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Solstice Prophecy album cover
4.08 | 59 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eyes Of Fire (8:52)
2. Keepers of the Truth (8:14)
3. Warriors (17:33)
4. West Wind (11:05)
5. Blackwater (10:52)
- Bonus tracks :
6. Find Yourself (6:15)
7. Return of Spring (7:24)
8. Earthsong (6:32)

Total time 77:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Emma Brown / vocals (1-5)
- Andy Glass / guitars, vocals
- Steve McDaniel / keyboards & vocals (1-5)
- Jenny Newman / fiddle (1-5)
- Robin Phillips / bass (1-5)
- Pete Hemsley / drums (1-5)

- Johnny McGuire / addit. vocals (1-5)
- Sandy Leigh / vocals (6-8)
- Marc Elton / fiddle & vocals (6-8)
- Mark Hawkins / bass (6-8)
- Martin Wright / drums (6-8)

Releases information

With 3 bonus tracks recorded in 1984, now remixed by Steven Wilson from the original Silent Dance 8-track tapes

Artwork: Barry Kitson

CD Esoteric Antenna ‎- EANTCD 1024 (2013, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SOLSTICE Prophecy ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SOLSTICE Prophecy reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Keepers of the truth

More than 30 years after the band's formation, Solstice has created what is in my opinion their best album to date. Prophecy--the band's fifth studio album--consists of five tracks (with no breaks between them) that all in all run for just under an hour. (In addition, there are three bonus tracks which are older Solstice tracks remixed by Steven Wilson.) The album revolves around a concept or theme that wisely is never allowed to overshadow the great music. The comic book-like artwork by Marvel artist Barry Kitson provides an appealing visual aspect. The lyrics and the artwork complement the music well making for an organic unity.

Eyes Of Fire opens the album in a rather low-key fashion and on my first listen I worried that I was in for a sleepy experience. But instead this builds up nicely to a guitar solo and leads the way to the much more energetic Keepers Of The Truth and onwards to an exciting and progressive journey. The vocals are often Yes-like with the female lead vocals of Emma Brown being backed up by male harmony vocals in a way that strongly evokes how Chris Squire and (to a lesser extent) Steve Howe characteristically back up Jon Anderson in Yes. Even some of the New-Agey lyrics remind of Anderson's lyrical style and some acoustic guitar parts remind of Steve Howe's acoustic playing. The electric lead guitar playing of Andy Glass instead often evoke (his namesake in Camel) Andy Latimer's wonderful sound. The many violin-driven passages often remind me of Kansas.

With Yes, Camel, and Kansas belonging to my personal all-time favourite bands, being reminded of them here is a blessing for sure and a basis for commendation. But I also wish to stress that Solstice are by no means just followers, they have a sound of their own that also draws on Folk and Jazz music in ways foreign to the above mentioned Prog giants (and the New-Agey/World-Music 'feel' of the music is, if not unique, at least somewhat unusual; perhaps Mandalaband can be mentioned in the context). Solstice has certainly inspired hordes of female-fronted progressive Rock bands of more recent decent. They are often counted among the pioneers of the British Neo-Prog movement, but in reality they have close to nothing in common with the usual suspects of that subgenre (Marillion, Pallas, IQ, etc.). Solstice is somewhere in the borderlands between Neo-Prog and classic Symphonic Prog. The keyboard sounds may be modern, but the mind-set is closer to that of classic progressive Rock.

The three bonus tracks are remixes by Steven Wilson of three tracks from Solstice' 1984 debut album Silent Dance. The latter is a very good album as well, but hearing these tracks straight after the new tracks just stands to emphasise that these songs are better heard within their original context (new remixes notwithstanding). If you don't know Solstice yet, starting with Prophecy is a good idea, and the three bonus tracks (when heard in isolation from the new material) should make you curious about Silent Dance and the band's other albums. Solstice is a great and unfairly overlooked band well worthy of your attention.

Highly recommended!

Review by Matti
4 stars This release includes three bonus tracks, Steven Wilson's remixes from SOLSTICE's debut album Silent Dance (1984), so I'll start with them. Silk soft sounds, girlish-sounding female vocalist called Sandy Leigh, and 6-7-minute melodic compositions that are like a mix of the most calm Caravan with their jazz flavour and some folky soft pop such as Clannad, except more instrumentally oriented. Beautiful!

During the long career the group has changed all members except the songwriting guitarist Andy Glass, but the style has remained mostly in peaceful atmospheres. There are several female voices in more recent Neo Prog not very different from Emma Brown, but that is a good thing after all. Prophecy is a finely produced, nearly an hour-long work divided in only five longish tracks. The leaflet features colour drawings by Marvel artist Barry Kitson.

The opener 'Eyes of Fire' is nearly narcotically slow horizon-painting, while the second track contains interludes with a bumpy rhythm pattern, fiddle-playing and somehow wandering instrumental part. In the beginning of 'Warriors' the guitar sounds make one think of Pink Floyd, but in its 17 -minute entirety the composition is over-extended, epic Neo Prog that has some difficulties to keep itself together. And actually the same criticism suits more or less for the whole album. It's definitely delightful to hear so serene and yet many-sided prog these times (when metal is often the keyword), but I can't help getting some faint feelings of boredom, ie. waiting of something more exciting to happen. Do I sound too harsh on this beautiful album? Anyway, otherwise this is very recommendable, instrumentally emphasized and slightly folk-flavoured melodic Neo Prog in the vein of Iona, Karnataka or early Mostly Autumn. 3 stars!

Review by Warthur
5 stars Prophecy is a special album in the Solstice discography for two reasons. The first reason it is their first album to be recorded with the exact same lineup that produced their previous studio album. (Indeed, it's almost but not quite the same lineup as produced their previous two albums, since The Cropredy Set - a live-in-the-studio affair rather than a true live album - was recorded with an almost-identical group of musicians except Pete Hemsley wasn't on drums, Clive Bunker was.)

The other reason? Why, simply that this is the best album Solstice have produced to date. Set aside the three bonus tracks - remixes from Silent Dance by Steven Wilson - because whilst those are decent, at the same time there's only so much even Steven can do to rectify the issues arising from the somewhat unsympathetic production job which Silent Dance suffered from. Concentrate instead on the five-song cycle that constitutes this album, and drink in the gorgeous production job which really teases out the subtleties of the band's work. With stronger than usual compositions, the band may well have produced their magnum opus here.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Prophecy or warning? Andy Glass returns with his on and off collective Solstice with probably their finest album to date, 2013's Prophesy. With only 5 new album tracks and total running time of 58 minutes, there is quite a lot of this album to take in, in order to write a truly comprehensive ... (read more)

Report this review (#1317378) | Posted by SteveG | Saturday, November 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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