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puzart View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Aleph - Old Symphonic from Australia
    Posted: December 07 2016 at 09:30
Next album from my archives:
Band playing such a music as old Genesis, Yes. 
Review of: http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.com/

Aleph - Surface Tension (1977)

(Australian 1974-1978)

Although based out of Sydney beginning in 1974, and later on the New South Wales North Coast, Aleph’s connection with the Northern Tablelands was through Ron Carpenter, Dave Froggatt and Dave Highet, all of whom were former members of the Armidale band Bogislav. Aleph was initially a six-piece outfit which performed an all original repertoire. Utilising Mellotrons, moogs, Oberheim synths and elaborate guitar effects, along with traditional rock instruments, the band’s music during the early years has been described as full-blown, complex symphonic rock in the vein of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson. In this respect the band, along with Sebastian Hardie, helped pioneer the art/prog rock  genre in Australia.

At the end of 1974 Aleph recorded six songs at Sydney’s Albert’s Studios. Another band recording its debut album there at that time was  AC/DC. Interestingly a connection existed between the two bands through Ron Carpenter. The drummer had only recently left AC/DC after having spent much of 1973 and 1974 playing in several of its early line-ups (AC/DC and Aleph later even played a gig together at the Sydney Haymarket ca. 1976/76). By late 1974 Aleph had also begun playing gigs around Sydney, and over the next few years steadily built a following through its consistently high level of musicianship. The band also secured a contract with Warner Brothers around this time.
Aleph
Although Aleph’s reputation as one of the country’s leading art rock bands was building, these early years were quite difficult, with a number of factors conspiring against the possibility of national success. The most serious was the band’s 1976/77 national tour which unfortunately resulted in a significant financial loss. The recording quality of the debut album, 'Surface Tension', was also deemed unacceptable by the band and they subsequently asked Warner Brothers to allow them to re-record the songs. Warner denied the request, however, and went on to release  the LP in 1977. This eventually led to the band and record company terminating their association. Aleph then lost lead singer Joe Walmsley to illness in 1978, and that same year had its custom PA repossessed as a result of being $400,000 in debt. The band was also forced to abandon its touring for several months after Ron Carpenter was asked to fill in as temporary drummer for Cold Chisel. Carpenter also spent much of 1979 pouring his energies into the band 'First Light', which recorded and released a self-financed album that same year.

In 1979, Carpenter convinced the remaining members of Aleph (and their families) to relocate to Byron Bay where the band subsequently based itself. Over then few years, however, the line-up whittled down from a five piece to quartet and finally a trio, with Carpenter eventually taking on lead vocal duties. Although conceived as an all originals band, Aleph had by this stage been forced to play a selection of covers – with these ranging from punk and new wave to electronica and classic rock. The creative decisions in this area worked well and the band managed to secure almost nightly gigs throughout Northern NSW and the Queensland Gold Coast through until 1983. Carpenter has since recalled that the band also eventually managed to pay off most of its previous debt.


The Album
Sydney-based symphonic rock band Aleph's one album, "Surface Tension", featured full-blown, complex progressive rock in the Yes/Genesis/King Crimson vein.  
Joe Walmsley's high-pitched vocals recalls Yes singer Jon Anderson, while Dave Froggett's guitar style is very much in the manner of King Crimson's Robert Fripp. The only other local bands playing in a similar style at the time were Sebastian Hardie and Windchase. 'Surface Tension' failed to chart unfortunately. Prior to the album's release, Aleph issued a cover of The Yardbirds' "Little Games"/"Of The Essence" as a single. Walmsley left before the album appeared at the end of 1977.  Unable to find a suitable replacement, the band fell apart in early 1978. Later in the year, Ron Carpenter formed 'First Light', which issued a self-titled, self-financed album in 1979.
.
In "Banshee", the first thing I noticed were the familar vocals by Joe Walmsley, sounding like an acute version of Sting. The music is nice, and even when they claim influences from King Crimson, I see more influences from Alan Parsons Project and Styx to be honest.
"Man Who Fell" sounds alittle like Asia with some Neo Progressive fugues included.
"Morning" is a strange song with Neo Classical Metal connections at the start that suddenly turns into AOR. "Mountaineer" has a very classical oriented intro that reminds me more of the album 'Joy' by the Ventures rather than to a true progressive release, then the keyboards turn into some sort of Wakeman fest, but sadly the structure remains very light and doesn't really progress into something bigger.
Finally, "Heavens Archipielage" provides a nice piano at the intro but then turns into an AOR track with strong Asia hints. Overall, this is a great album that shouldn't be missed.
.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from a vinyl (not mine) and there is not a pop or crackle to be heard - quite amazing. Full album artwork is included including a wonderful gatefold poster of the band.
Copies of this album go for $200+ on ebay, so grab your digital copy now.  It is also my intention to post a couple of live tracks recorded by Aleph's earlier inception 'Bogislav' when they played at the 1972 Hoadley’s National Battle of the Sounds, in my next WOCK on vinyl post - so stay tuned.
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Track Listing
01. Banshee - 5:43
02. Man Who Fell - 5:44
03. Morning - 4:14
04. (You Never Were A) Dreamer - 4:17

05. Mountaineer - 14:35
06. Heaven's Archaepelago - 6:32
.

Band Members:
Mary Jane Carpenter - keyboards
Ron Carpenter - drums, , percussion
Dave Froggett - guitar, vocals
Mary Hansen - keyboards, synthesizers
David Highett - bass
Joe Walmsley - vocals


<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MRz8JrUp1Ak" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2016 at 09:33
How to add the music from Youtube?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2016 at 10:50
To embed that music you posted use tube tags with the MRz8JrUp1Ak source code which identifies the exact video. Do this but with no spaces:

[tube ]MRz8JrUp1Ak[/ tube]

To make this:



If you're still unclear, try quoting a post with an embedded video to see how it's done. Also to turn links into hyperlinks, to make it clickable, use url code. Now you can use the whole address. Again, do this without spaces: [url ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRz8JrUp1Ak [ /url] becomes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRz8JrUp1Ak It makes it much easier for people to check the links when on tablets, smart phones...

EDIT: This band was suggested before: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=55704

My impression of the music is that it's better suited to Crossover than Symph.






Edited by Logan - December 07 2016 at 11:03
The first step on the road to wisdom is the recognition of one's own ignorance.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2016 at 12:28
Thanks for the help.
Why the album has not been added earlier?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2016 at 12:48
Teams would evaluate such a huge number of bands and would get so many suggestions that sometimes bands would fall between the cracks (harder still because we have so many teams which sometimes need to coordinate with each other).

I think it was only ever formally looked at by a couple of symph team members who disagreed on placement. I think there was a misunderstanding that led to the belief that it was being evaluated by Crossover, but I find no record of Crossover ever having checked the band (it's not on Progfreak which is a charts site used by team here and I found no record of it being discussed by Crossover).

I'll alert Crossover, but don't expect results any time soon.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 08 2016 at 12:00
The first thing that impressed ne was the dishonesty of this guy Aussierock from rockonvinyl, who in 2013, posts this in that site:

Originally posted by http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.com/ http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.com/ wrote:

] In "Banshee", the first thing I noticed were the familar vocals by Joe Walmsley, sounding like an acute version of Sting. The music is nice, and even when they claim influences from King Crimson, I see more influences from Alan Parsons Project and Styx to be honest.
"Man Who Fell" sounds alittle like Asia with some Neo Progressive fugues included.
"Morning" is a strange song with Neo Classical Metal connections at the start that suddenly turns into AOR. "Mountaineer" has a very classical oriented intro that reminds me more of the album 'Joy' by the Ventures rather than to a true progressive release, then the keyboards turn into some sort of Wakeman fest, but sadly the structure remains very light and doesn't really progress into something bigger.
Finally, "Heavens Archipielage" provides a nice piano at the intro but then turns into an AOR track with strong Asia hints. Overall, this is a great album that shouldn't be missed.   
   


This is an almost word by word copy of what I wrote in 2009.

Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M Ivan_Melgar_M wrote:

As I said in the Symphonic thread, had a free afternoon, so had time to check this band, this is my opinion of ALEPH, based in the full tracks on their MySpace site:


Banshee: The first thing I noticed is the annoying vocals by Joe Walmsley, sounds like an acute version of STING. The music is nice, and even when they claim influences from King Crimson, I feel more influences from Alan Parsons Project and STYX
Morning: Strange song with Neo Classical Metal connections at the start that suddenly turns into some sort of AORISH Prog
Dreamer: Is a nice ballad, very melodic strong connection with Pavlov's Dog
Mountaineer: Has a very classical oriented intro that reminds me more of the album JOY by THE VENTURES than to a Prog release, then the keyboards turn into some sort of Wakeman influenced style, sadly the structure keeps being very light.
Man Who Fell: Sounds close to ASIA with some Neo Prog fugues
Heavens Archipielage: Has a nice piano at the intro but then turns into an AOR track with strong ASIA hints
My PERSONAL opinion is that they belong in PA, but I see them closer to Crossover and if not accepted....Prog Related.


What a dishonesty, to take what other person wrote, and take the credit.

Now about the band.

The team rejected them by unanimous vote in 2009, I still have the P M from each member, and notified Crossover.


That's the last time I heard about them.


Iván

                     

Edited by Ivan_Melgar_M - December 08 2016 at 13:22
            
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2017 at 23:28
Aleph have been cleared by Crossover, and added here
All three volumes of The Progressive Underground now available
https://www.amazon.com/Kev-Rowland/e/B07RJVRB2X
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