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Galahad Nothing Is Written album cover
2.47 | 100 ratings | 14 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Face to the Sun (7:58)
- i. Otherwordly Pleasures
- ii. Another Misguided Soul
2. Chamber of Horrors (5:23)
3. Evaporation (6:37)
4. Motherland (6:58)
5. Room 801 (7:00)
6. Aquaba (A Matter of Going) (5:33)
7. Bark in D-Minor (0:45)
8. Legacy (4:00)
9. The Automaton (4:33)
10. Don't Lose Control (5:33)
11. Richelieus Prayer (8:23)

Total Time 62:43

Bonus track on 2007 Oskar remaster:
12. There Must Be a Way (5:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Nicholson / lead & backing vocals, tambourine
- Roy Keyworth / acoustic & electric guitars, Fx
- Mark Andrews / Hammond, Mellotron, piano, keyboards, synths (Minimoog, Kawai K1m, Akai S900), Taurus bass pedals, software & programming, arrangements (7)
- Tim Ashton / basses (fretted & fretless 4- & 5-string), Fx
- Spencer Luckman / drums, percussion

- Karl Garrett / keyboards (12)
- Kathy Smythe / operatic backing vocals (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Steve Darrell

CD Avalon Records ‎- GHCD3 (1991, UK)
CD Oskar ‎- 1032 CD (2007, Poland) Remastered by Radek Barczak w/ 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GALAHAD Nothing Is Written ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

GALAHAD Nothing Is Written reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by loserboy
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.!
Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

Review by 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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
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.

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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).

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by Matti
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
2 stars GALAHAD has become one of the better known bands to fall into the broadening neo-prog section of the progressive rock universe in the 21st century but the band actually started all the way back in 1985 as a seven-piece band inspired by the usually prog revival suspects such as Twelfth Night, IQ, Pendragon and of course Fish era Marillion. The band actually started out as a cover band playing everything from symphonic rich prog like Genesis to more crossover prog and classic rock such as Led Zeppelin and Rush. Lead singer Stuart Nicholson readily admits that the whole project was only put together for fun and that nobody in the beginning was the least bit concerned with any sort of professional career to emerge out of it. In a similar storyline of Steven Wilson and his Porcupine Tree project, GALAHAD gradually garnered enough attention by their contemporaries and ended up playing live with some of the neo-prog heroes they were emulating.

All of this turning of the tides forced the band to take their project more seriously as they found themselves in an unforeseen trajectory. Around 1990 the band started to realize that they might have a real musical career in their future and began to craft what would become their first album NOTHING IS WRITTEN which emerged as was an independent release. This debut was pretty much a DIY enterprise as it was self-financed, self-produced and self-promoted and despite the poor quality in both production and performance managed to sell several thousand albums which was enough impetus to launch the band's career into the next level. While the band's lineup has changed substantially throughout the decades. Three members: vocalist Stuart Nicholson, guitarist Roy Keyworth and drummer Spender Luckman have been with the band since the beginning album.

Anyone who is familiar with the later works such as the excellent "Empires Never Last" or their other modern day albums that incorporate a heavy guitar heft to the mix will be quite underwhelmed by what lackluster performances are displayed on NOTHING IS WRITTEN. Although i rarely agree with harsh vitriol dished out by the critics, this one is often cited as uninspired and down right bland with too many derivative aspects lifted from the 80s neo-prog movement without adding anything original. In the case of NOTHING IS WRITTEN, i would have to completely agree with every single word. This is indeed one of the most carbon copy and paste examples of a neo-prog i've ever heard all dished out in the most generic fashion possible.

Think of this one sitting more in the territory of the IQ album "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" Like that turkey of an album, NOTHING IS WRITTEN's material lies somewhere between bland 80s AOR and the weakest aspects of neo-prog all the while offering boring cliche melodic and instrumental performances. Likewise Nicholson sounds more like a tired has been who has ruined his voice through too much touring throughout the years. Clearly the focus of the band had changed but the talent was still on amateur mode at this point and when hearing this debut release at the time, it would have been impossible to predict that GAHALAD would actually get their act together and become one of the major players in the neo-prog world. While i'm usually pretty lenient on early albums because they often provide some sort of interesting origins, this one is truly a mess in every way and should be completely avoided by all but completionists.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
2 stars 'Nothing Is Written' is the debut album by British neo-progressive veterans Galahad, a self-released album that they put out in 1991, after six years of existence, touring, playing covers and occasionally writing original material that they collected in a one-hour record that went on to sell several thousand copies, surprisingly or not, and allowed the band to continue to pursue their musical needs ever since.

The band started out in the mid-80s and happen to be one of the so-called 'second generation' progressive rock bands. However, they did not release anything during this decade; in fact, they played some gigs and mostly supported other acts of the genre that were releasing records in the eighties, like Pendragon, IQ, Twelfth Night, so whether they are actually part of the 'second' or 'third' generation of British prog rock could be debated.

As for the album itself, it is a decent collection of 80s-sounding prog rock, strongly influenced by Fish-era Marillion and Rush, which are certainly the major influences on the early Galahad sound, as well as Genesis and possibly Yes. And this is the drawback of 'Nothing Is Written' - it sounds like an album released by a Marillion protégé, not very original, not very breathtaking, making the record sound quite dated and a bit tedious, with mostly forgettable songs which is probably the reason why one will hardly find songs from this record on any Galahad live album.

Interestingly, I could also describe 'Nothing Is Written' as promising, as the band (with the line-up consisting of Stu Nicholson on vocals, Spencer Luckman on drums, Roy Keyworth on guitars, Tim Ashton on keyboards, and Tim Ashton on bass) display some very decent skills, especially the guitar player whose style might be reminiscent of Steve Hackett or Steve Rothery but is still intriguing. Stuart Nicholson's voice is not as strong as it can be later heard on the band's 21st century albums but it is still recognizable, with a slight Geddy Lee nod to it.

Some of the better songs on 'Nothing Is Written' include 'Face to the Sun', 'Chamber of Horrors', 'Aqaba' and 'Motherland' but the rest is very generic and stereotypical neo-progressive rock, making this album not too good overall. Promising, yes, but also too conventional, badly produced and poorly mixed.

Latest members reviews

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 comp ... (read more)

Report this review (#145225) | Posted by babbus61 | Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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