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Galahad - Beyond the Realms of Euphoria CD (album) cover

BEYOND THE REALMS OF EUPHORIA

Galahad

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 305 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 375

"Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" is the tenth studio album of Galahad and was released in 2012. As happened with their previous two studio albums, their eighth and ninth studio albums "Empires Never Last" and "Battle Scars", respectively, Galahad invited once more Karl Groom, the guitarist of Threshold to produce this new album from them.

"Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" is, unfortunately, the last studio album on which their bass player Neil Pepper participates, because he sadly passed way in September 2011, after loosing his battle with a cancer. Neil Pepper was the bass player of Galahad between 1992 and 2002 and between 2009 and 2011. He was substituted, in 2012 by the new bass player Mark Spencer. So, the line up of "Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" is "Stuart Nicholson (vocals), Roy Keyworth (guitars), Dean Baker (keyboards), Neil Pepper (bass) and Spencer Luckman (drums).

"Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" has eight tracks. The first track "Salvation I ? Overture" is a great and bright track to open the album. It's a very powerful instrumental song with a less symphonic approach being essentially an electronic track with some heavy guitar performance. It works very well because it seems to be a kind of a curtain to what is to come next. The second track "Salvation II ?Judgement Day" is another extremely powerful track with a truly amazing work by all band's members. It's a song full of countless changes of tempo and instrumental passages, contributing in the end to an immense final sound. This is a track where Nicholson provides his very own trademark contribution and that in some moments his voice reminds me the voice of Peter Nicholls of IQ. The third track "Guardian Angel" continues the general riveting and very powerful mood of the album. This is basically a neo- prog song with some solid heavy metal guitar sound magnificently headed by an excellent and unique keyboard work and with a very frantic and pulse rhythm. This is a perfect example how we can use the modern applications on the music and how it can work so well and result perfectly in creating a new sound of a band. The fourth track "Secret Kingdoms?" is another extremely powerful track, but this time it's a very heavy track that enters, in some moments, in the progressive metal music. It has a massive guitar work and a very impressive keyboard performance. We are in presence of an astonishing track where the guitar and the keyboards make a perfect and balanced harmony with Nicholson's voice very well seconded by the bass work and the drum machine performance. The fifth track "?And Secret Worlds" is another great song with a truly completely surprisingly intro led classical piano performance that shows clearly the new direction of Galahad's music. The track is build around the guitar and the piano running parallel lines through all the entire melody. Like Tszirmay, I can also see some presence of Brian May and Freddie Mercury of Queen on the track, especially the piano and the guitar parts. The sixth track "All In The Name Of Progress" is another very powerful and frenetic track with a truly amazing and brilliant vocal performance of Nicholson. It's a very aggressive song with Keyworth riffing with his guitar in the true Brian May's old tradition style and where we can even heard Nicholson growling like a wolf towards the end of the song in the dead metal style. The seventh track "Guardian Angel ? Reprise" is very melodic and grandiose like the entire album. Baker's flowing piano and church organ, angelic chorus and the tender voice of Nicholson take the track to a continuous and growing ethereal musical level. It represents the return of the previous track and it brings the album to a gentle and beautiful conclusion. The eighth and last track "Richelieu's Prayer 2012" is a CD version bonus of an original track from the band. It represents a revisit of a song originally released on their debut studio album "Nothing Is Written". As happened with their previous studio album "Battle Scars", the band has continued on its policy of reviving their past epic tracks. Like "Sleepers" of that album, this is a more powerful and heavier version of the original song in the same line of their new sound. This is a great version, more modern and fresh, that sounds better than ever.

Conclusion: With "Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria", Galahad continues their very own and solid path adding truly new pages into the neo-prog sub-genre. With this studio album, Galahad consolidated their new neo-prog musical approach, proving, that in this moment, they're probably one of the most prog band of that sub-genre. If with "Empires Never Last" and "Battle Scars" we could clearly see the change of the progressivity of the group, with "Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" the band consolidated definitely their new style and showed that Galahad is a band that we need to count in the next future. "Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" is, in my humble opinion, a perfect album without weak points. It's definitely more balanced and cohesive than "Battle Scars", and it's, for me, the natural and great successor of "Empires Never Last", despite it has never reached the brilliance of that album, and became as one of the essential prog pieces, nowadays. So, "Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria" remains, for me, as a very fine studio piece of music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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