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Refugee - Refugee CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 251 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars HOT!!!!!! An easy 4.5 stars. Refugee explodes throughout their self-titled and only album, led by the keyboard fireworks of Patrick Moraz. Teaming up with two ex- members of The Nice, it's no surprise the trio sports a sound that stands up well next to the best Emerson Lake And Palmer material. Drummer Brian Davison may be no Carl Palmer, but really, of all the ELP-related or ELP-esque bands out there, Refugee comes closest to matching their patented grandiose symphonic approach. Triumvirat never had this much power. Ekseption was always third-rate at best. And The Nice were much more important as a proto-prog band, never truly outstanding or consistent. Refugee is both formidable and fun, and the first place you should go when you want something along the lines of ELP while wanting to give those ELP records a rest.

Bassist Lee Jackson's vocals are unusual, hard to get used to at first, but they remain unique, sometimes eccentric, other times fragile, and never distracting. Most songs are things of elaborate construction, with "Someday" being the only relatively straightforward track. All else is epic ("Credo", the intensely playful and playfully intense "Ritt Mickley", triumphant opener "Papillon", and centerpiece "Grand Canyon Suite"). Moraz wields a huge array of keyboard sounds, all of them warm, inviting, transcendental. The rhythm section provides able support to his myriad flights, the result being a mandatory album for any fan of symphonic prog rock--symphonic prog rock that never forgets rock's necessary raw edge amidst refined classical leanings. Too bad the band wouldn't last, but Moraz would treat us to another amazing show of talent on Yes' 'Relayer' from the same year.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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