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GALAHAD

Prog Folk • Germany


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Galahad picture
Galahad biography
Formed: 1985 in Dinslaken, Germany
Current status as of March 2018: Active

GALAHAD are a German folk rock with a style influenced by both British Isles bands like JETHRO TULL and STEELEYE SPAN and German purveyors like OUGENWEIDE.
With plenty of flute and electric guitar they blend modern and medieval sounds.

"Myrddin" is a truly magnificent set of brilliant original material, which features the beautiful cascading vocals of Ulli KOBERG. They are great live and "Storyteller''s Dance", like all their others, is recommended for all lovers of good music. GALAHAD is one of the more imaginative bands from Germany in the field of Celtic music.

Revised and updated by Ken Levine (kenethlevine) March 2018

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Seas of ChangeSeas of Change
Avalon 2018
$18.98
$20.92 (used)
Empires Never LastEmpires Never Last
Avalon Records 2011
$15.99
Beyond the Realms of EuphoriaBeyond the Realms of Euphoria
CD Baby 2016
$9.99
$13.73 (used)
Battle ScarsBattle Scars
CD Baby 2016
$9.99
$19.10 (used)
When Words Collide 30ThWhen Words Collide 30Th
JFK 2015
$21.99
$52.80 (used)
Quiet StormsQuiet Storms
Avalon 2017
$16.69
$16.99 (used)
Mein Herz BrenntMein Herz Brennt
Single
Mhb 2014
$8.00
$10.99 (used)
Guardian Angel  EPGuardian Angel EP
Single · EP
IMPORTS 2014
$8.00
$10.99 (used)
Seize the Day  EPSeize the Day EP
Avalon 2014
$7.94
$10.99 (used)
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GALAHAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Sir Galahad
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dragons, Knights and Virgins
1995
3.91 | 4 ratings
The Return of the Piper
1997
3.86 | 3 ratings
Myrddín
2000
2.39 | 3 ratings
Storyteller's Dance
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ladhivan - Tales Of Celtic Myths
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Incredibile
2011

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

GALAHAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

GALAHAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Galahad Promo CD
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Season's Greetings
2014

GALAHAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Incredibile by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Incredibile
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars The gap between albums by this German Celtic Rock band keeps widening, with 5 years between "Ladhivan" and "Incredibile", which, in spite of its 2011 year of release, remains their last offering as of April 2018. Luckily this is another quality offering, albeit a tad uneven as is their wont.

The opening cut is certainly fun, but its rather hackneyed play on words cheapens the effect somewhat, and, in any case, when a band promises that they are here to folk me, I expect ecstasy and not mere enjoyment. The following song is far better and one of several mystical sounding pieces that brings GALAHAD ever closer to more prog oriented groups like THE MORRIGAN. Even though its title is based on a pun, this seems more like the innocent juxtaposition of those for whom English is not native, or just a more oblique and rewarding double entendre. Musically this is also much more rewarding. Tina de Vlinder weaves violin with her vocal duties, and somewhat dissonant harmony vocals. "Incredibile Galahad" is also brilliant, sung in Latin, so here what looks like a play on words regarding "bile", is actually the correct Latin, and pronounced "Incredeebeelee". The lead guitar excursions here demarcate the progress of the band towards a harder edged folk rock as well as an improvement in Dieter Horlitz's technique. "Tender Crazy" is a lilting piece of pure joy, a reminder that sometimes a melody that one can follow even before it unfolds can soothe the tattered soul. "The Princess and the Frog" asks the question "What if the objective of kissing the prince is to find the right frog"; it does so with class and, like so many tracks here, sweet flute work from Paul Alexander Yost. As before, between the outstanding songs are a few of average caliber, like the rather static "Next Step", the heavy but unfocused "Busy Lizzie" (the only one where Yost sings lead) , the soporific tale of "Malley-O" , and the silly but unfunny "Go Sit on a Tack".

The album has a higher quotient of instrumental tracks than before, and they are a bit of a mixed bag. "Ride to Akkon" and "Way to Tara" both depict the voyage with a sense of discovery and awe, while "Wolkenstein's Tanz" is at best remembered for its title, and "Rookie's Rondo" could have been performed by thousands of less distinctive bands in the genre.

At its best, "Incredibile" justifies its title and GALAHAD's longevity, while augmenting their already prolific legacy, but the excess of filler impedes its destination on the virtual top shelf.

 Ladhivan - Tales Of Celtic Myths by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Ladhivan - Tales Of Celtic Myths
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars After the three year hiatus that followed "Storyteller's Dance", German Celtic Rockers GALAHAD return with a new female lead singer Tina Schreiber, who replaced the outgoing Ulli Koberg. Paul Alexander remains principal writer, flute, mandolin and acoustic guitar player, but, while previously in too prominent a role as vocalist, here he sings lead on but one track, the rousing "Connemara Girl" in the best traditions of UK counterparts such as OYSTERBAND and even 1980s alt rock band JAMES from UK in its unplugged moments.

The arrangements here are more progressive than ever, even if the songs themselves rarely eschew the folk idiom. For the first time, GALAHAD approach the spirit of acts like Ireland's THE MORRIGAN, with more emphasis on spacey keyboard textures, reaching a crescendo on the imposing "This Day is not Today" enhanced by the heaviest guitars on the disk, which somewhat compensate for the dearth of lead guitar overall. Other superlative offerings in this vein include the mystical opener, "Sparrow in the Midwinter Hall" and the frenetic "Fox at the Airport", both terse yet poignantly lyrical and infused with urgency. Several themes repeat, such as the main melodies in "Under the Evenstar" and "The Very First Time Part 1", both slow paced and deliberate. The latter is slightly better and is not the only instance where I am reminded of former Quebecois group OREALIS. "Peaceful Slumber" begins almost identically to "Connemara Girl" but is ultimately distinct enough in its own right, trading male for female vocals and whistles for flutes. The title cut is another mysterious, even Gothic piece that is reprised instrumentally at the end. I hear some echoes of CLANNAD in the prioritizing of atmosphere, but the music here is more vivacious.

While an accomplished production, "Ladhiven" could have been improved by replacing of few of the less interesting cuts, such as "Warm Touch", "Mediis Tenebris" and "Step Beside" with a single longer track to vary the pacing and more firmly impose progressive credentials. Still, while not the best of GALAHAD's prolific output, it's a reasonable entry point to their discography for the prog oriented.

 Storyteller's Dance  by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.39 | 3 ratings

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Storyteller's Dance
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars On the surface, this 5th album by German Celtic Rockers GALAHAD lacks the allure of the couple that preceded it. For starters, for some reason Paul Alexander Jost handles the bulk of the vocal duties for the first time, at the expense of Ulli Koberg. Now, Jost has a distinctive enough voice that works well for some material, but his idiosyncratic fusion of LEONARD COHEN and MARK KNOPFLER with its quasi conversational style is perhaps best suited for at most half the songs rather than two thirds. Given that this was Ulli's last disk with GALAHAD, one might infer that she left while it was being recorded, which might also explain the slightly higher quotient of stuffing as well, with songs like "Seasons of Salmon", "Liberty or Just for you", and "Nightingale Flight" appearing to have fallen off the wheelbarrow before they were properly potted. Finally, other than the vague references to dancing here and there and to the possible ulterior meanings of the word that I won't go into, this lacks a concept of note or the mystique of the medieval tale so prevalent in prior works by this band.

Yet for all that, this is mostly a fine collection of occasionally hard edged folk rock with a progressive soul, a bounty of flutes, electric guitar and even a few sensible keyboard and orchestral arrangements. I am especially heartened by their restraint, as they rarely grandstand for the sake of it. Arrangements may at times be intricate but GALAHAD knows when to pull rank and bring us back to the song. Most of the highlights occur early on, with the best being the proggy and varied paced "Guilty"; the brilliant instrumental "Virtual Dance" with its dramatic harpsichord like flourishes and aggressive lead guitar solo; the Ulli-led "Be on the Right" with a smidgen of the oom pah pah in its sophisticated grooves; "Well Haired Golden Maiden" with its sublime melody again carried by Ulli, the choruses bolstering the tension building from the verses. I will add one more - the nervous "Fred Friendly" with its tale of a fellow who can't turn down a request for help from his friends who are of course convinced that their need is a gift to the poor fella. It reminds me of the more lighthearted numbers by KERRS PINK.

"Storyteller's Dance" suffers a bit in consistency and inspiration in comparison to the likes of "Myrddin" and "The Return of the Piper", but it is still recommended to those here with a penchant for Celtic Rock.

 Myrddín by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.86 | 3 ratings

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Myrddín
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Produced by EROC of GROBSCHNITT fame, this 4th release by German Celtic Rock group GALAHAD is, not surprisingly, their most rock oriented up to that point, with electric guitars and synths both asserting themselves more often and prominently. At the same time, this collection of original numbers retains that lilting quality of British Isles folk. In fact, the pipes on the triumphant "The Leaving of Inishmore" might have skirled right off the hallowed stage of a RUNRIG or BATTLEFIELD BAND concert, while the flutes and whistles suffuse additional energy into these compelling musical tales.

Paul Alexander Jost continues to share vocal duties with the talented Ulli Koberg, but here Jost sings more leads, if you can call it that. He actually has developed a talking on tune style that is paradoxically both warm and irreverent. The closest comparison would be MARK KNOPFLER with hints of LEONARD COHEN and DAVE COUSINS. It's a fascinating affectation that he barely hinted at on prior releases, and may have developed in keeping with the story telling aspect of this somewhat connected collection, though he plays a few roles including the titular one, more familiar to many of us as "Merlin the Magician"

Koberg herself is more assured than ever, right out of the gate as the "Celtic Queen", a spirited and independent woman who chooses to devote herself to the cultural traditions rather than accepting a husband. This creates a backlash to which Merlin himself refers in his narrative. "Heal Me" is a similarly upbeat and catchy, but "The Truth" adopts an ancient ritualistic atmosphere, the likes of which we have not heard since earlier CLANNAD or LOREENA MCKENNITT. Bands like IONA and KARNATAKA seem to aspire to this mood but ultimately fall far short because they are so tethered to the prog label that they overshoot the proverbial forest.

In a way, it all seems a rehearsal for the "Girl from the Woods", about a suspected witch, and the "Two Witches" suite, based on a true tale of woe set in Germany in the 1500s. While there appears no direct relation between the witches and the Celtic Queen, women who defy the prevailing patriarchal system have tended to be outcast, and calling them witches is an effective tool of ostracism, with imprisonment as a further consequence. The suite approaches 15 minutes in length and peaks on the "Where are You Now", when we discover that one witch is actually in love with another not in attendance, perhaps one from her prior life in a convent.

"Myrrdin" is the first album by GALAHAD that offers a convincing case for prog fans with at least a minor in prog folk, as it's more aggressive that its antecedents while the band playing is tighter than ever, making it all the easier to succumb to its magic.

 The Return of the Piper by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.91 | 4 ratings

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The Return of the Piper
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Medieval in subject matter if not in sound (and, after all, nobody really knows what music sounded like in the 1200s, do they?), "The Return of the Piper" casts a firm identity for this German Celtic Rock group. Given their thematic focus, they merit their moniker much more than the British neo prog group that more of you know, who curiously were formed in the same 1985.

More rock oriented than their debut, emphasis remains on male/female vocal harmonies, rambunctious guitars and flutes, and traditional or traditionally inspired melodies. Apart from 2 obvious retreads, "Gaudete" (nothing really added to the legions of versions) and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" (a scintillating doodle fest that makes me so glad I didn't hit skip), the remainder is likely to please purists and heretics alike. The center piece in every aspect is the astonishing title track that is indeed based on the 13th century German tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a "rat catcher" who is not properly compensated for turning the town's rats into proverbial lemmings so leads away the children of the village in lieu of payment. Shrouded in the mists of the middle ages, the story invites myriad interpretations, but this is a magnificent musical arrangement with an extended mournful lead guitar intro, imaginative vocal arrangements in the verse, and a catchy chorus with a raunchy final bar. The band gets to stretch out particularly on the flutes and mandolins during the break.

The opening number is a propos "The Lady of Corvic", who seduced Sir Lancelot by pretending to be Guinevere, and then was all like "Why did you leave me in the night?". The obligatory child from this indiscretion is to be named "Galahad" apparently. While a bit repetitive, its authenticity more than compensates. The instrumental "Experience" is another exhibit of the band's fluid quasi improvised interactions, with judicious keyboard understudies for saxophone, and spirited lead guitar. For ballads, "The Ring" is a mystical number that recalls some of the better CLANNAD ballads from that period. GALAHAD only offer up one out and out rocker, "Friday Night at Home", and it does settle back for the vocal parts, but the aggressive undercurrent remains throughout. It's perhaps the most TULL like number, female vocals notwithstanding.

"Return of the Piper" finds GALAHAD marching to their own beat, and is a marked improvement on their prior release. It's not likely to attract a sizable prog audience but is a must for those who would follow Celtic Rock wherever it may lead. 3.5 stars rounded up.

 Dragons, Knights and Virgins by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Dragons, Knights and Virgins
Galahad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars The proliferation of Celtic bands that could be credible stand-ins at your friendly neighbourhood Renaissance faire grows unabated. While many owe their existence to a certain BLACKMORE's NIGHT, it's too easy to forget that some existed and even released albums before that powerhouse duo and friends ever hit the studio. In the case of the "other GALAHAD" from Germany of all places (not to be confused with the UK neo prog band of the same name), even this, their second disk, predated the debut by Blackmore and lass, yet too often sounds as though it was cast from the same dye.

The generally irritating tendency to avoid offending at all costs is in evidence here, however earnest it may be or appear to be. Luckily, this blend of female and male vocals offering ample harmonies, whistles and fiddles reaches into its magic bag often enough to afford a certain charm to "Dragons, Knights and Virgins". For instance, several songs are presented in German, and it's worth noting that the mere insertion of a different language does more than make a song hard for me to understand - it actually transforms GALAHAD into the realm of German prog folk circa OUGENWEIDE, REBEKKA, and even NOVALIS. The traditional songs are more of a mixed bag, partly because they have been too often covered by now if not by then. Still, the version of the standard love ballad "Star of the County Down" manages to sidestep prior renditions quite well, sprinkling the verses with a mystical, even spacey aura. As for "Whiskey in the Jar", I decry the mere existence of its title in the songlist while reluctantly and uncontrollably taping my toes and singing along. On the other hand, "Waters of Babylon" could have and should have been omitted. Not all is well on the originals front either, with "Switch on the Light" proving that a rocker isn't always the antidote to the tightly wound minstrelsy.

Another favourite is "Ancient Days", introducing both singers Paul Alexander and Ulrike Koberg, along with Alexander's flutes. It's really a quintessential opener. "Two Jesters" is a lively and mischievous tale augmented by TULL-like flutes and even some colorful lead guitar. For ballads, "Jonny Boy" offers a simple piano accompaniment reminiscent of midwestern American singer CONNIE DOVER and a pining melody. It leads into the not dissimilar "When She Dance", which also brings to mind a less synthetic ROSE AMONG THORNS with ELAINE MORGAN. "The Garden" tops them all, though, a spacey ballad with a hypnotic chorus, and my pick if you have just 4 minutes left on your Spotify subscription.

Like other albums from this miniature sub genre of folk music, this effort by GALAHAD is a mixed bag offering faux folk for those who think they like it and don't want to be disappointed, but also a sense of time and place far from one's own for those who need that. I'll just say I hope I'm in the second camp.

 Storyteller's Dance  by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2003
2.39 | 3 ratings

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Storyteller's Dance
Galahad Prog Folk

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1 stars This is far inferior to the 'good for its genre' Myrddin. This release is too repetitive to be enjoyable. The songs all start ok but after 5 chorus lines of Nightingale flight enougjh is enough. If you like Tull 1977- 1978 you would enjoy Myrddin ,but not this one despite some good flute passages and a guitar sound not unlike Martin Barre.
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