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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory CD (album) cover

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1530 ratings

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jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first song, a masterpiece, sliding, simple in the arrangement, resumes the discourse undertaken in Octopus with Advent of Panurge (which however lack the variety of the arrangement and the volatility of the music), extending the time and adding an excellent electronic interlude. This leaves a foretaste of a great album: it will not be like that. The second song is the most difficult to perform, almost a piece of avant-garde, with odd rhythms, dissonances, choirs, counters; a huge job for the voices and the rhythm. Its complexity satisfies the intellect but makes physical pleasure of listening difficult. The third piece is a slow, romantic, sung with the delicious and suffused voice of Minnear, far too monotonous in structure and music: it does not come close to Think of me with Kindness of Octopus: the pathos and the crescendo are missing. So far we have heard three extreme songs in the arrangements, very different from each other. The fourth song, which has an intermezzo for a time not medieval but only slow, has a pleasant and smooth progress but it seems that the GG have settled down to reproduce the same rhythm from slow going up to exasperation without asking themselves any development and variation.

1) Proclamation 8,5; 2) So sincere 7,5; 3) Aspirations 7+; 4) Playing the game 7+;

The second side opens with a whimsical song, fast at the edge of the paroxysm, almost hard but for the rhythm and the electronic keyboards, not for the guitar that in the whole album is in the background. No God's a Man resumes the bland pace of Playing the Game, but it is anything but smooth, a continuous go stop start again, with continuous variations that are wrapped around themselves giving the impression of not knowing where to go: less successful piece. In an album where there is not a slow song with strings, comes The Face, a sort of interesting rock (that resembles Proclamation) as forced and compulsive at the end that sounds asphyxiating: its best is where the violin it plays a dissonant music, then giving way to the guitar, for the best instrumental moment of the album. Valedictory takes up the initial theme, making it even more electronic and paroxysmal, and proceeds in a crescendo screamed at the limits of the voice of Shulman up to curl up on itself. Second side with three songs out of four with highly anxiety-inducing, almost frantic, which makes the side hard to hear.

5) Cogs in cogs 7,5; 6) No God's a man 6+; 7) The Face 7+; 8) Valedictory 7,5;

Medium quality: 7,375. Vote: 7,5/8.

Overall it is a more than discreet album, which abandons the long, convoluted and pretentious songs of Glass House to chase a smooth and (quite) simplified sound; presents an initial isolated peak, and which continues based on already tested instrumental numbers, alternates slow pieces to other frenzied or dissonant: in the first side we find more varied atmospheres, in the second side songs too screamed and frantic, and the frame, the beginning and closing, touch an electronic hard rock.

Three stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |

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