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FOUR MOMENTS

Sebastian Hardie

Symphonic Prog


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Sebastian Hardie Four Moments album cover
3.85 | 94 ratings | 23 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Four Moments [1 Glories Shall Be Released (6:40)
2. Dawn of Our Sun (5:06)
3. Journey Through Our Dreams(6:43)
4. Everything Is Real (2:09)
5. Rosanna (5:59)
6. Openings (13:01)

Total Time: 39:38

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mario Millo / vocals, guitar, mandoline
- Toivo Pilt / keyboards, mellotron
- Alex Plavsic / drums, percussion
- Peter Plavsic / bass

Releases information

Mercury PPD-3043) '75
CD: Avalon MICY-1115 (Japan 1999) with Bonus Track: "Day After Day" (5:18)

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Four MomentsFour Moments
Import
Musea 1975
Audio CD$12.53
$15.98 (used)
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Import
Musea 1976
Audio CD$17.69
$14.99 (used)
Live In Los Angeles 1994Live In Los Angeles 1994
Extra tracks · Import
Musea 1994
Audio CD$16.99
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1999
Audio CD$24.99 (used)
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SEBASTIAN HARDIE Four Moments ratings distribution


3.85
(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SEBASTIAN HARDIE Four Moments reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

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

A rare Aussie symphonic rock group, Sebastian Hardie is also quite over-rated IMHO, but it has its casts of die-hard fans ready to defend them against all tides. Lead by singer/guitarist Millo, the (standard prog) quartet develops a rather calm and derivative symphonic prog that can range along with Fruupp, BJH, Camel, early-Curved Air, without ever reaching the first three's talent either. But their music is hardly devoid of merits, but IMHO, what lacks them is inspiration. The Plavsic brothers in the rhythm section seem a bit short to compete with other groups

Their heard-elsewhere symphonic prog is clearly derivative of Genesis, but there is a clear Camel aftertaste as well as most of the solos are by the guitar while the keyboards provide the background layers and the symphonic chords. While the first side tracks (supposed to make a side-long feature, but the Japanese reissue I rented does not indicate this) are relatively boring and even have an amateurish side (mainly due to the inspiration-less cheesy songwriting), the second side is made of two instrumentals which are much more reminiscent of Finch or Focus, but not really coming to the Dutch brilliance either. This is especially true for Rosanna (who apparently won an award for best instrumental) which sounds like an average Focus (theme) track on one of their classic albums, but it sounds too derivative for me to be really appreciative. The closing Openings (couldn't resist that one ;-) is actually their better piece (if all tracks were of this level, this album would merit its overrated reputation, but alas) by far, even if everything still spells Dutch for them, but somehow this track works.

Funnily enough, with the two Cd reissues, both albums present the frontmen dressed with the same attire, and both their artworks are fairly similar also. Hardly essential as some of my fellow collabs would have you believe, SH's debut will ravish non-demanding progheads, but ley's face it for all the others, this will fall way short of being good and sound particularly dated. If it were not for the last track, this album would be for collectors only.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#6470) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Review by Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hearing this album, you can believe that SEBASTIAN HARDIE Australian band is a sort of CAMEL playing excellent themes adding lots of mellotron. Mario Millo, the group's leader, reminds Andy Latimer guitar playing style (this point and many 'camelesque' cliches are notorious, over all, in the last track "Openings"). I like specially the short and beautiful songs "Dawn of Our Sun" and "Rosanna", where mellotron and guitar interplay gives a dramatic sense, but all tracks deserve attention, even when music is quite simple, accessible and not complex, but very melodic and well done. This is an album easy to recommend to CAMEL fans, to guitar driven music adepts and to vintage sounds lovers, but I'm sure that all people into prog world would enjoy this non-exceptional but really good stuff.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#6471) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 08, 2004

Review by Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Sebastian HARDIE are considered Australia's first symphonic rock band. They have two albums that were released in the mid-seventies, and a live album from their Progfest '94 gig. "Four Moments" is the band's classic debut album consisting of a side-long epic, and two long instrumental work-outs. Listeners will instantly notice the strong YES-influence in the music, yet the mellotron work here is much stronger than on any YES album. The vocals are also deeper with a strong John WETTON influence. The first side of the original LP was filled by a 20-minute title track. The band really focused on creating a beautiful masterpiece of mid-70s symphonic prog. The music is gradiose, colorful, and sometimes quite funky. One theme in particular is repeated throughout the epic, but goes through a series of variations before transforming back to its original form. The outcome is stunning, and leaves the listener wanting more. Side B consists of a shorter track, and a 13-minute epic. These two tracks are completely instrumental and emphasize melodic guitar work. I'm reminded less of Yes here, but the dutch band FINCH comes to mind. Overall, this is an excellent album. A classic, in fact.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#6472) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004

Review by Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Actually to me... 4 1/2 stars!!!!. Moreover, even that may change in the future once I have the opportunity to listen to their other output.

Make no mistake; this is a Mellotron/Guitar lover wet dream!!! To me the major seminal influence is definitively Camel!. Now Mr.Millo for moments also I guess was influenced by Hackett.

This is absolutely great stuff..No matter How you sliced it, in the 70's, 80's, 90's or even now; Neo-prog pufff!!!, I promised myself that I will stop using that term, and rather used "Modern Symphonic Rock" instead; Now, the only "Neo-Prog" is that their music is accessible and not complex...But, personally I will come back to listen radio if this was on the air, and to be honest we progressive rock lovers should be proud that this kind of music developed from such influences of the 70's.

Anyways, into this album...Four Moments will sit perfect in my shelf of classics, and that is just IMHO; I like the centerpiece, which is divided into 4, but I flip over the 13 minutes track "Openings". Remember these are four members, but the interplay between them is great, especially Millo and Pilt; with some outstanding guitar passages, and the always present Mellotron, I love it!!

Mr. Millo voice is also very good and adequate for their music, and is not misused.

Finally, yet importantly, I am very surprised and happy to see something like this coming from other place different from UK during the mid-seventies.

If you have not heard SEBASTIAN HARDIE do not missed it anymore!!! However, if you are the kind of Prog fan, that only like complexity...Do not bother.

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Send comments to Prognut (BETA) | Report this review (#6475) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 01, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Australian prog pioneering Sebastian Hardie recorded in 1975 a beautiful debut album: "Four Moments" has to be one of the most attractive melodic prog albums to come out from any country outside the UK. Led by guitarist/vocalist/main writer Mario Millo, SH makes a sound very heavily influenced by 71-72 Yes, Camel and, during the slower passages of their repertoire, Focus and Pink Floyd: their style is delivered with class and skill, which provides a fresh air to the pleasantly attractive compositions that come to the fold. Actually, the tight performances don't have to face a complex labor on arrangements, since the tracks are not really that intricate, and the mood and tempo shifts are neither as dramatic nor as challenging as in the brightest moments of Yes, for example. They don't reach the level of rocking energy that Focus and Finch used to accomplish so explosively in their most incendiary tunes. Yet, the simplicity shown all throughout this album is the result of a carefully crafted labor of fluid interplaying, solidly based upon the creative interaction between guitar and keyboards, and the rhythm section's precise functioning. Millo's vocal timber predates that of Wetton's during his early 80s Asia days, albeit without the romantic affection. The emotional richness of this suite is in no small degree enhanced by Pilt's effective solos and orchestrations on organ, synthesizer and mellotron. The four-part namesake suite that occupied the A-side of the vinyl edition is an effective showcase for SH's main musical qualities. The two main motifs are laid out during the first two sections, while they're yet to be expanded along the remaining sections. The fact is that the guys of SH manage to recreate the motifs adding slight chord changes and/or extra nuances, without dragging on or meandering: the well-ordained sense of elegance that they constantly display helps to keep the listener's attention without boring them. These expansions don't lead to meaningless repetitiveness. The remaining two numbers are instrumentals: the epic tendency that was somewhat evident in the 'Four Moments' suite is now replaced by a more introspective cadence, and this is where the Focus/Finch/PF influences become more obvious. 'Rosanna' is an instrumental prog ballad that shows Millo using his delay guitar leads as guidelines for his partners to follow (organ) and sustain (drum kit and bass). The closing track, ironically titled 'Openings', starts in a similar smooth mood, although the major presence of the keyboard parts is clearly noticeable. The passage in which the mellotron comes in together with the mandolin is simply delicious; finally, the fast-paced concluding reprise ends the whole stuff in a catchy manner. All in all, this is an excellent example of well- conceived and well-performed symphonic prog rock.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#6477) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Review by Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars amazing music that was sadly lost in the shuffle. Being from an obscure area (prog wise) these guys never got the attention they deserved. But don't be fooled by the rarity of the album, it ranks up there with the best of them!

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Send comments to Carl floyd fan (BETA) | Report this review (#43589) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album by Australian gentlemen was recorded and mixed over a period of six consecutive days. It was always clear with everyone involved that the task at hand was to capture the essence of the band without overproducing. Apart from vocal, some solos and minimal overlays, "Four Moments" was captured "live in the studio". Polygram Australia felt that Sebastian Hardie "Four Moments" was a gamble, however when the finished product was presented, the record company executives were ecstatic. The release of Four Moments was expedient and for the first time in Australia the "label" symphonic rock was born and became synonymous with Sebastian Hardie. [CD sleeve notes].

Musically, this album is basically a blend of early prog sounds with groups like King Crimson, The Nice; with many similarities in terms of keyboard / mellotron sounds and guitar with Dutch's Focus and Ekseption. I can smell the heavy influence of Focus especially when guitar takes its solo combined with keyboard work. The music is symphonic with atmospheric textures blending the power of keyboards which resemble the work of Keith Emerson but sometimes they sound like Rick Wakeman or in some segments like Rick van der Linden. The music creates good enjoyment as it give the combination of symphonic and elements of classical music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Friday, April 21, 2006

Review by NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the more beautiful symphonic prog albums you'll hear, more like soft/symph. The title track is broken up into four sections with the opening motif running almost throughout the 20 minutes. Part two, "Dawn Of Our Sun" is absolutely exquisite! Like the best parts of Yes's 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' with the same type of quasi/eco/earth lyrics. Millo's guitar and singing is of the highest quality, with his guitar sound at times like a cross between Howe's soft side and Latimer's bluesy side. The other two tracks are instrumental with "Rosanna" being very Camelish and "Openings" a more balanced track, especially in the keyboards. Millo does take over with his guitar most of the time on each track, but I don't mind, it's so fluid. The album would fit right in with your Camel/Yes/Moody Blues albums. So fans of those groups should seek this one out.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#76802) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 01, 2006

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My rating here is based solely on the joy and satisfaction this LP exudes on me. Surely they are not totally original, nor do they present us with anything unheard of, but, their self-composed symphonic-prog is so tasteful and well executed that I can't bring myself to rating this release as anything but a master-piece !!

For years I've seen their 2 LP's often in second-hand shops, and scoffed at the idea of them being anything worthwhile ..... until I saw YES during their 2003 World Tour here in Australia. Prog band YES were to perform in February of that year, but vocalist Jon Anderson damaged his back whilst painting his house (?) and the tour was postponed till later that year. Initially, Mario Millo, lead vocalist and guitarist for SH was the support act. By the time YES came out (September 2003), the original line-up of Sebastian Hardie were the support act. A friend and I actually went out of the venue to purchase snacks at the time SH started up. By the time we got back to our seats, the intro of their side-long composition, 'Four Moments', was being performed. I listened attentively and was immediately reminded of German sympho/space prog band ELOY !!!! I was so impressed by this intro I couldn't believe my ears !!! They performed the entire album, in order, and, disappointingly, toward the climax of 'Openings', some roadies pulled the plug on the band. A total cop-out :(

YES were NOT on top of their game that night, with power failures and various P.A. problems, Steve Howe was forced to perform 'Clap' on electric guitar, but one thing stuck with me - Sebastian Hardie were the best thing I've heard in a long time. I bought the LP almost immediately (vinyl copies quite frequently crop up here) and I listened to it, night after night, several times a day, and I still enjoy it. So melodic, laid-back music, nothing particularly complex, each musician is totally capable on their respective instruments - Millo being exceptional in his performance on guitar, and keyboardist Toivo Pilt so precise ; Hammond, Mellotron and some Mini-Moog so vibrantly displayed. Totally profound. If you enjoy Camel's 'Snowgoose' or 'Moonmadness', and 'Wish You Were Here' era Pink Floyd, you will certainly find much to revel in here....

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Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Air Supply of Prog..no, no, just kidding!

There's nothing wrong with Four Moments per se, in fact if one throws one's cynicism aside you have to say that it's a very pleasant slab of melodic prog. It's extremely positive in mood and accessible to the hilt, with mainstream pop tendencies impossible to deny which is what I meant with Air Supply joke. Obviously SH doesn't sound like Air Supply but they are as easy to absorb as Boston is in the FM rock field.

Essentially here you have wave upon wave of sensitive and soaring electric leads, well played and ranging from soft to wailing, never harsh. These leads work like a charm against the easy-going rhythm section and layers of mellotron. But while this is nice music I feel it is going too far to put SH on the same level as Camel, Floyd, and Yes as many will. SH had one good album, those other bands had 4 or 5 great album each, arguably more for the latter two. When it comes to the meat of composition and songwriting I do believe these guys are a notch below the giants, reminding me more of bands like Tai Phong, Styx, or ELO. Their songs have much longer jams than the bands mentioned but in terms of the overall feel of the music I would put them in that group. A little cheese and sentimentalities can be great but for some SH will get close to that line of what they can tolerate. Is Four Moments worth checking out if you love melodic symphonic? Absolutely. Is it up there with the most exceptional, essential, and serious progressive rock of the 1970s? Ummm, no. The guitar playing is excellent but the other performances are average. The vocals are heavy on the drippy melodrama. The songs themselves seem a bit repetitive and without a ton of substance. You will read lots of reviews talking about what a masterpiece the 4-part "Four Moments" suite is-but if you listen closely to what is being played and compare it to "The Gates of Delirium" you will quickly realize that Sebastian Hardie is not delivering that level of musicianship or composition. Looking through another lens, what made symphonic gems like Shine On or Gates so emotionally compelling were a wide range of feelings, including the dark ones, madness, danger, even violence. There is nothing of the sort with Four Moments, this is simply music for watching a sunset. Yes that can be a beautiful thing which is why I have some affection for this pretty music but it's also why I don't find it as compelling as the greats on my prog shelf. In the final 13 minute instrumental, after listening to the same repetitive lead guitar line for 10 minutes, as pretty as it is, what do they come up with for the big climax? Essentially they grab the same lines and speed it up a few clicks-cmon guys! At least throw something unexpected at the finale!

The mini reissue is a gatefold that shows off the beautiful outer cover artwork, while inside is a band photo that.I have to restrain myself here, but let's just say more than a few of you will get a chuckle from it. A luke warm thumbs up from me, I can only say there are many prog bands I'd recommend before this one. Then again, if you don't care about the issue I raise and just love beautiful melody served up without conflict or challenge, you may want to get to this album sooner than later. For that purpose, I assure you it will not let you down-some of the melodies are just as pretty as the cover art suggests.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#157190) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars I classify "Four Moments" in a similar slot to Mandalaband, both groups that produced quasi or blatantly religious progressive mellotron oriented work in the mid to late 70s that sounds like it came from the early 70s. Since not alot of such material exists, they are noteworthy on that basis alone. Sebastian Hardie is also from down under which is an additional fairly unique aspect. My review is based on the LP.

This is not demanding progressive rock, but if you enjoy recurring pleasant melodies, uplifting vocals, lots of keyboards especially mellotron, and occasional bursts of gentler Jan Akkerman styled lead guitar , this one's for you. The first side of the original LP is dedicated to a suite of songs run together, and several of the themes repeat from part to part, both vocally and instrumentally. Mario Millo's vocals are somewhat to the plus side of nondescript. "Glories Shall be Released" adds creative harmonies to that uptempo mix before the "Moments" main mellotron theme is expressed vocally and re-iterated on lead guitar. Quite lovely really. "Dawn of our Sun" is introduced by a spacey mellotron flute melody which Millo follows up vocally, and it includes a spacey guitar backing. Another languid and pretty lead guitar solo closes things out. The band's wellingness to doubleteam both guitars and keys creates a lush atmosphere that, while perhaps not easily duplicated in a live setting, makes a studio recording more varied and subject to frequent listening.

Side 2 is entirely instrumental and highlights, surprise, more mellotron and guitar. "Rosanna" is pleasant enough, but the oddly titled closer "Openings", is for me the highlight of the proceedings. It is a prog fan's delight, a recurring melodic lead guitar theme that appears in many guises - fast, slow, hard, soft, with mellotron never far away. There is even a brilliant mellotron solo if you will. Yes the track has a monstrous case of self indulgence, but I feel it is merited here.

If you are a fan of mellow-tron music, this album will probably pass like one moving moment.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#165303) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 29, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is one of those albums that really moves me. The lush, melodic soundscapes filled with mellotron and Gilmour / Latimer-like guitar melodies just breaks me.This is by the way a classic mellotron album.The first side of the album is taken up with the four part "Four Moments" suite, while the second side features two absolutely beautiful instrumentals.The vocals reminded me of John Wetton right away although that comparison seems to fade after the first song. I acknowledge that this isn't complex or challenging, but much like "Us And Them" or "Epitaph" it doesn't have to be to leave me overwhelmed.

"Glories Shall Be Released" is my least favourite track but it's so beautiful to open, it's almost orchestral sounding with that majestic mellotron. It settles with keys and light drums taking over. It's YES-like 2 1/2 minutes in and again a minute later. Vocals and a calm before 4 minutes. Mellotron ends it. This first song is a little too polished and commercial, but the rest of the album is pure bliss. "Dawn Of Our Sun" is much better with that absolutely gorgeous mellotron drenched soundscape to open. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. The guitar / mellotron section 4 minutes in is so moving. It blends into "Journey Through Our Dreams" where vocals and acoustic guitar lead off. Mellotron and a fuller sound follows. Some excellent guitar 3 minutes in goes on and on as bass throbs. Beautiful. Synths take over from the guitar after 4 1/2 minutes as drums pound. The mellotron and vocal section before 6 minutes is so emotional.

"Everything Is Real" is the 2 minute finale where synths lead the way until the calm arrives with mellotron to end it. "Rosanna" is simply an awesome display of melodic guitar and synth work that are so moving and emotional, that they must be heard to be believed. "Openings" opens with organ as light drums come in. Very laid back. The guitar before 2 minutes starts to light things up tastefully. Powerful organ after 2 1/2 minutes. The guitar is back 4 minutes in. More emotional guitar before 5 minutes. Mellotron before 7 minutes, then synths take over before guitar returns 8 1/2 minutes in. More mellotron and guitar follow that are so moving. It turns aggressive 11 minutes in and then tempo picks up too.

This is maybe the most significant progressive album ever released in Australia. A mellotron laden beauty.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#187205) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Once in a while you stumble upon a rare prog gem. And this is the case here. Recently I heard about the Australian prog scene. It seems it was a very small one in the 70īs. Considering the strong commercial and cultural ties they had with both England and USA it is odd that there were so few prog groups down under. Anyway, I finally found this CD and it proved they had at least one great band there. With strong influences by Yes,. Camel and Focus, Sebastian Hardie put out a wonderful record that surely deserved a lot more atention from the world than it got then.

I can understand some comtempt showed by few reviews Iīve seen here on PA concerning this CD. The music is hardly original or too complicated or zany. If thatīs what youpīre looking for, go somewhere else. But if like highly emotional stuff, done with passion and dedication, then Four Moments is for you. Those guys were quite good musicians, but what impressed me the most is their excellent songwriting skills: all the songs here are extremely well done, arranged and performed. it is hard to believe it was only their debut. Mario Millo is the kind of guitarrist who is not worried about showing off how he can play a million notes per minute. He is a team worker and his solos are gentle, full of feelings and beauty. He sounds a lot like Jan Akkermann, and this is no small feat!

The keyboards parts are also great, with lots of This Van Leer-like Hammond organ, mini- moog in the vein of Yes and mellotron not unlike Camel. Bass and drums form a strong and versatile rhythm section (Peter Plavsic does some real fine bass lines all over the CD). Vocals are ok. The music is basicly instrumental, but the vocals quite well placed when they appear. Production was quite good for the time. I was delighted to see there is not a single wasted note in the whole record. TGhere are absolute no fillers and the highlight is the last track Openings. This 13 minute instrumental epic is one of those rare songs I play over and over again and still it moves me to tears when I hear it. Itīs simply GORGEOUS! The kind of song that is worth the price of the CD alone: beautifully structured, it has the most poignant and inspired guitar and keyboards solos Iīve heard in a long time. It simply takes you to an emotional ride that defies categorizations. Just listen and enjoy!

A real great find and if you like the music of bands like Camel and Focus on their prime, you just canīt misss this one! Nothing really original or groundbreaking, but I canīt care less for that! Because itīs really beautiful and moving. And music to me is all about emotion. Personally Iīd give this 5 stars, but as a reviewer I have to take the other factors in consideration as well. Thus my final rating here sits between 4 and 4,5 stars. Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#285597) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Serious cheese.

Spread with no shame on the toast of your mind, Four Moments is using every gimmick in the book to sound and act like the great Camel, Yes and Genesis. The general feel is, as I stated before, cheese melting slowly and dripping...but done seriously. The kinda romantic- meets - Wakeman-solos is seriously pushing my buttons to end it....you wouldn't miss much since the main theme is repeated over and over and over. I mean, you're in the entertainment buisness, so be entertaining a bit! Rock the casbah man. Feels like a soundtrack for a retirement home.

This record lacks serious edge and feels like Ricky King many times. Yes, I said it...Ricky King.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#471507) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Sebastian Hardie's debut album was a long time coming - the band had been around in one form or another since 1967 - so you can't say the band didn't have plenty of time to thrash out an individual and distinctive identity for themselves. It's therefore something of a disappointment to listen to the album and find out they hadn't - the group work through the various typical symphonic influences (focusing on the mellow and pastoral end of the genre with bands like Genesis, Yes, Camel) and tick all the boxes without really presenting any new ideas of their own.

The performance is competent and listenable enough to convince me that Sebastian Hardie were probably a decent prog covers band in their time, but the material here contains nothing particularly head-turning. I can't see myself saying "You know what, I'm really in a Sebastian Hardie mood" - whilst the album is pleasant enough to listen to, it's even more enjoyable to listen to the classic albums it was influenced by all over again.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#545866) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 08, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Symphonic beauty.

Australian symphonic prog is a rarity so it is with gratitude that I am able to immerse myself in the beauty of "Four Moments" by Sebastian Hardie. I heard this on vinyl at a friend's place in the 80s and have since had this on cassete for years, and now the CD enhances the listening pleasure tenfold. I had forgotten how achingly beautiful and uplifting this music is. There is some incredible musicianship on this and it is not without its virtuoso moments especially some of the guitar lead work and organ phrases. The band consist of Mario Millo on vocals, guitar, mandoline, Toivo Pilt on keyboards, mellotron, Alex Plavsic on drums, and Peter Plavsic is bassist.

'Four Moments: 1 Glories Shall Be Released' begins this exporation of symphonic beauty. The orchestral keyboards are complimented by a melodic guitar and the percussion and bass rhythm prowess. Ater a long intro of melodic powerful keyboards, Mario Millo's vocals come in; "now you feel the heat of the sun upon your face, and as you reach out you really can embrace everything is real."

'Dawn of Our Sun' is a gorgeous piece of music with haunting flute sounds on keyboards, and a very effective phased psychedelic guitar picking rhythm, with cymbal splashes that add a sense of majesty to the sound. Vocals by Millo add to the sense of mystery; "time moves on, our sun will be gone, leaving our sky, and night time will come, deep in our minds, memories live on, lost in a haze, soon we will be gone." The melancholica of the lyrics are augmented by soaring lead guitar and uplifting mellotron.

'Rosanna' is a showpiece of exquisite music with violining guitar, and infectious melodic elegance. It is the biggest track for the band and is a popular live favourite. On the last track we have perhaps the best of Sebastian Hardie. 'Openings' is a 13 minute mesmirising journey into beautiful soundscapes. Camel influences abound, especially with the Andy Latimer guitar style. The melody is nice, and it is very relaxing music with tranquil synths and orchestration. The organ is excellent especially when it launches into a solo and shimmers with effervescence alongside pipe organ and piano. The feel of the piece is on the same steady time sig but it builds in intensity and is replete with passages of exquisite crystalline keyboards. The dreamy musicality is superb, and the violin style of guitar over the spacey textures of mellotron is exemplary. I love how the heavy riff locks in toward the end and it changes into a diferent rock style using the same melody but quicker tempo.

This is an excellent album with swathes of mellotron and guitar lead work, a must have for lovers of Camel, Yes, Eloy, The Moody Blues and symphonic prog.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#622289) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars Mellotron and guitar dominate. Without any doubt, Four Moments is the transcendent work of Millo and company, including any work that its members have participated, together or separately. The title track to the album, with its four sections, is one of the classic epic that contains all the in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1010973) | Posted by sinslice | Sunday, August 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I used to be very down on this album when I first heard it, because I heard what what the harsher critics here also heard - the derivative nature of the music (sounding very much like Focus, Camel, and in parts of the title track like Yes - the guy who sold me the album described Sebastian Hardie to ... (read more)

Report this review (#722296) | Posted by sl75 | Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Australia takes part in 70s symphonic prog and it's great. Four Moments is very good for a band's first album and since this I don't think Sebastian Hardie have done better. The music sounds like it's been influenced by Focus and Camel. The guitarist Mario Millo shines here and his own unique sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#554309) | Posted by Quirky Turkey | Friday, October 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have always found this album a bit overrated. It isn't bad, but there are a few cheesy passages I can do without. Granted, guitarist Mario Millo was just 20 when they recorded and released Four Moments (first on Polydor in Australia, then in the States a year later on Mercury), and he seemed to ... (read more)

Report this review (#458313) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Wednesday, June 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow !! I have been admiring this band from afar for a long time and I was very pleased when I got the interview with Mario Millo. I did not sink my teeth into this album until recently though. How can I describe the music here ? A mix of Camel, Pink Floyd, some RPI, a lot of church hymns, to ... (read more)

Report this review (#457958) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, June 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I should criticize taking care because I am not so good at English. Symphonic rock overwhelmed to magnificent music that makes guitar and Mellotron main. This guitar and the keyboard are value to praise. A suite and the final tune are considerably long large tunes. However, the listener is n ... (read more)

Report this review (#42910) | Posted by braindamage | Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I love Sebastian Hardie as was lucky enough to see them perform on two different occasions during 2003. Its a shame the Australian industry wasnt able to support such talents during the 70's. Had it of been today they would be up for ARIA awards. ... (read more)

Report this review (#6480) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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