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Galaad - Frat3r CD (album) cover

FRAT3R

Galaad

 

Eclectic Prog

3.64 | 15 ratings

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TCat
3 stars Galaad is a eclectic prog band from Switzerland that was originally founded in 1988. They released 2 albums in 1992 and 1996 and then disbanded shortly after. The band then reformed in 2016 and finally released their 3rd album in May of 2019. The band returned with the same line up as they did originally with Pierre-Yves Theurillat on vocals; Sebastien Froidevaux on guitars; Gianni Giardiello on synth and piano; Gerard Zuber on bass; and Laurent Petermann on drums and percussion.

Their 3rd album is called "Frat3r". It is available on CD and has 8 tracks totaling 46 minutes. There are 2 longer tracks around 9 minutes, where the remaining tracks stay under 6 minutes. The vocals are in French.

Starting off soft and pensive, "La Machine" builds up intensity each time the verses continue. The vocals are a bit shaky, but get better as the song gets heavier and the melody gets more emotional. The rhythm is moderately slow with a heavy and dark tone. There is also a nice guitar solo in the instrumental break. "Moloch" uses a repeating piano arpeggio pattern while power chords from the guitars, support from synth and drums build up this instrumental, which finally accumulates in an emotional guitar solo.

"Kim" has a laid-back feel to it and the vocals start early. With a simpler melody and a more pop-oriented feel, this one is quite accessible. There is support from high-pitched synths and guitars that build up towards the middle and then smooth out again and finally ending with a lot of emotion. "Stone" is one of the 2 long tracks. It goes back to a dark atmosphere, starting fairly minimal with vocals, a low register synth pattern and effects. After the 2nd verse, drums come in with a moderate rhythm but the music still retaining a dark feeling, and then becoming suddenly more powerful with heavier guitar, slipping into a brighter, major key. As it nears the middle, the progressiveness increases when the instrumental break starts, and the synths take over the spotlight. When the vocals come back in after a while, they are more intense and emotional with the instruments matching that tone. At the end, things soften quite a bit and the track finishes on the more reserved feeling that it started with.

"Justice" begins with a funky synth and bass and vocals and then the band quickly joins in with the first real upbeat track on the album. The song is a more rocked-out track with a good amount of synth and keys supported heavily by the bass. Except for a softer break in the middle, the song continues in the same style throughout, with more guitar added as things intensify towards the end. "Merci [puR]" begins with bongos and what sounds like sitar giving things a mid-eastern flavor at the beginning, but keys take over while the percussion persists and vocals start. When the drums kick in, the moderate tempo is established. Between the verses, there are some nice instrumental passages that follow a recurring melody with a mix of synth and guitar.

"Encore!" is the 2nd of the longer tracks. It has a straightforward, moderately fast rhythm and again, an emotional vocal supported by synth and guitar. Just after 4 minutes, there is a sudden increase in loudness with effects and this quickly gives way to a pensive and quiet section with percussive sounds. Vocals soon bring back the band and synths help build up to a guitar break. The music remains pretty straightforward throughout with the longer length being used for the guitar solo and a more lyric heavy song. The last track is the title track "Frater". Starting with only vocals, the band soon start with a moderate and stately sounding song.

This album is mostly quite straightforward and accessible, but unfortunately does not contain a lot of progressiveness to it. As far as being a nice rock record, it does a nice job adding in a good mix of guitar and synth, but mostly comes across as being quite average sounding, with some sections becoming quite emotional. The vocals do falter, but are at their best during the heavier and more emotional sections. Really, only the synth seems to reflect any semblance of progressiveness coming close to a neo-prog sound, but there is nothing really challenging, and the prog sections are too few and far between. In fact, the only part that could be considered progressive is in the instrumental break in "Stone". Yes, it's a pleasant listen, quite accessible, but it stays pretty safe throughout.

TCat | 3/5 |

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