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Avalon USA biography
US act AVALON USA was formed back in 1989 by Jeff Kalmar (guitars) and Joel Pirard (keyboards), and after recruiting Bruce Henninger (drums), Dan Bonadeo (vocals) and John Curtin (bass) they were an active live unit until the band fell apart in mid 90's or thereabouts. A few years later the band got together to finalize five selected studio recordings from their repertoire (adding three additional performances) resulting in the CD Five of the Best, released as a digital album in 2000.
The work on this production fuelled the desire to complete the other recordings made back when the band was active, which lead to the release of The Dreamer and the Dream in 2002. In 2007 the studio tracks from both these productions were compiled on the CD Once Stood a Band - the Studio Sessions, finalizing the legacy of this band.

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AVALON USA discography

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AVALON USA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Five of the Best
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Dreamer and the Dream

AVALON USA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AVALON USA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AVALON USA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 3 ratings
Once Stood a Band - the Studio Sessions
0.00 | 0 ratings
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AVALON USA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Five of the Best by AVALON USA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.00 | 2 ratings

Five of the Best
Avalon USA Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Obscure US act, possibly from New York, found in 1989 by guitarist Jeff Kalmar and keyboardist Joel Pirard out of the ashes of a group called Orion.Trying to avoid the errors of the past that led to the demise of Orion, they searched for a stable line-up, recruiting drummer Bruce Henninger through an ad and ex-Orion bassist John Curtin.The line-up was finalized with the addition of lead vocalist Dan Bonadeo.The band gigged intensively over the years, but it had to pass a decade before launching their first CDR work ''Five of the best'' in 2000, refering to the five original studio compositions the album contained compared to the myriad the band had reputedly written.

These five tracks show a band with talent, switching from Classic 70's Symphonic Rock to more modern Neo Prog stylings with comfort, while their music has strong links with the albums of STARCASTLE, GENESIS, KANSAS and SUPERTRAMP.Vocals are a bit annoying, too high-pitched for the taste of the average listener, but the musicianship is great with plenty of keyboard textures and fresh guitar melodies, recalling the spirit of the legendary 70's groups.Still the music has quite a bit of a rockin' atmosphere with nice rhythmic parts.The compositions are characterized by tight structures and lots of shifting moods, containing symphonic-oriented keyboards and extended instrumental parts next to the melodious, sensitive guitar lines.The studio work of the group finishes at this point, but the length of this album continues with three additional tracks, captured live by the group.The recording quality drops significantly, on the other hand the music in these pieces is more complex and dramatic, somewhat closer to compatriots CATHEDRAL with a bit of virtuosic Fusion added in the keyboard work.Very good organ washes, dense synthesizer flights, complicated breaks and sharp guitar runs complete a surprising work of 70's-inspired Progressive Rock.

''Five of the best'' is an extremely satisfying album, inspired by the classic acts of Prog Rock's heydays, well-executed with decent arrangements and interesting material.An easy choice for all lovers of the classic Progressive Rock aesthetics.

 Once Stood a Band - the Studio Sessions by AVALON USA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
2.95 | 3 ratings

Once Stood a Band - the Studio Sessions
Avalon USA Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Recently my attention was drawn to a newly added band here on PA called Avalon USA. I decided to check them out with this particular album and I turned pretty ambivalent I have to say.

The reason was I checked out their by far best track (probably ever) first. This one was called Once stood a Man (notice the one word difference of this albums title). It was a truly amazing track and I was convinced I had found myself a jewel here. But when I heard the other songs my admiration disappeared just about completely. I wish I had done things the other way around but of course the final result would have been the same. Biggest problem with Avalon USA is the singer really. Dan Bonadeo has a below par voice which especially becomes obvious with live performances. And it ruins a lot of the bands sound unfortunately. The instrumental musicians are much better but I wouldn't want to call them top notch either.

In the end Once Stood a Man is a stand alone case. A stand out track indeed which made me decide for the three stars after all, though rounded up. If it wouldn't have been on this compilation it would have gone down with two stars for sure. Well, okay: the suite and Gulag aren't bad compositions either. So the three stars are deserved probably. But be warned: if you are critical on vocals better stay away.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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