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Galahad The Last Great Adventurer album cover
4.04 | 107 ratings | 7 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Alive (8:20)
2. Omega Lights (10:05) :
- Part One: Λ
- Part Two: Ω
3. Blood Skin and Bone (8:17)
4. Enclosure 1764 (4:07)
5. The Last Great Adventurer (10:35)
6. Normality of Distance (5:50) *
7. Another Life Not Lived (7:55) *

Total Time 55:09

* bonus tracks on CD

Line-up / Musicians

- Stu Nicholson / vocals
- Lee Abraham / guitar
- Dean Baker / keyboards
- Mark Spencer / bass
- Spencer Luckman / drums

Releases information

Label: Oskar Productions (Vinyl), Avalon Records (CD)
Format: Vinyl (Black and Colored), CD, Digital
October 24, 2022 (CD), November 7, 2022 (Digital), End 2022 (Vinyl)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to mbzr48 & NotAProghead for the last updates
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GALAHAD The Last Great Adventurer ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

GALAHAD The Last Great Adventurer reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
5 stars It is hard to believe, but there was time in my life when I had not heard of the band Galahad, but at the tender age of 28 that all changed when I was lent their debut CD and I purchased both that and their previous cassette. I'm 60 next year, so have known this band for more than half my lifetime, yet every new release is treated with the knowledge that these guys have no idea on how to rest on their laurels and keep pushing forward. Singer Stu Nicholson is the only original left, although drummer Spencer Luckman has been there nearly as long, and with long-time keyboard player Dean Baker they have been pushing boundaries together for more than 20 years. There have been a few changes in bassist and guitarists over that time (including of course the untimely death of Neil Pepper, who is never far from the band in many ways, and this album includes 'Another Life Not Lived' which he co-wrote with Stu), but with Lee Abrahams on guitar and Mark Spencer on bass (plus the important 'second triangle'), and Karl Groom again engineering, recording and co-producing, we have a band who has been playing together for a few years, albeit this is Mark's first appearance on an album.

Dean and Stu wrote most of the material together, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much impact Dean has had on the overall sound since his appearance on 1999's 'Following Ghosts' as there has been a consistent reliance on guitar, which Lee is happy to oblige with and Karl of course is more than happy with that. This kicks off with a synth bursting into guitar, and the high energy 'Alive' and I found myself immediately being reminded of 'Year Zero'. Unlike the last album, here we have a collection of individual songs, packed full of what I expect from the boys in that we have superb musicianship, great hooks, and songs which take us on a journey. Then over it all we have Stu's vocals which do not appear to have changed much since I first came across them all those years ago ' he is one of the most consistent singers around, and in Dean has found a songwriting partner he can really work with, as be heard on every album they release.

Spencer continues to be one of the most under recognised drummers in the business, as he is the beating heart of the band, and thanks to Karl we can really hear the work he is putting in with plenty of variety and drive. Musically this is one of their more varied albums, which even finds them adapting an 18th century nursery rhyme, certainly not something one would expect from these guys, but they have taken the basis and turned it into something which is dramatic and proggy as opposed to folky and twee. The title track is a personal tribute to Stu's father, Bob, who not only inspired the words but also appears on the cover. Biographical in nature, the lyrics here certainly describe a very special person indeed, and we even get some words which sound as if they were recorded by the man himself. Immediate, yet with depths which become clear the more this is played, Galahad have yet again returned with an album which is a sheer delight from beginning to end. More than 30 years down the line from when we first made each other's acquaintance, Galahad continue to be a step above so many others in the prog scene.  

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
4 stars The eleventh studio album of the band has been written a few years ago and features the bass player Mark Spencer of Twelfth Night. The song included here contains plenty of electronic effects and soundscapes from Dean Baker which gives this album a modern sound but is faithful to the melodic Neo-Prog sound of the past. We can easily get into the songs with the unique voice of Stuart Nicholson and the catchy melodies. Sometimes the band adds something new with the beautiful song "Blood Skin and Bone" which brings some Middle-Eastern singing and also some heavy guitar riffs with a huge guitar solo from Lee Abraham. The title track of 10 minutes starts in the usual Galahad style and then gets loose with a fun bass break and a light jazz ending. So if you already enjoy this band's music you won't be disappointed here, another strong album.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The arrival of a new Galahad album, especially after such a long hiatus, is always the most welcome news in a world where doom and gloom still dominates the airwaves, musical or otherwise. Thankfully, the duo of Dean Baker on keyboards and fabulous vocalist Stu Nicholson did soften the pain by releasing two Galahad Electric Company albums during the "bunker lifestyle" and both were quite enjoyable indeed. But when the full band coalesces into that incredibly spirited team, its always a source of unfettered jubilation. Together with the afore mentioned stalwarts, as well as long-time solid drummer Spencer Luckman, the crew is rounded out by Lee Abraham, a guitarist extraordinaire who continues to cement his place with the usual poise, and now adding new bassist Mark Spencer, who fits in like a glove (he is an experienced lad).

So, what has five long years of patience earned us? Perhaps their finest yet, not an easy task after such memorable flurry, pretty much from Sleepers on, with that colossal upwards leap with the mighty Empires Never Last (an album that seems to be sadly quite current in Eastern Europe, eh, Vlad?), the sizzling Beyond the Realms of Utopia, the gritty Battle Scars, the celestial Sea of Change, and the stately Quiet Storms. This adventurous band has made some truly memorable music over the years. Stu Nicholson has an instantly recognisable voice, unusually velvety at times and occasionally raging virulence, yet always in control. He is quite the showman as well, as witnessed by the Galahad Live in Poland -Resonance video concert, which I treasure to this day as one of the finest shows on DVD! Also of note, one must mention Dean Baker's injection of clever electronics into his keyboard mix, giving their classic progressive rock style a much-needed modernization and sonic polish. I also possess all of Lee Abraham's solo albums, and his 2019 release Comatose remains solidly ensconced on my all-time list! His fretwork here is absolutely first-rate, sprinkling flashy riffs, sinuous leads, and persuasive solos galore.

The vigorous opener "Alive" offers a hymn to the awakening reality that we may be finally emerging from our personal bunkers and that "a new day is dawning", a lusty renewal full of pomp and circumstance, as Luckman bashes away contentedly on his kit. A stunning mid-section offers Abraham's acoustic guitar in coalescence with Baker's ornate piano, while Stu shudders with heartfelt emotion, before returning to the thunderous main melody, capped off by a slippery serpentine synth solo. The electric axe rampage only serves to heighten the glory of our long-awaited deliverance from despair.

Galahad has a proven track record of being able to balance their overt power tracks with some velvet shimmer as expressed by the atmospheric epic 10 minute "Omega Lights", as it slithers into the system. Baker's suave piano and celestial synths establish a riverbed of mood and expression, graceful and tranquil, not in the least concerned by pace. Slowly the bass drops in and the guitar guides the parade on the road to the main melody and chorus. Stu exudes undeniable confidence in his voice as the piece evolves organically into a memorable refrain. Change of pace as the howling mellotron choir and gritty guitar work in unison with the muscular rhythmic pulse, climbing over to horizon to an awaiting Abraham outburst, a luscious build-up that remains restrained, so as to give the chorus an elevated platform to sink into our soul. It will get a reprise later in the set-list, just like with "Alive".

Time for some more sporting adventure, as the crew deviate into the unforgiving Saharan desert, with suitable Arabic voice wailings and staunch guitar sirocco riffs to keep the sonic caravansary on the proper path through the shifting dunes. The swirling, twirling dervish axe pyrotechnics are rippling and unwavering, as the mordant arrangement holds no restraint. The keys remain supreme as well, a wonderful trip, that was "Blood, Skin & Bone".

The harrowing urgency is tempered by a deliberately contemplative "Enclosure 1764", where modern electronic keyboards are used to great effect, sending the listening audience into a more ethereal zone. This little gem is quite mind-blowing in its purity and is a standout piece that should not go unnoticed The title track is Stu's warm and personal tribute to his father, surely one of the most impressive tracks here, as it truly defines the characteristics of this fine band, encompassing robust melodies, clever instrumental expertise without trying to be overtly complicated and Stu Nicholson's convincing lyrics and vocal disposition. The arrangement is, like the title suggests, an adventure into the exploration of the human capacity to push the boundaries beyond the norm and courageously dare to go where few would dare. The unexpected jazzy e-piano section is a sheer delight, as the accompanying compressed guitar swish has a slight Steely Dan feel, before raising the bar into their usual powerful delivery. Abraham soars over the alpine crests as if he wanted to conquer the Eiger himself (a Swiss alp known for its treachery). Lovely indeed. The quirky waltz of "Normality of Distance" is an ode to love and shows a different vocal side, one of emotional intricacy and tonal simplicity, as if some kind of prog operetta that strangely feels very familiar and accessible. Stu has a remarkable quality in his style, in that every word he croons is clearly understood, a feat often unmatched in the prog world (Peter Nichols would fit that bill as well). He articulates with the very best microphone acrobats! A lustrous little gem, showing off their diversity in song selection and stylistics. Kudos.

And then, we arrive, breathless, to the highest mountain top: "Another Life Not Lived" is a poignant track, written quite a while ago, reflecting on the passing of Galahad's much loved bassist Neil Pepper, and this magnificent track is an unequivocal tribute to a life cut short way too soon. It is apparent the band has struggled with this tragedy for quite a while and purposefully took their time in crafting and polishing this amazing homage to a fallen comrade. I daresay this might be a crowning achievement for the Galahad lads as this is an outright classic prog piece. It defies description here; so I won't even dare, you just need to hear it for yourself. Deepest respect. "You will never fade away". Gulp!

Can't really continue after this tear-jerking moment, so it was wise to add two bonus tracks, both radio edits of "Alive" and "Omega Lights", in a more concise, earnest format, half the size of the original compositions. Galahad steadfastly continues its forward voyage, true to itself and its inner flame, a talented band that has not ever disappointed this reader as I have been a devout fan since discovering the Sleepers album and its acoustic offshoot Galahad Acoustic Quartet back in 1994. Stu Nicholson has one of the finest voices in prog, in any subcategory, and only getting better with the passing 29 years. This album is a candidate for album of the year, in extremely good company, may I add.

5 conquering alpinists

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The 2022 offering from these British NeoProg veterans. The album contains a lot of words of retrospection and elegy dedicated to recently deceased friends and family.

1. "Alive" (8:20) sounds like something straight out of the 1980s. I don't really like the poppy NEW ORDER vocals and computer-enhanced/added drums. Solid instrumental section in the third quarter turns mushy when the band has to switch back to 4/4 time in order to accommodate the guitar solo of Lee Abraham. The finish is just airbowling till the 80s finish. (16.75/20)

2. "Omega Lights" (10:05) (17.25/20): - Part One: Λ - 90s keyboard sounds through the filter of 21st Century computers opens this and plays on for three and a half VANGELIS-like minutes. - Part Two: Ω - a bluesy Steve Hackett/The Who-like pulsing sound comes out of the Part One intro. Never comes to anything special (especially with such an awful chorus); totally unfulfilled potential. Even the big shift at the 7:00 mark does nothing to excite.

3. "Blood Skin and Bone" (8:17) opens with the first minute sounding like something from 1980s pop-experimenting TANGERINE DREAM before shifting into a hypnotic Pete Shelley-sounding piece. Again, the chorus takes us away from the good stuff, dumbs it down into something mundane. I actually like the variable-speed tempo used in the beginning of instrumental passage starting at the end of the fourth minute--and it remains engaging even when they lock it in for another Lee Abraham guitar solo. At 5:25 when break down for a walk through the fair ("the human freak show"), Stu continues a narration-like commentary on our human species (which sounds like a priest's two-pitch singing of the text of the High Mass). Then we bounce back into a smoothed-out PET SHOP BOYS-like version of the chorus. Some good, some banal. (17.5/20)

4. "Enclosure 1764" (4:07) sounds so dramatic--as if it comes from some theatric stage production. What is Stu singing about--something from British history? (8.25/10)

5. "The Last Great Adventurer" (10:35) four chord rock supports a really simply written homage to Stu's father. (Stu is no poet; he's more of a observational narrator.) I agree with Thomas Szirmay: the instrumental passage in the eighth minute has a very STEELY DAN feel to it before the Traffic/Canterbury keyboard enters. And Lee Abraham's solo in the ninth minute really builds and soars. The contemplative jazzy section in the tenth minute is interesting--especially when Stu tries to croon the same lyrics as before over/within it. (17/20)

6. "Normality of Distance" (5:50) * piano and keyboard "orchestra"-supported ballad for Stu to sing in a pop-theatre way. It's like a heart-strings-pulling ballad from the 1970s. (Think "Shannon" ao something from AIR SUPPLY.) (8/10)

7. "Another Life Not Lived" (7:55) * 1980s electric guitar arpeggi in revers and slow forward joined by piano to slow build as Stu lays down his best vocal of the album--strained, acrobatic, and nuanced. But then the power chords enter and dominate--diminishing the power and centrality of Stu's vocal. Luckily this only occurs for the choruses. Several times the vocal melody comes devastatingly close to replicating Roger Hodgson's from the Supertramp song "A Soapbox Opera"--and then the guitar solo is too close to something by David Gilmour. The best song on the album (or is it ... on the album?). (13.5/15)

Total Time 55:09

* bonus tracks on CD

B-/3.5 stars; a nice addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if your of the NeoProg prog persuasion.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the original British neo-prog bands from the 80s that sat side by side with the bigwigs of Marillion, Pallas, IQ and Pendragon, GALAHAD was formed as far back as 1985 but didn't release its debut album "Nothing Is Written" until 1991. It would take even longer for the band to master the neo-prog sound with a few early clunkers but once the new millennium arrived GALAHAD has been instrumental in releasing a series of excellent neo-prog classics with 2006's "Empires Never Last" remaining a fan favorite.

Always willing to take risks and dive into something new, 2021's "Soul Therapy" under the GALAHAD ELECTRIC COMPANY moniker threatened to ditch the world of neo-prog altogether and adopted a bizarre hybrid of downtempo and synthpop as its medium of choice. Startled prog stalwarts were in utter shock and honestly i didn't care for that album too much as it jettisoned all the characteristics that made this band stand out amongst the competition. Luckily lessons were learned and GALAHAD made an abrupt retreat back into classic hook-laden neo-prog catchiness of yore. Much of the material actually predates the "Seas Of Change" album so it's no wonder why the album has bit of a retro feel preceding the later experiments.

THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER returns GALAHAD to its classic pop-hook fueled neo-prog that has kept the band relevant for its lengthy career but something about this band seems to just get better as these veteran neo-proggers become seasoned elders. The album sees the return of Twelfth Night bassist Mark Spencer who played with the band between the "Beyond the Realms of Euphoria" and "Quiet Storms" albums but never appeared on any album himself. The lineup retains the classic long term members vocalist Stu Nicholson, keyboardist Dean Baker and drummer Spencer Luckman. Former bassist turned guitarist Lee Abraham is also still around and has become as proficient on the six string as his former instrument.

Like many contemporary neo-prog albums, THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER features bonus tracks on the CD version making a total of seven whereas the vinyl LP release has five. With the extras the album is just over 55 minutes and showcases some of the band's best work in a while. While resurrecting their classic neo-prog hooks with the accompaniment of feisty guitar work, GALAHAD has also employed an ample use of electronic wizardry on this one with lots of trippy keyboard extras behind the usual piano, synth and atmospheric contributions with even some progressive electronic sophistication seeping into the mix.

The album opens with the super-catchy "Alive" which finds the band in perfect neo-prog form. The track showcases the classic sounds of the 80s with strong catchy verse / chorus almost new wave sounding post-punk tendencies with all the musicians sounding at the top of their game. Clearly the years have been kind to Nicholson's voice as he remains dynamically soulful with each performance and honestly has one of the best vocal styles in the world of neo-prog. The band's sense of pacing is polished like a diamond in the rough with the pop sensibilities dominating but augmented by the more complex layering of prog tendencies. In many ways GALAHAD and similarly minded neo-prog acts have taken the 80s sounds of bands like Asia, GTR and other AOR / arena rock acts and given them true prog credentials.

While the opening track is the most in-yer-face flirtation with mainstream 80s new wave, the album ratchets up the progressive rock aspects with "Blood Skin and Bone" and the 10-minute plus title track taking the musical experience in advanced prog technique territory. The title track is a tribute to Stu's father and covers a lot of ground with the most interesting compositional changes on the album's run. The track ends with an interesting loungy jazz club saxophone cameo.

As far as the CD bonus tracks are concerned they are set on ballad mode with the tempos and dynamics slowed down for an emotive vocal dominance. While a bit sappier than the rest of the album, it almost sounds like these tracks are supposed to be the "singles" so to speak and a mixed bag really. "Normality of Distance" is a bit too sappy for my liking but "Another Life Not Lived" holds up pretty well with a better mix of electronics, guitars and compositional fortitude. While GALAHAD has never been total top tier neo-prog band in my world due to inconsistencies, i have to say that these guys are as good as it gets when they're hitting a high note and THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER is chock filled with such higher octave moments. After nearly 40 years on the scene it seems that GALAHAD is like fine wine that only becomes better with age so i'm sure we can look forward to more excellent music from these UK neo-proggers.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review # 119. Every new release of Galahad is like sweet sound to my ears. So, after the release of the "difficult" Seas of Change, and the 2 albums they released as Galahad Electric Company, the complete Galahad are back with one more wonderful album! I have been following their relea ... (read more)

Report this review (#2858434) | Posted by The Jester | Friday, December 16, 2022 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Let's start with the good. The band plays well together and has a solid sound. I can imagine fans of this type of music will adore the album. I'm not one of them. For starters, why are the tracks so long while there's so little development? Are they long for the sake of being long? The title trac ... (read more)

Report this review (#2850935) | Posted by WJA-K | Tuesday, November 8, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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