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Galahad - Empires Never Last CD (album) cover





4.12 | 438 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars It is indeed strange to realise that the album I am currently playing is now some 10 years old. I reviewed it back then, but what I am currently listening to is the 2015 remastered reissued version. Instead of a standard CD case, this was released as a digipak, containing two additional songs, while the booklet that appeared in the initial version had also been retained. Although in terms of membership there had only been one change between this album and the previous, 'Year Zero', there had been a gap of five years and the band had been through a great deal in the intervening period. Much of this was reflected in the music, which saw the band move into a far heavier approach than previously. Gone was the naivety of the band of the Nineties, and instead it has been replaced by a maturity and strength that showed the band in a brand new light.

I do have a history with these guys, so it probably isn't surprising that I am going to be raving over this, as I think I have done so with every one of their releases ever since I first came across them some twenty-five years ago, but this is a very different band indeed to the one that won the Radio 1 Rock Show Rock Wars all those years ago, who first came to the notice of many progheads at the same time with their debut CD 'Nothing is Written'. True, in Stu, Roy and Spencer they have the same singer, guitarist and drummer and keyboard player Dean Baker had been there for a while by then now (line- up completed with new bassist Lee Abraham) but it is the depth and presence of the band that is such a surprise.

Galahad are one of those bands who have truly progressed with each album, and have toyed with acoustic and dance among other things, but at their core they have always been a progressive rock band, and here they pushed the rock more than ever before. This is an intense ride, and there is no doubt that haivng Karl Groom at the controls made a huge difference to the overall sound. 'Year Zero' suffered from a long gestation period, being recorded in multiple places and then being produced by the band themselves, whereas this was mostly recorded at Thin Ice.

With each release showing another side of the band, but here it all comes together in a major tour de force. It may open gently enough with "De-Fi-Ance", and some guest vocals, but this really is just an introduction for the band to kick off blazing into "Termination". Second song in and already Galahad have the listener by the ears and the balls. From here it is a rollercoaster ride of power and emotion, the band kicking together and showing that prog can be a really strong and dynamic force in the hands of guys who really know what they are doing and what they want to achieve. This was awarded 'Album of the Year' in many quarters, and rightly so, as here is a band at the very top of the game with over the top bombastic progressive rock

To be honest it had been a while since I had played this, but given that I now have three copies in my collection (tour edition, 'normal' issue and now the deluxe edition) I really don't have any excuse for not returning to it more frequently. If you want to hear progressive rock at it's finest, then just go to "I Could Be God" and play it loud. Very loud.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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