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Galasphere 347 - Galasphere 347 CD (album) cover


Galasphere 347


Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 121 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A veritable supergroup of Northern Europeans lays down some gorgeous music in a style reminiscent of NO-MAN, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, STEVE HACKETT, and even ASIA.

1. "The Voice of Beauty Drowned" (10:42) an awesome opening 2:30 is diminished by an ASIA-like chorus. The song very quickly "recovers" and returns to some gorgeous music not unlike the best of early STEVE HACKETT (Spectral Mornings thru Cured), but that chorus is dreadful! Great keyboard work from the whole band. Nice voice of Stephen Bennett, effected in a similar way to some of those early Steve Hackett albums or 2016's TONY PATTERSON solo project. Drums, bass, and guitars are solid. Too bad about that chorus. (9/10)

2. "The Fallen Angel" (15:35) this one opens sounding like a NINE STONES CLOSE song--full of delicate 1980s sounding guitars and synth strings washes over which a plaintive TIM BOWNESS-like voice sings. The song remains simple in construction and performance through the chorus and bridge--sounding a lot like GENESIS' "Follow You, Follow Me." Mattias Olsson's drum work starts to get exciting behind the second verse. I very much like Jacob Holm- Lupo's guitar solo in the fifth minute--after which there is a tempo and theme change--not quite Canterbury but definitely Caribbean- or Latin-influenced jazz-rock. Nice! This is so fresh! Finally, some inventive, refreshing prog for 2018! At 7:45 there is another shift into some lush militaristic progginess over which Stephen's heavily treated voice sings in his Bowness way. Farfisa?! Minimoog ?! in a GENESIS Wind and Wuthering-like instrumental section. The vocal also sounds like THE FLAMING LIPS' Wayne Coyne during this SIMPLE MINDS' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" section. A gorgeous if contrived heart-string pulling section then interludes another return to the GENESIS-like theme and the successive same Simple Minds theme. Pretty cool song despite the stolen sections and sounds. All spliced together into something fresh and unusual. (9/10)

3. "Barbarella's Lover" (15:17) opens with a sparseness that is reminiscent of something off of a NO-MAN album. Gorgeous. The vocal stylings are so similar to those of Tim Bowness. After 90 seconds the full band joins in with a kind of WESERBERGLAND Kosmische groove--all the while retaining the Tony Banks-ian keys and Bowness vocal stylings. African percussives occupy the fourth minute lull before the groove returns to a panning version of Mattias' Kosmische groove--over which Canterburian and Banksian keyboards alternate. The vocals weaken and the synth solos get a little mundane/boring; the song needs something fresh and explosive (or implosive). Just as I wrote this, at the nine minute mark, all music cut out to leave a solo guitar coolly squealing away. Bennett sings, the band rejoins with a militaristic beat and Mellotron washes. Then at 10:45 another tempo and theme shift with muted guitar strums and Hammond organ solos. Nice cinematic Latin-inflused chord progression here. It all comes together in the middle of the thirteenth minute with a brilliant drumming pattern combining the Kosmische groove with the militaristic timings over which multiple keyboards and electric guitar bob 'n' weave, and, of course, solo, followed by the "It's one a.m." vocal section to finish. A strange song. It'll take me a few listens to decide if I just like it or love it. (9/10)

A very nice sounding Neo Prog album with high creativity coming from these musical giants but . . . it could've been so much more. Mattias Olsson's drumming is nothing like the jaw-dropping stuff he used to do with Anglagard. Steve Bennett's vocals are a little too familiar--sounding a little too much like Tim Bowness. Ketil Vestrum Einarsen's wonderful flutes are virtually absent. Jacob Holm-Lupo's inventive guitar sounds and solos are a high point but are too rare and too fleeting. Also, three songs coming in at a total album length of 36 minutes is a little disappointing in this modern age.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of retro-inspired progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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