon in music style. However, when the vocal sings the phrase of title track, it sounds quite boring as he sings repeatedly "horrors . horrors...". The ending part of the song is a reminiscent of IQ music.

Under "Evaporation" (6:37) music cools down in a mellow and ambient opening with mellow singing style. "Motherland" (6:58) tries to make up the music with faster tempo, exploring the keyboard solo augmented by guitar riffs, bass guitar and a bit of drumming dynamics. "Room 801" (7:00) is I don't think it's a solid track. "Aquaba (A Matter Of Going)" (5:33) is still in the vein of previous track even though the howling guitar part is quite interesting. The concluding track "Richelieus Prayer" (8:23) has quite a good opening part exploring soft keyboard work.

Overall, this debut album by Galahad had experienced structural problem: the music does not sound cohesive in the effort to unite all works by all instruments. The drum sounds are not truly compelling and they are serving like a gate keeper. Overall, this album will favor the collectors, and it's not a good one to know the band's music. Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#173070)
Posted Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Like a time bomb, I'm primed to explode; some time in the future, depends on how heavy the load; but don't worry, it's not going to blow for a while; maybe, when a decision is reached, at the end of my internal trial..."

Nothing Is Written was Galahad's debut CD release, but they had already been around for half a decade or so at the time and recorded a cassette in the late 80's. The Fish-like vocals of Stuart Nicholson readily brings to mind early Marillion and in their early days Galahad fitted neatly into the early British Neo-Prog family with bands like Pallas, IQ and Pendragon. The present debut album hold up quite well among the early albums of these other bands but like with many of these bands it took years before they found their own direction and Galahad too had yet to find their individual style at this point. Still, the potential was clearly here and Nothing Is Written is a fine but slightly anonymous album. There are occasionally some fairly heavy riffs here, but this is not quite as hard edged as more recent Galahad albums. Rush seems to be an early influence on the band and Nicholson does indeed sound a bit like Geddy Lee on the more aggressive passages, most notably Motherland.

With the exception of the weak Evaporation and the strong closer Richelieu's Prayer, the best songs of this album come during the first half. The highlight for me, however, is the superb eight minute closer Richelieu's Prayer with its medieval-flavoured middle-sections with tasteful but all too brief Rick Wakeman-like harpsichord and church organ passages and some nice flute-like keyboards. The guitar sound often reminds me of Andy Latimer of Camel and Nicholson provides one of his strongest vocal performances on this number. It is quite unclear whether the song is about the famous French cardinal, but it is an interesting lyric nonetheless.

Aqaba (A Matter Of Going) features a lovely Far Eastern-flavoured lead guitar melody that brings to mind the Arabian dessert, the chorus of the song is, however, a bit trite and the keyboards are very 80's sounding here. The closest to 80's Pop the band come is though on the rather silly The Automaton. Songs like Evaporation and Don't Lose Control are rather poppy ballads which probably will put many Prog fans off, but while the former falls rather flat the latter is saved by some tasteful acoustic guitar lines, an emotional vocal and a nice electric guitar solo at the end.

Overall, this is a well-made and somewhat underrated Neo-Prog album that will appeal to fans of the genre. It is worth it for Richelieu's Prayer alone! There are a couple of really good further moments here too, but the band would do better latter on.

My CD version has 12 tracks one of which is a bonus track called There Must Be A Way and with the short organ introduction Bark In D Minor leading into a song called Legacy (which is not listed here for some reason).

Report this review (#293119)
Posted Monday, August 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars UK prog dinosaurs GALAHAD were found in 1985 in Dorset as a typical product of the new wave of British prog rock in early/mid 80's.With hundreds of gigs around the area,they release the 500-copies single ''Dreaming From The Inside/The Opiate'' in 1987,shortly followed by the live cassette ''One Knight at Mr C's''.A year later lead singer Stuart Nicholson auditioned for the singer's place for MARILLION,while the band continues to perform live,supporting IQ, PENDRAGON and HAZE.In 1989 they release the cassette ''In a moment of madness'' and next year sees them entering the ''Room for a view'' studios to record their debut ''Nothing is written''.In January 1991 GALAHAD perform for the first time at the famous Marquee Club in London and in summer their debut is released on Avalon Records.

STYLE: Typical British neo sound of the mid-80's with light-hearted guitars,flashy synths,a rather mediocre production and a great singer trying to follow the steps of FISH,PETER GABRIEL or PETER NICHOLS.Unlike the excellent raw style of their early years,which featured plenty of symphonic passages,GALAHAD prefer some more refined and straight- forward compositions for their debut with plenty of vocal lines,digital synths, rockin' guitars and an accesible atmosphere in general.Longer cuts are more atmospheric with the band choosing a slow tempo with grandiose keys and intense lyrical content,while the shorter ones are more guitar-oriented bordering often with a straight rock air.

INFLUENCES/SOUNDS LIKE: From mid-70's GENESIS in their simplistic mood to early- MARILLION and TWELFTH NIGHT.

PLUS: A very expressive singer with a powerful voice,who can be easily recognizable and not a cheap FISH imitator.Some interesting catchy grooves with inner strength and plenty of atmospheric keyboard parts.Also some guitar solos are more than decent.

MINUS: An interesting voice is burried in many straight-forward/bordering AOR compositions with almost no positive moments.Synths and the few organ passages sound very amateur,propably due to the mediocre production.Most of the tracks have the typical song structure and thus,they sound similar to each other,not to mention the average songwriting.Bass and drums sound also very cheap.

WILL APPEAL TO:...only fans of melodic Neo Rrogressive Rock of the MARILLION/PENDRAGON/JADIS style.

CONCLUSION/RATING: Anyone in touch with the band's first years or early rare releases will recognize the band's bad selection of songs for their debut.Much of their heavy symphonic nature is lost in the way,changed by mediocre compositions,which do not help the singer show what he is capable for.''Nothing is written'' remains a cult release until today,but this seems to be its only advantage.Average music for collectors only.2 stars.

Report this review (#303497)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Galahad's debut album showcases a band whose ability to mimic the sound of early Marillion is, for the most part, uncanny. Stuart Nicholson is rather the weakest link - he doesn't try to emulate Fish's vocal delivery, which I think is a wise choice; his own individual singing style really isn't up to much, and I don't get the impression it'd be improved by mimicry of Mr Dick's theatrical style! On the other hand, the rest of the band are somewhat better at emulating the Marillion style - in particular, Roy Keyworth has Steve Rothery's guitar style down cold.

This is not enough, however, to obscure the one aspect of early Marillion the band cannot emulate: their creativity. Sad to say, but this is one of the most uninspired and derivative collections of neo-prog songs I've ever heard, and the band simply never add enough of an individual twist to the album to really make it stand out amongst any of the many others who've ploughed this over-farmed furrow. There's simply no reason me to give Nothing is Written another listen when I could just put on Script For a Jester's Tear again.

Report this review (#603023)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I bought this CD approximately six years ago (had I read the unfavourable reviews here beforehand I surely would have chosen something else in the record store) and haven't listened to it since that - until yesterday. At the time of buying, I knew GALAHAD by one track only, 'Bug Eye' from Following Ghosts (1999), and thought it was a great and indeed personal slice of Neo Prog.

And "personal" is exactly what this debut album is very far from. If one needed an album to epitomize Neo Prog from the 90's onwards as clean, derivative, diluted and clinical "second generation copycats" (considering the early Neo bands in the 80's as the first generation copycats), this would do the job perfectly. In other words, those who despise Neo in general won't like this album at all, and those who honestly enjoy melodic Neo Prog in its most typical form will probably see it at least as a very decent, if not even pretty good, album.

Some say that the synth-oriented sound is very thin and hollow, but definitely I've heard much worse. The songs are poppy and accessible and frankly quite forgettable compared to e.g. Fish-era Marillion, but none of them is unbearably cheesy or silly. Keyboards and guitars are OK, though solos could be more daring. The vocalist Stuart Nicholson has some slight Fish-influenced mannerism but not to a disturbing degree. The colour of his voice also reminds me a bit of Geddy Lee of (not the early era) RUSH. The band's musical influences probably have been MARILLION, PENDRAGON and IQ - perhaps also TWELFTH NIGHT, but this is averagely mellower. 2' stars rounded up.

My copy has a bonus song 'There Must Be a Way', which is closer to pure pop music than the main album, an emotional song with a sticky chorus that ELTON JOHN might have written.

Report this review (#1440775)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2015 | Review Permalink

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