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





3.49 | 43 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Galadriel's debut album finds them tackling an intriguing neo-prog blend of the softer sides of Yes, Genesis, and the RPI scene (as represented by PFM or Locanda Delle Fate). Given just a mildly better production job, this album might have been gorgeous - as it is, its beauty is evident but obscured. Divided into two halves, The Day Before the Harvest and The Year of the Dream (Summit and Nuncia del Noche are bonus tracks added when the album was issued on CD via Musea), the album evokes the medieval pastoral tones of Trespass-era Genesis.

The best tracks on here are probably the opening Lagada, on which Alfredo Garcia provides an intriguing guest performance on violin which really helps the band distinguish their sound from their influences, and the following Virginal, an impeccably performed classical guitar piece from Manolo Macia and Manolo Pancorbo which is reminiscent of two cloned Anthony Phillipses performing with each other. The album's epic, Landahl's Cross, gets points for ambition but seems to draw a little too much on Marillion's Grendel for comfort. The bonus tracks include a short Spanish language song and a 10 minute piano and vocals piece which seems rather slapped together.

On the whole, the band have an intriguing sound, and Jesús Filardi's singing voice is genuinely evocative - it helps that he makes the wise choice not to try to emulate Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson or Fish but sings in his own individual style - but I can't give the album as high a score as I might because the album suffers so badly from its poor sound quality. Those particularly keen on a neo-prog blend of Yes and Genesis may find themselves willing to look beyond that, as I am, but equally I couldn't blame anyone who finds it not worth the effort of getting into.

EDIT, APRIL 2013: Aaaah, go ahead and take another star, Galadriel. Although I can't justify giving the album full marks - Landahl's Cross still drags a little in the middle - I can't deny that somehow it's managed to get heavy rotation on my music player and there's this certain magic about it which I can't in good faith deny. It's definitely an album which delivers more than the sum of its parts, and with repeated listens its haunting themes really do start working their magic on you. I will say, however, that this is based on trimming the two bonus tracks from the end of the album (though my general reviewing policy is not to factor in bonus tracks anyway).

Warthur | 4/5 |


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