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Grey Lady Down - Forces CD (album) cover

FORCES

Grey Lady Down

 

Neo-Prog

3.17 | 37 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As a band loyally commited to the preservation of neo-prog in the 90s prog scene, there is not much groundbreaking innovation to be expected from Grey Lady Down. Their second album "Forces" is a strong showcase for what one has to expect from standardized neo-prog at its best, just as it happens with the best albums from Clepsydra, Ricocher, Metaphor and a host of many others. One might come up with the name of Citizen Cain regarding their first two albums, but GLD never gets really close to the ambitious splendor of Cyrus, Stewart and co. In this GLD outfit, the keyboardist is heavily influenced by both Mark Kelly and Clive Nolan, teh guitarists pays constant homage to Nick Barrett, the rhythm section is rockingly tight as classic Twelfth Night's, and finally, the lead singer combines the melodic sense of the aforementioned Nick Barrett and the timber of Saga's Michael Sadler. It is obvious that most of the time Louis David's keyboards take center stage of the band's nuclear sound, while Julian Hunt's guitar leads and harmonies serve most of the times as enhancing tricks for the main melodies. The opener 'Paradise Lost' is quite catchy, displaying an effective succession of three diverse motifs in a very uptempo sequence. The next track, 'The Nail', is also one in which the uptempo feel prevails, although it contains a slower middle section that adds some moderate sophistication to the song. The next three tracks find the band exploring their progressive ambitions a bit further, expanding the musical ideas and toying more convincingly with tempo shifts: all this takes the band to its most epic dimension possible. 'Battlefields of Counterpane' comprises a moderately darkl mood to it thanks to the war-like atmosphere provided by the sound effects and lyricis, while 'Without a Trace' and 'The Cold Stage' display a more magnificent mood: the latter of these two is more focused on the sense of melancholy. 'I Believe' reprises the catchy spirit of the opener, with an even heavier presence of the keyboards, which give the whole instrumentation a massive definition: even when the guitar enters in for the solo, you can tell that the keyboard orchestrations push it across its path. Sometimes GLD manages to surpass some of its teachers (Pendragon) and equal others (Pointer-era Marillion). The closer 'The Flyer' brings back the war-like atmsphere of 'Battlefields' combined with the magnificence of 'The Cold Stage'. The CD's last minutes are filled with a silent intermission and some fooling around in the studio: kind of funny but nothing else. All in all, this is a very good album within the conventions of neo-prog. IMHO, this is the best GLD effort ever and it should be loved by regular neo-prog freaks and collectors.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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