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Grand Stand - Tricks Of Time CD (album) cover

TRICKS OF TIME

Grand Stand

 

Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 68 ratings

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progrules
Prog Reviewer
5 stars When I checked about 350 mp3's from our great site out of all kinds of subgenres back in 2004 the one from this excellent Swedish band (Jurassic Spark) came on top as one of the very very best of them all. I was hugely impressed by the compositional quality of the song and of course also the execution was tremendous. Soon after that introduction I learned about the existence of another smashing track from the Kalevala project (3 cd, see concept albums) called Stormen. After these two I was fully convinced of their enormous talent and had only one goal: to acquire their two albums. The debut was my first conquest, I was slightly disappointed despite the fact it was a very nice album, but I knew these guys were capable of so much more. Recently I rounded off my search for my real target: Tricks of Time. And I'm relieved to say they didn't disappoint me by any means this time. Tricks of Time is a true masterpiece, so far only acknowledged by my PA friend and colleague Tarcisio Moura.

The album starts with the track I already knew and after having heard it for at least 100 times by now I can tell you it still doesn't bore me one bit and that's only achieved by the very best of songs. Jurassic Spark is an amazing composition with perfect alternation of vocals and instrumental passages, exactly how a song should be written, composition to perfection, I can say no less of it. Complex and yet accessible, can only get the full score of course: 5 stars.

Second track is called Words are not Enough, a laid back short instrumental that could well have been a left over from their debut where the style is concerned since that album was fully instrumental albeit just keyboards and this one contains also guitarplay. A wonderful track that gives you the chance to recover after the great opener, 4,25*.

Waiting for Water is the lesser track of this magnum opus but is still very worthwhile to listen to. Being the lesser track is not a shame anyway when the rest is of such incredible standard. For instance the instrumental passages after 3: 30 and 5:30 are excellent, the only real downside is the vocal part that sounds a bit dull. Still 4,25* for this effort.

Empty Barrels rattle the Most turns things up again and is the second almost 10 minute song in a row and is at the same time the second instrumental. Very lively start of the song with great guitar in the first minute followed by varied other instrumental passages most of them pretty energetic. The musicianship is amazing, what a class act this Swedish band is. 4,75*.

Old Man's Tale is the second track that will get the full score from me. It's a true epic clocking over 15 minutes and shows as final proof the full potential of the band. The song starts quiet then gets into a slightly jazzy style for a while. After this the pure prog takes its turn again with again several instrumental bits before the vocals set in at 3:20. Göran Johnsson's voice is the only slight criticism I can think of with Grand Stand. He doesn't have the most exciting voice you'll ever hear but it's not disturbing in my opinion. With this track it's the same as with the brilliant opener: great alternation of vocal and instrumental parts. Guitar and keyboards again shine brightly and deliver simply all you can wish for. And this goes on for the full sixteen minutes, no filler moments !

Recapitulated I can only say the full score is totally deserved. That is if you're not a devoted seventies freak who claims that only in that era the real thing was produced. Because it's always possible to call this great work derivative (Grand Stand started as a Genesis coverband) and therefore not interesting. But if you listen closely and open minded to this album you can only praise it and grant it what it's worth: 5 stars. This is simply how I want a prog album to sound: superb quality in every sense (also production) without fillers and dull moments. Highly recommended for all lovers of extremely melodic music executed in a perfect way. What a shame this album from 2002 is their last so far. How I wish they got back together to make another jewel !

progrules | 5/5 |

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