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Galadriel - Muttered Promises From An Ageless Pond CD (album) cover

MUTTERED PROMISES FROM AN AGELESS POND

Galadriel

 

Neo-Prog

3.37 | 43 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars An extraordinary album of reverence and nearly-religious respect coming out of Spain, an uncommon combination of the pastoral sides of both YES (especially Wakeman and acoustic Howe) and GENESIS (all of the extraordinary diverse skills and sounds of Mssrs. Phillips, Hackett, and Rutherford) fronted by a most unique vocal talent in Seńor Jesús Filardi.

SIDE 1 - "The Day Before The Harvest":

1. "Lágada" (8:59) Prog Folk?! Ecclesiastically-inspired devotional music? Not what I was expecting! Very delicate, pastoral soundscapes open this song and proceed to kind of lazily meander across the countrysides, first with vocal and later with electric guitar lead. At 2:15 the music switches to more of a YES pattern with fast-strummed acoustic guitar with Moog-like synthesizer, organ, and electric guitar working their way within and between vocal sections. Odd staccato vocal "da-da-da"s in the fourth minute before a Moog-like solo. Hackett-like guitar and Wakeman- sounding keyboard work with English choirboy-like vocal textures. Interesting! Then violin and wonderful multiple voice harmonies in the eighth minute. This Jesús Filardi is quite a vocal find! (19.5/20)

2. "Virginal" (2:26) pure Hackett-era multi-guitar Genesis bliss! (5/5)

3. "To Die In Avalon" (10:00) opens with weird sound and weird vocals over classically-oriented piano flourishes but leads into a sparsely populated middle section with some cool piano versus Robert Fripp-like electric guitar interplay. This turns into a little more pensive time keeping in the fifth minute. Then piano takes it solo for a jazz- and-classical styled solo for the sixth minute. Peter Hammill meets Doroccus and Keith Emerson to form an early version of After Crying. Interesting and unexpected. (18.5/20)

SIDE 2 - "The Year of The Dream":

4. "Limiar (Winter's Request)" (1:26) two arpeggiated electric guitar chords are soon joined by drums and bass and keys, all performing a kind of polyrhythmic weave for the song's duration. (5/5)

5. "Landahl's Cross" (20:04) an early-GENESIS-styled epic with quite the strong BABYLON-like sound palette. The creative instrumental inputs are quite inventive and unique--like no one else in prog. How can one deny the extraordinary freshness of these compositions? Not a perfect or always fully-engaging song, but a definite piece of quality. (35/40)

Total time 42:26

The vocalist, Jesús Filardi, with his English Choir sound and style, is truly an exceptional and noteworthy talent--one who's style and sound is, in fact, unlike anything I've ever heard in progressive rock music except for the Scottish singer Matthew Corry of the 2018-debuting band EMPEROR NORTON from York. The music is highly sophisticated and complex, with extraordinary musicianship and quite confident and highly creative compositional skills.

I can only surmise that these musicians were both classically trained and highly skilled before forming this band and that they worked long and hard honing these very unusually complex songs before trying to set them to vinyl. It is unfortunate that the sound recording and engineering is not up to the levels of high quality set by the musicians and to which they deserved. Still, I feel so blessed, as if I've just entered a sacred monastery in which progressive rock music is the highest form of devotional homage.

A-/five stars; despite the poor sound engineering I consider this a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music as well as a truly unique and masterful debut album. I have to say, without question, that I consider this an "essential" album for prog lovers to hear--a listening experience that absolutely represents all of the experimental eclecticism imagined by the original "prog rock" artists of the 1960s and early 1970s.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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