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Galadriel Muttered Promises From An Ageless Pond album cover
3.51 | 49 ratings | 8 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

- The Day Before The Harvest :
1. Lágada (8:30)
2. Virginal (2:26)
3. To Die In Avalon (10:00)
- The Year of The Dream :
4. Limiar (Winter's Request) (1:26)
5. Landahl's Cross (20:04)

Total time 42:26

Bonus track on 1990 CD release:
6. Summit (11:30)
7. Nunca De Noche (3:13)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jesús Filardi / lead vocals, percussion (5,8)
- Manolo Macia / electric & acoustic guitars
- Manolo Pancorbo / electric, acoustic (5) & Classical (2,5) guitars, bass (1,4), percussion (5)
- David Aladro / Yamaha organ, Korg MS20/Poly 800, Akai S900, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland JX-8P, Yamaha CS80, piano (3,7)
- Alcides "Cidon" Trindade / drums (5,7), percussion (3-5,7)

- Alfredo Garcia / violin (1)
- Pablo Molina / bass (5-8)
- Angel Romero / backing vocals & percussion (5)
- Ernest Filardi / spoken voice (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Victor M. Diaz

LP Daga Discos ‎- LP - 0005 (1988, Spain)

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4020-AR (1990, France) With 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GALADRIEL Muttered Promises From An Ageless Pond ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

GALADRIEL Muttered Promises From An Ageless Pond reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Immature work, a bit too much emulating the Romantic sound of "Crack" (another exceptional band from Spain), with an uneven result, and as for these reasons, it actually deserves a "2 stars and an half" score. In fact the melodic lines at the piano are pleasant and remarkable too; instead the other parts, a bit darker, are not always convincing...the production is weak, but you can get an inkling of their talent (despite of their music lacking always something special and moreover at the moment They cannot perform a true leap of quality)...however even though better things came afterwards (when "Mindscapers" in the course of 1997 was issued), I can not regard the present debut album as a surprising work or a new miracle, despite of containing a few interesting symphonic breaks through.

Finally you can check it out at least anyway!!

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars You would expect a BJH (Barclay James Harvest) tribute band, but "Galdariel" is nothing close to them. This band sounds as much as "Yes" than "Stacastle". Some "Genesis" syntezisers as well will be added to the cocktail and the tranquil mood of this album will remind us "Trespass".

But the mix is not really brilliant here. Of course, it sounds as a derivative work. My favourite song is "The Day Before The Harvest". A very delicate and pleasant number. The dual voices are fully Anderson-like and works very well. "To die In Avalon" is a long piano piece of music. Fully Emerson oriented. Their keyboard player plays very gently and vocals are again so sweet. It is not a great number but a good one that will easily attract persons that are nostalgic of a certain era (which I am). Not very personal though.

The epic of the album "Landhal's Cross" has a similar intro as "CTTE", then turns into "Mocking Bird" (at least some reference to BJH in this one). It is a bit flat, I have to say. Too melancholic and little variety during these twenty minutes (even the "birds" will be featured...).

I can't really be over-enthusisatic about this release. A decent debut. Not very original in terms of music, "Galadriel" evokes some nostalgia. Two stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A very good band from Spain,GALADRIEL were formed in 1985,possibly in Madrid and through several hard rehearsals they recorded their debut ''Muttered promises from an ageless pond'' in four different studios (!!) in 1988.In this album one can detect a large amount of influences and numerous nostalgic moments.They sound mostly like YES with fantastic Squire-like heavy bass lines,many tempo changes,Wakeman-ish classical piano parts,Anderson-like vocal lines (FISH also comes to mind) and a guitarist who must be a great Steve Howe-admirer.There are also plenty of romantic Hackett-ish acoustic guitars and nice synth passages in the vein of GENESIS or even MARILLION.I warn you,GALADRIEL's debut is a great record,but it demands quite a few spins to be trully appreciated.A really strong 3,5 star release!
Review by Gerinski
4 stars This debut album from the spanish Galadriel has flaws and I can understand reviewers who will not give it more than 3 stars. I will be generous with 4, by virtue of its good ideas and some competent playing, because I can sense a lot of goodwill put in it, because it features a musical style which I really like, and finally to record some difference with it's follower "Chasing The Dragonfly" which I find worse and yet not so bad as to deserve 2 stars. So if I give 3 to "CTD" I feel like I have to give 4 to this "MPFAAP".

Although tagged in PA as Neo-Prog this album is clearly symphonic, a blend of early Genesis soft Hackettian passages, soft classic Yes and some Emersonian grand piano fragments. By extension from all these it can also remind of some PFM or some of the works by Citizen Cain. Clearly retro-symphonic as you see, mostly soft, ethereal, lyrical, fantastic and mythical, you will not find hard rockers like "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" or "Get'Em Out by Friday" here. I think they blend enough influences as not to sound a clone of any in particular. And certainly this is not standard Neo-Prog.

The worst with this album is the production. It was recorded in several sessions spanning a period of nearly 2 years, in different studios with different engineers and 2 different bassists (one of the two guitar players had to take over the bass for some tracks after the original bassist quit), and most likely with very limited resources. The result is that the sound is muddy and dark, more like a decent demo than like a proper official album. I think it was originally released by a spanish label and later on reissued by Musea adding the last 2 tracks, and it's a shame that they could not take the occasion of the Musea deal to re- record the whole thing with better means. Although some might say that the positive side of it is that is sounds like a real vintage obscure record from the early 70's!

Other possible criticisms are that in the long songs the different fragments do not always flow naturally enough into each other, and although sparkled with good stuff, the compositions lack that final leap from "promising" to "great".

Perhaps the most distinctive element is the voice of Jesus Filardi whose high pitch combined with the reverb applied may remind slightly of Jon Anderson, although the intonation is a mix of Jon's lyrical approach with the more theatrical style of Fish or Gabriel. The guitars are mostly Hackett-like but include some Howe-like flavours especially in some solos, while the keyboards are more in the PFM school. The bass and drums are average- low, not helped by the mentioned poor recording quality.

The lyrics are in english except for the last track and unlike in many other spanish bands, they are really well written and Filardi's pronounciation is good. An example of the goodwill put in this record despite the limited budget is that although the booklet does not include the lyrics, the CD came with a piece of photocopied paper with not only all the english lyrics but also spanish versions of each, which are not literal translations of the english ones, they tell the same underlying story but written in a totally different way, as proper lyrics written from scratch in spanish and not simple translations. It was clearly made by typewriter, cutting with scissors, glueing and photocopying.

The first 3 songs are collectivelly grouped as "The Day Before the Harvest". "Lagada" shows from the start what are we are going to find here: Hackettian soft Genesis from period "Trespass" to "Selling England" with some Yes and other early 70's influences. It features some guest violin fills which give it a welcome distinctive element.

"Virginal" is instrumental, a beautiful delicate duet of acoustic guitars, again very Hackett- Rutherford-like.

"To Die in Avalon" is again in the style of soft early Genesis although some guitar fragments may remind also of early King Crimson and there's a competent piano solo which could have been Keith Emerson.

The next 2 songs are grouped as "The Year of the Dream". "Limiar" is another short instrumental of Hackettian atmosphere, not bad but nothing special either.

The we have the 20 min suite "Landahl's Cross" which is another melting pot of vintage symphonic prog influences: early Genesis, lyrical Yes, King Crimson, Marillion's Grendel and so on. However this is not the great track you might expect by its lenght, it feels disjointed and lacks definition.

The last 2 songs are (or so I believe) the ones added in the Musea release. "Summit" is very good with a fantastic atmosphere reminding a bit of Genesis' "The Fountain of Salmacis" and another great Emersonian piano solo.

The album closes with "Nunca de noche" with lyrics in spanish, played in clean guitar arpeggios and the vocal melody. A nice uncomplicated song.

Recommended if you like this style of music, as long as you do not expect a masterpiece like Foxtrot and as long as you are a bit forgiving about the muddy production. Best songs for my taste "Lagada", "Virginal", "To Die in Avalon" and "Summit". Their next album is much better recorded but they lost the two main musicians David Aladro and Manolo Macia and changed their musical direction .

Review by Warthur
4 stars Galadriel's debut album finds them tackling an intriguing neo-prog blend of the softer sides of Yes, Genesis, and the RPI scene (as represented by PFM or Locanda Delle Fate). Given just a mildly better production job, this album might have been gorgeous - as it is, its beauty is evident but obscured. Divided into two halves, The Day Before the Harvest and The Year of the Dream (Summit and Nuncia del Noche are bonus tracks added when the album was issued on CD via Musea), the album evokes the medieval pastoral tones of Trespass-era Genesis.

The best tracks on here are probably the opening Lagada, on which Alfredo Garcia provides an intriguing guest performance on violin which really helps the band distinguish their sound from their influences, and the following Virginal, an impeccably performed classical guitar piece from Manolo Macia and Manolo Pancorbo which is reminiscent of two cloned Anthony Phillipses performing with each other. The album's epic, Landahl's Cross, gets points for ambition but seems to draw a little too much on Marillion's Grendel for comfort. The bonus tracks include a short Spanish language song and a 10 minute piano and vocals piece which seems rather slapped together.

On the whole, the band have an intriguing sound, and Jesús Filardi's singing voice is genuinely evocative - it helps that he makes the wise choice not to try to emulate Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson or Fish but sings in his own individual style - but I can't give the album as high a score as I might because the album suffers so badly from its poor sound quality. Those particularly keen on a neo-prog blend of Yes and Genesis may find themselves willing to look beyond that, as I am, but equally I couldn't blame anyone who finds it not worth the effort of getting into.

EDIT, APRIL 2013: Aaaah, go ahead and take another star, Galadriel. Although I can't justify giving the album full marks - Landahl's Cross still drags a little in the middle - I can't deny that somehow it's managed to get heavy rotation on my music player and there's this certain magic about it which I can't in good faith deny. It's definitely an album which delivers more than the sum of its parts, and with repeated listens its haunting themes really do start working their magic on you. I will say, however, that this is based on trimming the two bonus tracks from the end of the album (though my general reviewing policy is not to factor in bonus tracks anyway).

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars An extraordinary album of reverence and nearly-religious respect coming out of Spain, an uncommon combination of the pastoral sides of both YES (especially Wakeman and acoustic Howe) and GENESIS (all of the extraordinary diverse skills and sounds of Mssrs. Phillips, Hackett, and Rutherford) fronted by a most unique vocal talent in Seńor Jesús Filardi.

SIDE 1 - "The Day Before The Harvest":

1. "Lágada" (8:59) Prog Folk?! Ecclesiastically-inspired devotional music? Not what I was expecting! Very delicate, pastoral soundscapes open this song and proceed to kind of lazily meander across the countrysides, first with vocal and later with electric guitar lead. At 2:15 the music switches to more of a YES pattern with fast-strummed acoustic guitar with Moog-like synthesizer, organ, and electric guitar working their way within and between vocal sections. Odd staccato vocal "da-da-da"s in the fourth minute before a Moog-like solo. Hackett-like guitar and Wakeman- sounding keyboard work with English choirboy-like vocal textures. Interesting! Then violin and wonderful multiple voice harmonies in the eighth minute. This Jesús Filardi is quite a vocal find! (19.5/20)

2. "Virginal" (2:26) pure Hackett-era multi-guitar Genesis bliss! (5/5)

3. "To Die In Avalon" (10:00) opens with weird sound and weird vocals over classically-oriented piano flourishes but leads into a sparsely populated middle section with some cool piano versus Robert Fripp-like electric guitar interplay. This turns into a little more pensive time keeping in the fifth minute. Then piano takes it solo for a jazz- and-classical styled solo for the sixth minute. Peter Hammill meets Doroccus and Keith Emerson to form an early version of After Crying. Interesting and unexpected. (18.5/20)

SIDE 2 - "The Year of The Dream":

4. "Limiar (Winter's Request)" (1:26) two arpeggiated electric guitar chords are soon joined by drums and bass and keys, all performing a kind of polyrhythmic weave for the song's duration. (5/5)

5. "Landahl's Cross" (20:04) an early-GENESIS-styled epic with quite the strong BABYLON-like sound palette. The creative instrumental inputs are quite inventive and unique--like no one else in prog. How can one deny the extraordinary freshness of these compositions? Not a perfect or always fully-engaging song, but a definite piece of quality. (35/40)

Total time 42:26

The vocalist, Jesús Filardi, with his English Choir sound and style, is truly an exceptional and noteworthy talent--one who's style and sound is, in fact, unlike anything I've ever heard in progressive rock music except for the Scottish singer Matthew Corry of the 2018-debuting band EMPEROR NORTON from York. The music is highly sophisticated and complex, with extraordinary musicianship and quite confident and highly creative compositional skills.

I can only surmise that these musicians were both classically trained and highly skilled before forming this band and that they worked long and hard honing these very unusually complex songs before trying to set them to vinyl. It is unfortunate that the sound recording and engineering is not up to the levels of high quality set by the musicians and to which they deserved. Still, I feel so blessed, as if I've just entered a sacred monastery in which progressive rock music is the highest form of devotional homage.

A-/five stars; despite the poor sound engineering I consider this a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music as well as a truly unique and masterful debut album. I have to say, without question, that I consider this an "essential" album for prog lovers to hear--a listening experience that absolutely represents all of the experimental eclecticism imagined by the original "prog rock" artists of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I've had this album for a few years and have concluded this is a good album to listen to when you're drunk! Why? Mostly because the band sounds here as you then feel, which is to say loose. The main criticism of the album is that the band pretty much through-out plays a little too loosely arou ... (read more)

Report this review (#2765) | Posted by | Tuesday, June 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Galadriel are a beautiful experience.....imagine Camel in Spain.....and then imagine the beautiful sounds and music coming from.........a warm and special place..... there you have it: Galadriel...wonderfull prog music...with a soft edge!!! This their supposodly second GREAT !!! Like ... (read more)

Report this review (#2763) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Thursday, November 27, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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