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Coalition - Bridge Across Time CD (album) cover





4.03 | 18 ratings

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4 stars Although the initial creation of this musical project goes back to the early 1990's, COALITION was officially formed as a trio from the United Kingdom in 2010 by Steve GRESSWELL. The initial intent of the creator of COALITION was clear: to record an album. To do so he contacted two of his friends, Phil BRAITHWAITE and Paul BULGER, to help him realize his dream. It became true in March 2012 with the release of "In Search of Forever". Who is Steve GRESSWELL? You may know him from another project of his called The INNER ROAD which was created a year after COALITION and who, up to now, also gave us two albums: "Visions" in 2011 and "Ascension" in 2013 (both were reviewed on the Profile radio show at the time). But let us go back to the main reason for this review, which is the release of the second album of COALITION "Bridge Across Time". With this new release we observe an important change in the line-up, the well-known guitarist Colin TENCH (Corvus Stone) and singer Blake CARPENTER (The Minstrel's Ghost) being the newcomers while Steve GRESSWELL takes care of everything else. By the way, the album will be released in digital format on October 7th.

"Bridge Across time" was created as a concept album which talks about the search for another world where it is possible to be reborn. Reading the titles of the songs could make you believe that some of the songs are dark and oppressive, which is not really the case because the whole album is quite positive. Musically, the listener is treated to a lot. Of course we think of the guitars or keyboards, but there is much more. There is also the effective presence of brass and string sections as well as additional male and female voices which adds even more depth to the compositions. The album begins with two catchy songs: 'Across the Sea' and 'Fantasy Island', melodies which at first may seem easy to play but which contain small treasures. I think here of the really subtle and brilliant guitar playing. And, by further listening to these songs, you will discover many other pleasures such as the various keyboards and the singing accompanied by guitar. The atmosphere changes with the song "Labyrinth", rightly introducing us to brass instruments and classical style voices. Several tempo changes are to the menu and, for our greatest pleasure, the unique guitar style of Mr. TENCH, without forgetting the omnipresence of Steve GRESSWELL. 'Land of Dreams' is where Blake CARPENTER displays all his singing skills to make us feel and live this song. Several complex musical theme variations are shown here with another great performance of Colin TENCH on his 6-strings, all of it in the purest Prog tradition. There are several other interesting moments on this album for the fans, including 'Valley of Shadow' and 'The Watcher' which end this surprising album. All the musical talents mentioned earlier get together giving us, as a final result, a pleasure to renew again and again.

So, to sum it up, we have the essential voice of Blake CARPENTER, a great guitar job by Colin TENCH, and Steve GRESSWELL, who masterfully handles keyboards, bass, and drums. There are string and brass sections as a bonus and finally the additional voices who offers the listener surprising and coherent moments. COALITION is a band to be watched and listened today and in the future.

spacefolk | 4/5 |


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