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Finch - Galleons of Passion  CD (album) cover

GALLEONS OF PASSION

Finch

Symphonic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

If yours truly can still place Finch's first two albums upon the same shelf (the ones in my living room), it must be said that the group's last album didn't make it for a long time, eventually finding the exchange outdoor. Indeed much had changed by the release of Galleons of Passion, not the least, a major line-up change seeing keyboardist Determeyer and drummer Klaase leaving, replaced respectively by Wammes and Bosboom (forest tree). Not only does that smell potential trouble, but the atrocious artwork (who picked the colours??) confirms it.

The balance of the group is altered and this might be to the profit of bassist Peter Vink, whose Rickenbacker bass, so used to be inspired by Chris Squire is actually let loose in this album. But strangely enough if Determayer's keyboards gave a very apt response to Joop's guitar in previous album, I always thought of the keyboards being slightly buried, but here the newcomer's keys are maybe too loud and even at Joop's expense. On this album the sound has drifted between Yes and a lesser-era Camel (no attack intended)

Musically, if you're not the nit-picking type, you could say that GOP is more of the same of BE and GOIF, but upon closer scrutiny and beyond the line-up change, things are different. I'll take exhibit A called Remembering The Future where Vink's bass, although always well mixed and free of its movement within the limits of its role, here it takes an unneeded (for the music) bass solo, more a case of show-off that hadn't been present before in their music. However impressive the bass solo is (and it is), it feels a bit of a wanking the neck until premature ejaculation occurs. As One is a slow developing track where a slight crescendo is happening with Joop's guitar fighting not to be upstaged by Wammes synth layers (mixed a tad loud, for a change), but at least it's one of the rare track on this album avoiding the cheese fondue in which the album is simmering in. With Love As The Motive the other interesting moment on this album, but the synths are again over-powering/mixed a tad too loud and therefore the layers do bring a bit of melted Edam cheese

Probably a tad better than I allow my pen to argue it, GOP is certainly the weakest of the three, and many fans will confirm this as it sold much less than the previous two albums, but the music industry was moving fast and the unsuspecting public would follow them blindly. I say that this is for confirmed fans only, although the majority of them would say that it deserves as much as the other two. Don't say I didn't warn you?.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#27063)
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars There were many ways for a prog rock band to end their career in the late '70s: turn to AOR, go mainstream, start writing more pop-oriented material that might not endear them to their old fans (but few wanted to latch on to the punk scene). Luckily FINCH refused to fall in to the punk/disco/AOR trap that brought down many prog bands at that time. No longer recording for Negrum, FINCH was now recording for Ariola (actually a division called Bubble Records), with two new guys. With keyboardist Cleem Determeijer and drummer Beer Klaase out of the picture, the band brought in Ad Wammes for keyboards and Hans Bosboom for drums.

Here the band was going for a more conventional prog rock direction, mostly avoiding jams, as demonstrated on "Unspoken is the Word" and "Remembering the Future". "With Love as the Motive" starts off a bit experimental before going on to some great guitar riffs, before ending up in that dreaded "Beyond the Bizarre" (from "Beyond Expression") territory by being rather cheesy. The final cut, "Reconciling" totally blew me away! Without a doubt, the band harking back to the best moments of "Glory of the Inner Force", with some intense passages. This is where the band really gets jamming, something they hadn't really done on the rest of the album. Musically, there's no getting around the fact that this is 1977 (that is, the 1977 for those who refused to acknowledge punk rock existed), as the string synths are quite dominant here, with that spacy feel on some of the cuts. Good album, but nothing beats "Glory of the Inner Force".

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#27064)
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another great album by Finch, who luckily didn't hang around long enough (ie. into the '80s) to record a bad album. 'Galleons Of Passion' is often considered the weaker of their 3 albums, and while it's definitely got its softer, less spastic moments, it's still a wonderful listen in its own right. And still totally 100% Finch.

Every now and then this album works its way into the dippy grocery-store Muzak that Camel and Focus would also occasionally get caught up in, but not often. More of the intent seems to be on creating comfortable spaces, which is in direct contrast to their previous albums. This helps make the intense moments that much more powerful. This is heard on the cosmic "Remembering The Future", and all over Side 2, which is comprised of two long tracks: "With Love As the Motive" and "Reconciling". Guitarist Joop Van Nimwegen sounds even more McLaughlin-ish when blazing over serene layers like the final moments of "Unspoken Is The Word", and it's this sort of dynamic dichotomy that makes 'Galleons Of Passion' work so well. You just have to be a lot more patient in the listening to get the rewards that their first two albums slammed at you with a more direct intensity. A warm, welcoming excursion, this offers the widest array of dynamics of any Finch album (much credit for the vastness goes to keyboardist Ad Wammes). It's not their best album (I still can't decide between the first two), but it remains killer stuff, recommended to fans of Camel and Focus, as well as the more fusion-oriented Colosseum II and National Health.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#27066)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The conventional wisdom is that the first two Finch albums are the ones to get but I'll also go to bat for their 3rd, "Galleons of Passion." I am easily able to slide into the less frantic atmosphere and just enjoy the feast at hand. And there is some tasty stuff here.

This is 70s instrumental spacy rock with the expressive lead guitar of Joop Van Nimwegen as the centerpiece. I really love the sound he gets, really greasy and saturated. There's a photo in the booklet of him playing a Les and I wouldn't be surprised by that as the sound is great.

All of the tracks are decent although I think the last one "Reconciling" is probably the most realized with it's soaring leads and upbeat tempos pushing things along. But mostly the pace here is a bit slower and more reflective though to my ears still fresh and interesting. If I can impart anything on the listener I would only say to approach Galleons completely open and without comparing to the classic earlier releases. After a few spins you may well find this is still Finch and still pretty darn good if a bit more refined. With a bit more 3 star material than 4 star material within, I'll go 3.5 overall but round down. But a keeper for me and should be enjoyable for anyone who loves long 70s prog jams.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#120303)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Missed this band completely when I was a teenager. Most of us (we cloggies) would listen to FOCUS, KAYAK or ALQUIN. Maybe because FINCH is fusion they were not so popular back then. However, plenty of time to start give them the credit they deserve. After having listened to FINCH on the WEB I wanted to buy their CD. Guess what, can get them. So, the only stuff I got is an mp3 RIP of Galleons of Passion. This album is regarded as the lesser of the 3. However, listening to this music is a thrill. Joop (the guitar player) is awesome. The music is suprisingly actual. Now I am desperately trying to get the other two albums in order to give an expected 5 start ranking. For this album I donate 4 1/2 stars. A tribute to the FINCH.

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Send comments to Aleph0 (BETA) | Report this review (#149537)
Posted Thursday, November 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars While I was more harsh towards "Glory of the Inner Force" from a symphonic perspective, ie-it isn't, "Galleons" can rightly claim to belong to that genre, while still retaining aspects of fusion and an improvised quality. Here we have a lot more contrast in tempo and intensity, with not all the band members playing full bore quite as often. All in all, a much more mature work that was unfortunately their last, and leaves one wondering what creative turn they may have taken next, given what was going on in popular music at the time. Then again, Finch seemed quite impervious to such trends, and all I can really discern is a greater Camel influence, chiefly in the languid guitar leads, not surprisingly given Camel's surge in popularity in the mid 70s, as well as a few nods to countrymen Focus. Despite the improvement, and some really strong segments especially in the closing 2 tracks, Finch lacks the compositional skills and even occasional vocals of a Camel or Focus, that could provide the galleon onto which the average prog listener could passionately set sail. 2.5 stars rounded down.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#157152)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars really. This album is still very good in my opinion. The first two are slightly better, but this still is excellent instrumental prog. If you are looking to try Finch for the first time, do not start with this album. But, if you enjoyed the first two as much as I did, then you will definitely want to acquire this one as well. This one is similar to the second album, which means that is slower moving in general than the debut. Having trouble deciding on the final rating!

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Send comments to digdug (BETA) | Report this review (#174657)
Posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Finch - Galleons of Passion (1977)

The third (and last) album of Dutch Symphonic/fusion progressive rock band Finch is a debatable one. A change in direction made the band loose some of it's attractive elements.

Now, first of all. Finch is still a band with the best of musicians. Peter Vink on bass is definitely one of the best bass-players of the scene with his fast riffs/solo's and solid playing. Guitar- player Joop van Nimwegen is almost as good as Jan Akkerman (who referred to him as one of Holland's most talented guitar-players). The keys and drums are steady, but mainly the keys are a bit more laid-back on this third album.

The compositions are less chaotic, less fast and there are less musical ideas thrown into the mix. All tracks are still instrumental and all still have meaningless titles, as did all their other tracks. The band has as slight focus on the modern fusion sound, with lot's of slow chord progressions and a modern synth sound. The band impresses with sounding very professional. The compositions are not fully original, some of the harmonic structures and melodies remind a bit too much of their older works. Taken this in account, I like really like all the tracks and their are many great balanced bombastic and atmospheric moments, great solo's and some tracks have strong development. The atmospheres often travel between dark symphonic , relaxing fusion en exciting classical influenced symphonic hard rock. The overall result is a relaxing, yet exciting symphonic/fusion record.

The recording/sound of this album is just perfect. All instruments sound full and the overall mix is good. The warmth of the record fills the room nicely.

Conclusion. I can understand a lot of people would rather have had a more progressive record with more 'muchness' in the composition, but I actually think this is a great achievement for the band. All are great musicians, all have great moments and the record is actually quite relaxing, whilst still being impressive enough to listen to it whilst sitting in my executive chair. Three and a halve stars, rounded up (mainly because of the great recording).

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#424173)
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars On their third album Finch lurched over to a much more traditionally symphonic direction - lineup changes meant they had to replace their drummer and keyboardist, and the near total absence of the Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced sections that set apart their first two albums suggest to me that perhaps the new lads weren't so down with the fusion sound as their predecessors were. Still, it's pretty good symphonic, and the band were unfailingly forward- looking, occasionally to a surprising extent - the fast-paced section towards the end of Remembering the Future reminds me of the sort of sonic territory Talking Heads would eventually explore on Remain In Light. Not their best - that remains their debut, Glory of the Inner Force - but as decent a swan song as could be expected under the circumstances.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#552922)
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars In fact this is the most complete and most symphonic album by Dutch band Finch from the Hague. Unfortunately there had been this dramatic turn of the tide in which Punk rock flushed away all good music without having been carefully listened to. This appeared to be fatal for a quality band like Finch and "The Galleons Of Passion" sadly sunk away in an ocean of musical oblivion. True progfans however should certainly check out this album, because it shows Finch at their best. The keyboard sounds chosen by Ad Wammes have a fuller and richer sound, so much adored by progrock lovers and what should I say: the guitar playing by Joop van Nimwegen is simply superb. For those who need seduction by the famous Rickenbacker stereo bass sound, won't get disappointed by the solid bass playing of Dutch grand old man of rock Peter Vink. As always with Finch, the album is completely instrumental. This time the cross-over influences of jazz-rock/Canterbury are less. This is an accessable very harmonic sounding album, that can easily compete with the best Camel or Focus. The themes are all more outspoken than on their previous two albums and I should almost call this one a neglected masterpiece. Somehow all went wrong with this album. When it was released it was bon ton to put it away as rubbish. Later critics would endlessly repeat these judgements without really listening, which is a pity because there is so much to enjoy on Galleons of Passion and so many proglovers will be scared off by these unjustified negative words. This is my favorite Finch album and I think it will please many symphonic proglovers, so I think 5 stars are well deserved.

Erik de Beer.

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Send comments to Life Line Project (BETA) | Report this review (#789917)
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well intended effort and an improvement on their first, rather hectic album.

Unfortunately, this work is still lacking direction - and as such - it fails to impress. To their credit, they applied some restraint here, but that is just not sufficient to elevate this work beyond noting the lack of irritation associated with their debut release.

My criteria is relatively simple. Would I listen to an album again? I'd have to say no to this one. Not whilst hundreds of potentially promising albums are sitting on my shelves, awaiting for the first spin. "Galleons" is not bad, it's just not quite good enough, either. There is enormous material available even from those early years of Prog, yet to be examined - and in some cases, absorbed - thanks to numerous releases from the vaults in recent times.

With that in mind, I couldn't possibly rate this work as essential. Life is just not long enough to fill with other, but the very best.

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Send comments to BORA (BETA) | Report this review (#871699)
Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Review Permalink

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