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FM - Surveillance CD (album) cover




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3.34 | 66 ratings

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4 stars FM's third release is unfortunately not available on CD, but it is a very good album that should be. FM played a unique brand of space/symphonic rock, notable for a lack of guitar. All the distorted solos you hear are either played on an electric mandolin or a violin. On this album, those were played by Ben Mink, who had replaced the legendary Nash the Slash after "Black Noise", the band's acknowledged classic. Though a trio like Rush, FM was definitely not a "power trio", preferring lush textures to riffs. They did share with Rush, however, an interest in sci fi lyrics, big philosophical themes and also possessed a powerhouse drummer in Martin Deller, who was (and may still be) the equal of Neil Peart in talent and inventiveness. Also of note is Cameron Hawkins' voice, which is certainly one of the prettiest tenors in prog. The album starts unpromisingly with a commercial sounding rocker in "Rocket Roll", but the band soon gets down to the business of what they do best. "Horizons" may be the band's best tune ever, a thoughtful song lifted by an incredible soaring chorus. The environmental warning "Random Harvest" follows, then a decent but not too memorable cover of "Shapes of Things". "Seventh Heaven" and "Father Time" are two more mid tempo philosophical songs about the nature of time and the future, and the album ends with the dramatic "Destruction", in which humanity is tried in galactic court for the crimes of our stupidity! This is an album bursting with great melodies, sweeping synths and earnest vocals that would appeal to fans of the late 70s works of acts like BJH, Camel, Hawkwind and many more. Both this and "Black Noise" are essential albums for me. Now if they'd only reissue this on CD like they said they would...
Heptade | 4/5 |


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