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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Galaad is a eclectic prog band from Switzerland that was originally founded in 1988. They released 2 albums in 1992 and 1996 and then disbanded shortly after. The band then reformed in 2016 and finally released their 3rd album in May of 2019. The band returned with the same line up as they did originally with Pierre-Yves Theurillat on vocals; Sebastien Froidevaux on guitars; Gianni Giardiello on synth and piano; Gerard Zuber on bass; and Laurent Petermann on drums and percussion.

Their 3rd album is called "Frat3r". It is available on CD and has 8 tracks totaling 46 minutes. There are 2 longer tracks around 9 minutes, where the remaining tracks stay under 6 minutes. The vocals are in French.

Starting off soft and pensive, "La Machine" builds up intensity each time the verses continue. The vocals are a bit shaky, but get better as the song gets heavier and the melody gets more emotional. The rhythm is moderately slow with a heavy and dark tone. There is also a nice guitar solo in the instrumental break. "Moloch" uses a repeating piano arpeggio pattern while power chords from the guitars, support from synth and drums build up this instrumental, which finally accumulates in an emotional guitar solo.

"Kim" has a laid-back feel to it and the vocals start early. With a simpler melody and a more pop-oriented feel, this one is quite accessible. There is support from high-pitched synths and guitars that build up towards the middle and then smooth out again and finally ending with a lot of emotion. "Stone" is one of the 2 long tracks. It goes back to a dark atmosphere, starting fairly minimal with vocals, a low register synth pattern and effects. After the 2nd verse, drums come in with a moderate rhythm but the music still retaining a dark feeling, and then becoming suddenly more powerful with heavier guitar, slipping into a brighter, major key. As it nears the middle, the progressiveness increases when the instrumental break starts, and the synths take over the spotlight. When the vocals come back in after a while, they are more intense and emotional with the instruments matching that tone. At the end, things soften quite a bit and the track finishes on the more reserved feeling that it started with.

"Justice" begins with a funky synth and bass and vocals and then the band quickly joins in with the first real upbeat track on the album. The song is a more rocked-out track with a good amount of synth and keys supported heavily by the bass. Except for a softer break in the middle, the song continues in the same style throughout, with more guitar added as things intensify towards the end. "Merci [puR]" begins with bongos and what sounds like sitar giving things a mid-eastern flavor at the beginning, but keys take over while the percussion persists and vocals start. When the drums kick in, the moderate tempo is established. Between the verses, there are some nice instrumental passages that follow a recurring melody with a mix of synth and guitar.

"Encore!" is the 2nd of the longer tracks. It has a straightforward, moderately fast rhythm and again, an emotional vocal supported by synth and guitar. Just after 4 minutes, there is a sudden increase in loudness with effects and this quickly gives way to a pensive and quiet section with percussive sounds. Vocals soon bring back the band and synths help build up to a guitar break. The music remains pretty straightforward throughout with the longer length being used for the guitar solo and a more lyric heavy song. The last track is the title track "Frater". Starting with only vocals, the band soon start with a moderate and stately sounding song.

This album is mostly quite straightforward and accessible, but unfortunately does not contain a lot of progressiveness to it. As far as being a nice rock record, it does a nice job adding in a good mix of guitar and synth, but mostly comes across as being quite average sounding, with some sections becoming quite emotional. The vocals do falter, but are at their best during the heavier and more emotional sections. Really, only the synth seems to reflect any semblance of progressiveness coming close to a neo-prog sound, but there is nothing really challenging, and the prog sections are too few and far between. In fact, the only part that could be considered progressive is in the instrumental break in "Stone". Yes, it's a pleasant listen, quite accessible, but it stays pretty safe throughout.

Report this review (#2204255)
Posted Monday, May 20, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trully excellent return of one of the best neo prog bands of the 90s, with a new 2019 album named Frat3r after 20 years pause. Well, the vocals and guitars are killer, check out instrumental Moloch and the superb Stone impressive arrangements. 4 stars for sure, Kim is another highlight and the opener La machine. This is a great come back for prog lovers and is seen/heard in entire album, from the heart , this is no return for cash in, this is for us who love this type of music for years and years. Nice art work and whole booklet . Recommended
Report this review (#2262975)
Posted Monday, September 23, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars GALAAD speaks of Moloch, the Swissie music programmer fate of discs account shows or dropper, that it is I who say !! GALAAD is a Swiss group born in '88, released in 1992 with "First February" and "Vae Victis" in 1996, two discs extraordinary ... but unfortunately short-lived. The singer released two albums solos well as the PYT and the squad will be a bridge until "Frat3r" beautifully crafted. The sound draws on neo-prog MARILLION way, especially for synths and guitars quite present, a bit of PINK FLOYD for intermediate atmospheres. The rocky and quite heavy voice PYT provides a novel aspect in the Francophone world where we can actually also listen to the voice! GALAAD is otherwise expected to lace to finally give her valuable to the progressive sphere in general.

"The Machine" sets the tone with an epic piece combining solos, sensitivity, tortured soul and voice of rock and finally imposing melody nod to Pink Floyd and Marillion for the finest solo album and I use words !!! And siren end to introduce the only instrumental, "Moloch" progressive piece almost "heavy" after a rise of piano and synth energetic; it is strong, rhythmic and air. There's melancholy and joy, putting them choirs to give more force to the sound that has evolved after 23 years break! "Kim" tumbles with a title pop giving more room for the voice, as a little back to the prog sounds. "Stone" happily arrives with a prog title as we always like: intro, instruments in place, progressive climb to an air frankly prog metal. It starts on interesting solos keyboards to BANKS and a guitar "Rotheryenne". A moment of pure happiness with a softer end to gradually get out of the trance. "Justice" gives a genre more pop, more "groove", most agreed, it goes into the 80's, with a voice before it must absorb the risk of missing, disappointment there! "Thank you [pure]" changes direction, a good and wise idea for the Middle East, India and a synth to ALAN PARSONS PROJECT; we believe, little resemblance matter rhythm that can LAZULI. " Again! "Comes together in fact the second largest title. Level I orchestration funds, the voice level is harder, the vocals and drums are too metronomic, jerky! From the point of asking if the French voice goes well with this genre! Too bad, the intro is superb and foreshadowed good things; Fortunately the middle, prog development as we like with atmosphere and all that goes with it. The synth repetitive air, greasy and furious guitar solo that starts and never seems to stop ... a real gem! "Frater" for a title again in the background, a nice title but lacking emotion, scope, and too much text in which we forget a little too instruments!

Returning to our prequel with 2 CDs 92 & 96 may be too good for the time, back to what a lot disk itself, even very good at times especially during the instrumental developments. Let us return to what we want a little bit to see if we can be disappointed, disappointed to have a lack of creativity after 23 years, a semblance of copy / paste, taste a little bitter waiting . So beware no descent flame, work, commitment, the production are impeccable, I mean just that spark inside me when I immerse myself in the prog world and is missing here too. Neo-prog of good quality with a bit of rock-pop, ah that one becomes hard these days!

Report this review (#2310075)
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Oh my god! This is neo prog heaven! I did not know this swiss band previous works during the 90´s but, boy, did they come back in 2019 with a blast! You know a good CD when it is sung with a language you don´t really understand (in this case, french) and still the music moves you deeply. Everything you could expect from a neo prog band is here in spades: great melodies, emotional delivering of both vocal and instrumental parts, superb performances. I was knock out by their strong material and playing, specially by Pierre-Yves Theurillat unique and sensitive interpretations. The guy knows how to put emotion on a song! While most proggers here on PA may criticize the band for the lack of long instrumental jams or unusual , zany stuff, to me this is exactly their forte. The band writes great compact songs that don´t overstay their welcome. Everything fits right in. Most important, they sound like no one else, having their very own style. Their early stuff might be a little derivative, so I heard. But here they have produced some very original music.

Backed by a crystal clear production, Frat3r is a superb CD, easily one of my top 3 albums of 2019. Ok, some songs are better than others, but none is below the very good mark. And at least two tracks, Kim and the 9 minute Stone are simply brilliant tunes that I can never get enough of them. They are worth the price of the record alone. One of the few albums lately that I like to hear from star to finish with almost the same pleasure throughout.

Rating: 4,5 stars, no less. If you´re into killer melodies and not caring for musicians showing off, this is highly recommended!

Report this review (#2377158)
Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | Review Permalink

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