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Grey Lady Down


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Grey Lady Down Star-Crossed album cover
3.27 | 30 ratings | 4 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fading Faith (9:11)
2. Shattered (5:26)
3. As The Brakes Fail (7:57)
4. Fallen (13:55)
5. New Age Tyranny (7:07)
6. Sands Of Time (4:29)
7. Truth (10:40)
8. Crossfire (7:32)

Total Time: 66:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Sean Spear / bass
- Martin Wilson / vocals
- Mark Westworth / keyboards, 12 string, mellotron
- Julian Hunt / guitars
- Phill Millichamp / drums
- Hughie McMillan / flute on 6
- Bernie Marsden / guitar solo on 8

Releases information

CD Perfect Top PPOPCD01

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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GREY LADY DOWN Star-Crossed ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GREY LADY DOWN Star-Crossed reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This is an album that "GLD" shouldn't have released. In July 98, they called it quit and made a last appearence at the London Astoria for a memorable farewell concert which will lead to the release of "The Time Of Our Lives". A great double live album.

Apparently, most "GLD" musicians were jobless a year later when Julian Hunt (guitar and founding member who left the band for a while) and Mark Westworth (keys and mellotron) luckily met at a party. Their chat unevitably ended about the fact of putting a new band together and they decided to talk back again with bandmates Sear Spear (bass) and Martin Wilson (vocals). There were no objection; they just needed a drummer and since Mark Robotham was not available, Martin Wright was contracted. But he will be replaced by Phil Millichamp for the final recordings of this album.

The name "Trinity" was chosen for the "new" band. After several rehearsals, it sounded clear that most of the songs were closely "GLD" related and the decison was taken to revert to the former name. "GLD" was born again ! And that's a good news.

Because this is a good album. All the "GLD" ingredients are present in "Star-Crossed". Long compositions, precise and efficient guitar breaks, powerful keyboards of course and the so delicate and passionate voice from Martin. I really like his vocal style. Some might argue that there is little variety brought with this album which in a sense is true; but their melodic neo-prog is always very pleasant to listen to. The highlights are the opening number "Fading Faith", the long "Fallen". The closing number, on a rather heavy edge stands out thanks to its brilliant guitar finale.

"GLD" 's music is easily accessible, catchy, melodic. So melodic..."Star-Crossed" might be a little lenghty but I could find a boring track; even "Sands Of Time" which is the shortest song from this album and featuring childish vocals is saved by a good guitar solo in the middle part followed by a pleasant flute break.

I like this band a bunch. My preferred works are "The Crime" and "Fear". Their live album "The Best Years..." is an excellent entry point in their discography. "Star-Crossed" being a very nice farewell. And I feel a bit sad to write this.

Two "GLD" members are active now in the band "Darwin"s Radio" (Mark and Sean). Mark is now even holding the keys for "IQ" after the sad departure of Martin Orford.

This album deserves a three star rating. Not as strong as their best albums but still pleasant for the ones who like beautiful melodies as well as keyboards-oriented music.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars This was a comeback album of sorts for the band as they had broken up after the "Fear" album and even recorded a double live farewell album the following year in 1998. So yes this came out of left field as the band reformed and recorded this in 2001.The drummer (Robotham) was already with THIEVE'S KITCHEN so we get a new guy behind the kit.The original guitarist returned and the bass player and vocalist are also original members. Westworth the keyboard player had been with the band since the "Fear" album. He would later join DARWIN'S RADIO then IQ after Orford had left. Interesting that SPHERE3 (who should be on this site) has had a relationship with GREY LADY DOWN over the years. Anderson who played guitar on a couple of GREY LADY DOWN albums is from SPHERE3 and for this album Westworth borrowed a mellotron from Neil Durant (SPHERE3) as well. And some recent news is the fact that SPHERE3's keyboardist Neil Durant has just replaced Westworth in IQ, and yes he has his own mellotron (yay). Back to this album. I have to admit that for me this is my least favourite GREY LADY DOWN studio album. I like some of the heavier sections on the final two tracks but really this album does almost nothing for me sadly.

"Fading Faith" opens with piano but it kicks in fairly quickly until it settles back when the vocals arrive. It does pick back up. A calm with reserved vocals around 4 minutes then it picks back up before 6 minutes. "Shattered" kicks in at a minute with prominant bass. It settles again as contrasts continue. Mellotron after 2 minutes. "As The Brakes Fail" is mellow with reserved vocals until it gets fuller before 2 1/2 minutes. "Fallen" opens with synths as drums, bass then guitar join in. It settles with laid back vocals before 2 minutes. It continues to pick back up then settle back the rest of the way. Organ before 6 1/2 minutes followed by some aggressive guitar then keyboards. It settles again and vocals are back after 10 minutes. It picks up then settles with piano after 12 1/2 minutes.

"New Age Tyranny" is vocal led with some good guitar after 5 minutes. "Sands Of Time" opens with strummed guitar then it picks up with vocals and other sounds. A guitar solo 3 minutes in. "Truth" is fairly heavy until it settles after 1 1/2 minutes.Vocals follow then it gets fuller after 3 minutes. Heavy again before 5 minutes. "Crossfire" has this heavy intro that I like but it changes quickly with vocals. It's still fairly heavy and intense though. Contrasts will continue but this one rocks pretty good.

A really low 3 stars would be generous but since this is my least favourite and i've rated the other studio albums at 3 stars I have to go 2.5 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars The sands of time led them into a new age of truth

Even if it appeared only four years after their previous album, Star-Crossed was a kind of comeback album by a reunited Grey Lady Down after an initial split. As far as I understand from the biographies of the band that I've read (as well as other reviews here), this album was initially intended to be released under a new and different band moniker, but in the end it became the fourth (and to date the most recent) Grey Lady Down album. This little background story might explain why Star-Crossed sounds so different in comparison to the earlier releases by the band and perhaps also why (if true?) some of the band's fans seem to find the present album somewhat disappointing. For me, on the other hand, this album far outshines all the previous three albums by the band. Indeed, Star-Crossed is the one and only Grey Lady Down album that I find really worthy and wholly enjoyable.

The line-up remains the same as on the previous album with two exceptions: original guitarist Julian Hunt returns to the fold and a Phill Millichamp takes over the drum stool. The drums sound better here than on previous albums and Hunt seem to have improved as a player since the early albums. For the first time in their career, Grey Lady Down here sounds as if they had finally found their own musical identity and style - a finding that apparently gave them a newfound confidence that really can be felt while listening to this album. In my review of the band's previous album, I already remarked that they had taken steps in the direction of a more distinctive and more original sound and Star-Crossed completed the transition of the band from being a rather anonymous and second-rate band in the Neo- Prog scene during their early days to a more honourable and exciting musical entity in its own right. Admittedly, the music here is still by no means highly original or in any sense ground-breaking, but this is not the point, the important thing is that the band no longer sounds like an also ran of the British Neo-Prog scene of the 80's (but 10 years too late), but instead like a band that deserves to be heard by somewhat wider audience (namely, all fans of the sub-genre).

While on the early albums the primary influence seems to have been Fish-era Marillion, they now seem to have a slightly wider set of influences. Actually, they now sound more like recent IQ (for which keyboarder Mark Westworth would later go on to play), but a bit rockier and grittier. Again like on the previous album, there is a harder edge. The keyboard sounds are more varied and rely more on classic piano and organ than before. There are also a stronger presence of acoustic guitars and even some flute on one track, played by guest Hughie McMillan. Another rather unlikely guest appearance is Bernie Marsden (who played Whitesnake and many others), who plays a guitar solo in the final track!

The most important aspect of why this album stands out in the otherwise rather weak Grey Lady Down discography, however, is simply that the material is strong. The melodies are memorable and the band members sound passionate as a result. It was exactly in this department that the band's previous albums failed to resonate with me. Another positive aspect is a greater variety and a better balance between rockers and ballads. The band's official website now states that the band is still together and a new album is a possibility. If a new recording will build on the foundation of Star-Crossed, this is promising news.

If you want to investigate Grey Lady Down, Star-Crossed is the place to begin (and then move in backwards chronological order).

Latest members reviews

4 stars It took me some time to get this CD. And after seeing such a vicious attack on this band as some reviewer did I almost didn't buy at all. But since I liked their earlier works (specially the Fear CD) I went ahead. Thank God I did. It is an excellent neo prog album, specially if you're into the e ... (read more)

Report this review (#82648) | Posted by | Tuesday, July 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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