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Galadriel - Calibrated Collision Course CD (album) cover





2.55 | 30 ratings

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usa prog music
3 stars Galadriel began in the late '80s as a classic symphonic band from Spain. Despite its limited production values, Muttered Promises from an Ageless Pond is a classic. With some changes in the line-up, and vocalist Jesus Filardi taking a more dominant role, the band released Chasing the Dragonfly; a perfect blend of their symphonic sound with modern touches. Even more line-up changes yielded the thoroughly modern-sounding Mindscapers. And then there was a long silence that was finally broken in late 2007 with Calibrated Collision Course.

Only Jesus Filardi (vocals/keyboards) and Jose Bautista (bass/keyboards) remain from earlier incarnations of the band, but they are fleshed out by a number of musicians including Jean Pascal Boffo on guitars and Andy Sears (from Twelfth Night) on backing vocals. It's also interesting to note that Simon Heyworth mastered the disc (his credentials include not only many mainstream releases, but also a number of releases from Anthony Phillips).

From the first track it's obvious this is a continuation of the styles explored on Mindscapers ? very modern-sounding aggressive prog rock, with many layers of aural textures that make for fantastic earphone-candy. "Blind Hostage" opens the album on a strong note, and with backing vocalist Andy Sears there is more than a little in common with some of the stronger late-period Twelfth Night material.

Many of the themes Jesus explores on this (and the previous) album are technology and consumerism and their dehumanizing effects on society. Sometimes he takes a light- hearted stab at these themes like on "Calorie Street". Other tracks, like "Leap of Faith" and "Press?Sure!" and "Consumer Satisfaction" are more serious diatribes. The epic track "As Big as Bang" covers a lot of ground, from the original primordial Big Bang to man's invention of firearms.

Personally speaking, it's great to hear Jesus Filardi singing again. I believe he has one of the best voices in progressive rock today. This new album showcases it well with its slick production and ear-candy textures. If you're new to Galadriel, the songs may be a little too eclectic, and there may not be enough of the more traditional prog clichés to be a clear winner. But just give it time; the album will grow on you!

usa prog music | 3/5 |


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