Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Robert Reed

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Robert Reed Sanctuary album cover
3.96 | 189 ratings | 2 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sanctuary, Part 1 (20.44)
2. Sanctuary, Part 2 (18.12)

Total Time 38:56

Bonus DVD from 2014:
1. Promo 1 (6:08)
2. Promo 2 (2:12)
3. Promo 3 (Ommakache) (3:45)
4. Sanctuary, Part 1 (5.1 Mix) (20:39)
5. Sanctuary, Part 2 (5.1 Mix) (18:10)
6. Sanctuary, Part 1 (24/96 Stereo) (20:39)
7. Sanctuary, Part 2 (24/96 Stereo) (18:10)

Total time 89:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Reed / acoustic, electric, nylon & 12-string guitars, mandolin, banjo, bodhrán, bass, grand piano, Farfisa organ, Solina & Roland SH-2000 synths, recorder, glockenspiel, vibes, marimba, timpani, sleigh bells, gran cassa, orchestral snare and.......tubular bells

- Tom Newman / bodhrán
- Synergy / wordless chorus vocals
- Angharad Brinn / angel voice

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Melgar (photo)

CD+DVDv Tigermoth Records - TMRCD0714 (2014, UK) Bonus DVD with album in 5.1Surround and Stereo HiRes mixes plus 3 promo Videos

LP Plane Groovy - PLG027 (2014, UK)

Thanks to tszirmay for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ROBERT REED Sanctuary Music

ROBERT REED Sanctuary ratings distribution

(189 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ROBERT REED Sanctuary reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Robert Reed has been a prog mastermind for quite a while now, having first discovered him with his first group Cyan as well as working on the Fyreworks album, showing off his qualities as a composer and arranger whilst being well mannered on guitars and keyboards. His Magenta project is still running strong, his musical partnership with the amazing Christina Booth having dished out some memorable albums (Seven, Metamorphosis, the 27 Club). Recently, he has corralled some of the finest prog artists and released the terrific Celtic-infused Kompendium project. Being a manically prolific musical mind, he has finally resolved any solo album urges by honoring us with a tribute to Mike Oldfield and his Tubular Bells methodology. Now some may find that predatory and rather uninspired but I beg to differ, as I know of very few outright Tubular Bells cloning, even though artists such as Colin Masson or Amarok (the Polish band) will gentle poke the style espoused by the Ommadawner. Some negative minds might feel that 3 versions of TB from the master himself I more than enough, so why bother? Well, Robert Reed is not Mike Oldfield, he has every right to create an obviously unapologetic homage to whomever he feels is worthy of such acclaim. Oldfield was Reed's inspiration to make music, so this remains a quasi-religious experience for him that we should all applaud.

"Sanctuary" is a nearly 40 minute affair (a cool DVD shows you how it was done) that needs little enhancing explanation, the two long tracks follow the fluid orchestration, whereby additional instruments are layered onto the original theme, acoustic and electric guitars inviting the bass to enter the fray and blending in a variety of keyboards to expand the melodies, swerving by a few clever detours such as the mandolin, glockenspiel and voice choir sections. By bringing in Oldfield stalwarts Tom Newman as co-producer and Simon Heyworth doing the mastering, the sound will be pristine as such an immaculate exercise demands to be.

Part 1 (20:41) "I worked hard to make the melodies stand on their own. I wanted to capture the emotion that Mike Oldfield managed to communicate through his playing" states Mr. Reed on his website and the importance of his mentor is entirely justified by the manner in which Robert captures his emotion in playing such glittering music. The main theme, repeated in a myriad of variations throughout the disc, sets the tone that will permeate the album. Electric guitar is the spotlight instrument and it utterly dominates the score. The Synergy vocalists do a phenomenal background canvas, the recorders offering up pastoral vistas, the sweet acoustic guitar weaves its country magic. The bass led section is an outright copy of the original which is okay mainly because the original was so good. Bouncy, hopeful and luminescent, the arrangement seeks out newer pastures and yet keeps to tradition. Spell-binding!

Part 2 (18:09) starts off with Moerlen-era Gong marimba/vibes that recall "Percolations" in a way, acoustic guitar, mandolin and flute entering the realm. BTW, Pierre Moerlen was an Oldfield sideman on a few albums, so this should come as no surprise. The judicious use of the tubular bells is a clever detail that only heightens the pleasure. Reed rips a seductive spark from his electric axe as the piece accelerates into bass/tympani overdrive. The main theme is underscored in a kaleidoscope of variations, the guitar carving the way. In typical fashion, the ebb and flow is grandiose, gushing and cinematographic, the voice chanting "Oh maka-che, maka- che, maka-chukala" sounds perhaps fraught with cliché but this only parallels the original script. Reed screwdrives his guitar-centric lead with ardent poise, screeching high and dry, showing off a skill he always has had in his back pocket. The marimba waves are magical, the road ahead glistening with sensation and amazement, the sublime voice of Angharad Brinn (check out the video I posted) seduces with unbridled ecstasy, a gentle Celtic lullaby propelled by a rather brilliant bass run and as such, is one of the finest moments on this recording. The outro reaches its natural climax with more background choir and a series of slippery solos (has there ever been a master of slippery guitar like Oldfield? Yeah, the humble Robert Reed!) And like Queen enjoyed stating on some of their albums, NO SYNTHESIZERS WERE USED in the making of this album.

One of the finest covers adorn the jacket, as well as supplying a DVD that offers various surround mix options as well as a few technical videos. A great deferential package from the man!

4.5 sonic asylums

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Robert Reed, main composer of both the female fronted symphonic prog band Magenta and his sophisticated side-project Kompendium, is a very busy man these days! In addition to those two acts, he's not only helped out with bands like Touchstone and Materya over the last couple of years, but he's painstakingly worked away on this solo project `Sanctuary', and it's simply the absolute crowning achievement of an already wonderful career. Taking inspiration from Mike Oldfield's `Tubular Bells', Mr Reed has crafted two side-long suites of (mostly) instrumental music that effortlessly and seamlessly transitions through a mix of symphonic, world, new-age and light ambient styles, with even a bit of chanting and brief Celtic elements as well.

Over the course of the album, Reed slowly introduces a large variety of instruments and soaring themes, building on and moving between them in varying tempos back and forth. Symphonic prog grandness, medieval flavours and acoustic ruminations are most prominent, as is his majestic guitar playing, and the music takes on a deeply spiritual quality throughout, especially suitable as we're currently in the Christmas season. Mike Oldfield's defining album is constantly referred to in promotional materials for the album, and while it's an easy comparison, there are just as many moments that call to mind Gryphon or even Fruupp at their most sweeping. But one thing that is clear is how much of a labour of love this project has been for the artist, as he has poured his heart and soul into every second of it.

Recorders float through the beginning of the two-part self-titled epic, stirring acoustic guitar plucking weaving with rising electric guitar strains and cymbals crashing with power. Whimsical madrigal melodies are introduced by way of classical guitar, trilling flute and announcing triangle, a cooing choir, striking mandolin and sprightly acoustic guitars dance around triumphant chimes. Strains of `Hallelujah' cry in rapture over charming lute, a Celtic jig is strident and purposeful, and a very brief cheeky nod to `God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' will raise a smile! The second part incorporates spirited hypnotic chanting, tolling bells, pretty pipes, regal symphonic passages with blissful twinkling ambient reflections before victorious electric guitar soloing closes the piece in a hugely bombastic and victorious manner.

Available in a number of formats, including both vinyl LP and a beautiful DVD-Audio set, Robert Reed may have initially used `Tubular Bells' as a starting point of this work, but this is not some mere imitation or uninspired remake. It's a love-letter for a time when the album form was looked upon with the potential to be a grand artistic statement. It may have it's roots in the Seventies, but it still sounds vital and fresh now, and every single theme Reed introduces throughout this epic is impossibly moving and momentous. It's one of the most captivating, distinctive and special progressive releases of 2014.

Truly music for kings and queens, gods and us mere mortals, Robert Reed's `Sanctuary' is thirty-nine minutes of sheer musical bliss, and a true sanctuary for the heart, spirit and mind!

Five stars.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of ROBERT REED "Sanctuary"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.