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GALAHAD

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Galahad biography
Founded in Christchurch, Dorset, UK in 1985 - Still active as of 2021

GALAHAD formed just for fun playing roughly half covers (GENESIS, ZEPPELIN, RUSH, SABBATH, FOCUS etc) and half original material. Galahad then supported a few fairly well known 'Progressive' bands that were coming up at the time including IQ, PENDRAGON, HAZE and later PALLAS and MAGNUM.
Then, after mixing it with the slightly 'bigger boys' GALAHAD decided take it more seriously, and began playing only original material resulting in the release of their first proper album in 1991, 'Nothing Is Written', which was purely self -financed and released independently but which went on to sell several thousand copies.

The success of 'Nothing Is Written' was also helped by the fact that the band received substantial air play on BBC Radio One, especially on the Radio One Rock Show hosted by the late, great Tommy Vance. The band then landed themselves with deals in the UK, Japan and Germany.

The band has now released fifteen albums including albums by main band offshoots such as GALAHAD ELECTRIC COMPANY and the GALAHAD ACOUSTIC QUINTET. The band has played hundreds of gigs in the UK, Europe and America over the last few years, at times in some very unusual venues!

In 2002 Galahad released 'Year Zero' which featured John WETTON (ASIS, KING CRIMSON, FAMILY etc.) on guest vocals.

In September 2006 Galahad released their debut DVD 'Resonance' , which was recorded live in Katowice, Poland in May 2006.

'Empires Never Last' , which features Karl GROOM (THRESHOLD)) on engineering duties, was released in 2007 and took the band in a heavier, more muscular, guitar orientated direction. This more contemporary, metallic approach seems to have worked as 'Empires' was a great success, both commercially and critically, and resulted in them winning album of the year at the 2007 Classic Rock Society awards. 'Empires' was also included in many top 10 album listings for 2007.

In the interim and whilst recording TWO new studio albums GALAHAD released a couple of live albums 'Sleepless in Phoenixville - Rosfest Live 2007' and 'Whitchurch 92/93 - Live Archives -Vol.2' (CD/DVD) plus a re-issue of their 1992 Year Zero album, which also contained bonus CD consisting of live versions of tracks from Year Zero.

'Battle Scars', again recorded at Thin Ice by Karl GROOM was released in April 2012 and took the band further in to a heavy/rockier direction but mixi...
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GALAHAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GALAHAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.47 | 101 ratings
Nothing Is Written
1991
2.94 | 82 ratings
In A Moment Of Complete Madness
1993
3.38 | 54 ratings
Galahad Acoustic Quintet: Not All There
1994
3.51 | 138 ratings
Sleepers
1995
3.14 | 112 ratings
Following Ghosts
1999
2.27 | 30 ratings
Galahad Electric Company: De-Constructing Ghosts
1999
3.58 | 149 ratings
Year Zero
2002
4.11 | 488 ratings
Empires Never Last
2007
3.82 | 308 ratings
Battle Scars
2012
3.84 | 325 ratings
Beyond the Realms of Euphoria
2012
3.83 | 150 ratings
Quiet Storms
2017
3.92 | 336 ratings
Seas Of Change
2018
3.43 | 30 ratings
Galahad Electric Company: When the Battle Is Over
2020
3.59 | 25 ratings
Galahad Electric Company: Soul Therapy
2021
4.04 | 108 ratings
The Last Great Adventurer
2022
4.10 | 57 ratings
The Long Goodbye
2023

GALAHAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 9 ratings
The Christmas Lecture
1993
3.17 | 17 ratings
Classic Rock - Live
1996
3.83 | 5 ratings
Two Classic Rock Lives
2008
3.88 | 21 ratings
Sleepless In Phoenixville - RoSfest Live 2007
2009
3.83 | 12 ratings
Whitchurch 92/93 - Live Archives vol. 2
2012
4.10 | 21 ratings
Solidarity - Live in Konin
2015

GALAHAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.83 | 44 ratings
Live in Poland - Resonance
2006

GALAHAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 16 ratings
Other Crimes and Misdemeanours
1992
3.08 | 24 ratings
Other Crimes And Misdemeanours II
1997
3.30 | 10 ratings
Decade
1997
2.64 | 22 ratings
Other Crimes And Misdemeanors III
2001
4.89 | 8 ratings
When Worlds Collide
2015

GALAHAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 9 ratings
In A Moment Of Madness (Tape)
1989
3.40 | 5 ratings
Voiceprint Radio Sessions
1994
4.15 | 12 ratings
Seize The Day
2014
4.08 | 6 ratings
Guardian Angel
2014
3.92 | 5 ratings
Mein Herz Brennt
2014
4.71 | 5 ratings
30
2015
4.00 | 5 ratings
Empires Never Last (Orchestral Version)
2016
3.60 | 5 ratings
Galahad Electric Company: Open Water
2020
3.91 | 3 ratings
Studio 95
2023

GALAHAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Long Goodbye by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.10 | 57 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars With a relationship stretching back more than 30 years, my prog writing journey will always be inextricably linked to Galahad as theirs was the first album I bought from the underground scene, while they in turn put me in touch with another band and it all went downhill from then. I have written words for a few of their booklets, and while I have not seen them play since moving to New Zealand I am still often in contact with singer Stu Nicholson. I know this closeness means I am never nearly as objective as others when it comes to reviewing Galahad, but when a band keeps putting out wonderful albums then I feel justified in continually singing their praises. This is their twelfth studio album, and features the same line-up as with the last release, 'The Last Great Adventurer', namely Stu Nicholson (vocals), Dean Baker (keyboards), Spencer Luckman (drums), Lee Abraham (guitars) and Mark Spencer (bass guitar). Recorded in multiple places it was then edited, mixed and mastered by engineer/producer Karl Groom (Threshold/Dragonforce/Pendragon/Arena/Yes etc.) who has now been working with them for some time.

This is possibly the most polished release to date from the Dorset boys, with a somewhat heavier emphasis on Stu's vocals as the band continue to evolve. When I first knew them they were solid 90's neo prog, then moved into prog metal with the change in approach heralded by the arrival of Dean Baker and now happily straddle multiple sub- genres so while they are firmly "prog" it would be wrong to try and shoehorn them into any particular bucket. I have known Karl nearly as long as Stu, and while I always think of him first and foremost as a guitarist, he has built a richly deserved reputation on the other side of the desk, and has done wonders in bringing Spencer's playing to the fore. When I listen back to early recordings one cannot hear all the work being put behind the kit, but when those tracks have been remastered by Karl it has been like hearing a new band, and here Spencer can be heard driving the band ever onwards. Mark is a multi-instrumentalist (and a fine singer in his own right), so his approach to the bass is quite different in that he is looking to see what he can add to the melody as well as underpinning the arrangement, while Lee is another renowned performer and his second stint in the band (he was originally bassist) as guitarist has allowed him to spread his musical wings. All this adds to the way the band keeps shifting and melding, while Dean is a musical magpie who didn't even know what prog was until he joined the band a quarter of a century ago, and his relationship with Stu has meant they keep shifting and changing.

I mean, listen to "The Righteous and the Damned", which commences with some acapella vocals overlaid on background noise of people walking around, but what some may not realise is that Stu is singing the words from the title cut of 2007's 'Empires Never Last' before somehow the music segues into something Eastern European and folky. One of the joys of Galahad is they no longer feel shackled by any expectations so instead do whatever they want, and when this song turns into a System of a Down-style belter I was not too surprised, but was very pleased. The title cut of this album is about dealing with dementia and is very personal indeed. Stu has always had a way with words and here he paints a picture while Dean is there by his side on piano as we build into the piece. The layers gradually build as we are taken into the world of someone who is "filling up this thing which makes the water go hot, to make some drinks for people in another room whose names escape me". Those two lines are incredibly powerful, and the arrangements allow for us to understand the emotions being displayed and the sense of loss and helplessness. As the song ends Stu takes two lines from Gabriel's "I Don't Remember", which itself was about being trapped in a situation it is impossible to get out of, and delivers them in an incredibly poignant manner.

Musically this album is all over the place, from Eighties-style electronic dance through to prog metal and everything in between, yet the vocals and arrangements bring the album together so one looks forward to the next unexpected fork in the road and the detour where we move back on ourselves or in a totally different direction. Galahad consistently refuse to rest on their laurels and show no sign at all of losing inspiration or slowing down, and long may that continue.

 The Long Goodbye by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.10 | 57 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The British stalwart's 15th full-length studio release since their 1991 debut and fourth of the 2020s.

1. "Behind the Veil of a Smile" (6:19) Maybe it's in the lyrics, but I hear nothing new or exciting here. Nice sound and musicianship. (8.5/10)

2. "Everything's Changed" (7:39) interesting 1990s synth sounds in the intro. Stu's vocal opens sounding like Michael Stadler. Quite the hokey chorus--both musically and lyrically--but its melody remains after the song is over. The "Turn Me Loose" bass lines are a bit distractting. Nothing new or exciting here. Nice sound and musicianship.(12.75/15)

3. "Shadow in the Corner" (5:28) interesting percussion-led intro morphs in the second minute into something that sounds like a blending of THE WHO ("Eminence Front") and THE PET SHOP BOYS. The chorus reminds me even more of the style and affect of the lead singer of The Pet Shop boys. Nice lead guitar work in the fifth minute. (8.7/10)

4. "The Righteous and the Damned" (8:37) the a cappella isolation of Stu's voice really exposes one to hear the age of his voice: he's still got great control and style but the strength and clarity of his pitch selection seems to have weakened. The European folk ethnic instruments that the band chooses to accompany Stu for the 1:20 to 2:30 section is interesting. After this, the music turns all "compressed heavy" (with a two-chord kind of foundation) while Stu continues to present the music in an ethnic (Klezmer? MYRATH?) style. Nice drumming from Spencer Luckman. With just voice, drums, and distant power chords (mirrored exactly by the keyboards) the music just seems too thin--like it's missing something. Interesting and unusual song. (17.25/20)

5. "The Long Goodbye" (12:58) The chorus sounds like something straight off of NEW ORDER's 1993 album, Chemical. This is definitely the most interesting and dynamically creative song on the album (despite its New Order familiarity). Aside from the borrowed New Order melodies (especially in the choruses), I hear a rather blatant PETER NICHOLLS delivery of the vocals in the verses. The song crescendoes way too early with a soulless guitar solo followed by group choral singing of the song's title and some orchestra strings to take us out at the very end. I mean, it checks all the boxes, but without much authentic-sounding vim or vigor. (22/25)

- CD bonus tracks: 6. "Darker Days" (7:45) an effectively kinetic foundation kicks off from the opening gate containing the perfect amount of space in the midrange for the vocal presentation of a story. Reminds me very much of BLUE ÖYSTER CULT (now and then)--especially the guitar solo near the end--as well as a Peter Nicholls IQ performance. (13.125/15)

7. "Open Water" (4:08) Stu singing in a STEVE HOGARTH voice on one of Marillion's subdued songscapes. He's a little pitchy here and there, and there's not much else to this song besides the acoustic guitar work and vocal. (8.5/10)

Total Time 52:54

There are a lot of ballad-like deliveries of Stu Nicholson's vocals on this album: simplified progscapes that serve more to convey his stories/lyrics--which means there is not a lot of fluff, flourish, and nuance within the music below Stu's voice; this means that this is a very lyrics-oriented and message driven album, which is never my strong suit. Aside from a couple guitar solos (on "The Long Goodbye" and "Darker Days") and some klezmer-like instrument choices (on "The Righeous and the Damned"), there's a sad lack of much going on in the music/instrument department here--downright woeful in the keys department.

B-/3.5 stars; a disappointing and rather lackluster product from one of Britain's long-standing stalwarts of "second wave" Prog (what we've come to call "NeoProg"). Good, but nowhere near essential.

 The Long Goodbye by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.10 | 57 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by KansasForEver

4 stars Little reminder: I was very disappointed by "The Last Great Adventurer", the previous album in 2022 from the British quintet... It is with this in mind that I wanted to review this thirteenth album "The Long Goodbye", having in mind part reconciled with the last great adventurer, showing that anything can happen! (It does not appear and will never appear in my favorite GALAHAD albums).

For this "Long Goodbye" the overall framework is halfway between the historic Galahadian progressive and the electro given by the growing influence of Dean BAKER within the group, all the pieces are composed by the latter and Stuart NICHOLSON except one, the eponym signed by the five musicians together. "Behind the Veil of a Smile" which opens the hostilities is frankly electro, we will have to get used to it, in your opinion "is electro progressive or can it become an additional branch of progressive music"? I will not risk answering this somewhat incongruous question when we know the long career of the British, a small (8/10) is sufficient for this introduction, Mark SPENCER's bass guitar is a model of its kind on this piece.

The big gap with the second piece "Everything's Changed", a pure gem of symphonic progressive like GALAHAD delivered to us in the past (The antediluvians "Richelieu's Prayer or "Ghost of Durtal" to name only these two), a pearl in short (10/10). "Shadow in the Corner" is a mix of the first two pieces, half electro, half symphonic, for those who remember "Myopia" on "Following Ghosts" it is strongly reminiscent , a bit danceable (8/10), a very rock piece in its entirety with Mister ABRAHAM's six-string which scrapes heavily.

"The Righteous and the Damned" begins with a spoken and disillusioned monologue from Stuart who engages in a fairground rhythm (without drums), the recitative can be disturbing, after 2:37 the flamboyant guitar of Lee ABRAHAM enters the scene before the return of the fairgrounds on a gypsy or even Cossack rhythm, "special" as they say, original but far from being obvious (7/10), a truly unique title in the musical history of GALAHAD.

The Big One now the eponymous epic "The Long Goodbye" which displays 13:08 and not 12:58.....(someone must have fallen asleep on the hourglass right?) is a return to progressive sources , a symphonic marvel, as much as the second piece (see above) and even better, Lee on acoustic guitar around the seventh minute it is very rare in memory, an enchanting melody, not afraid of words, one of the most beautiful beaches ever composed by the DORSET quintet (10/10), musical art at its peak, in a good place on my desert island!

We still have the two tracks indicated as bonus cd, "Darker Days" a neo-progressive piece in the purest Galahadian tradition, not fundamentally original but pleasant and easy to listen to, what more could you ask for? (8/10) and "Open Water" a delicate piano/sensitive voice as a piece of this type can be (7/10).

Conclusion, a record which will feature very well in my 2023 ranking, probably in the top 5. Original published on profilprog.com

 The Long Goodbye by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.10 | 57 ratings

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The Long Goodbye
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Receiving a new Galahad album is like being a parent to a newborn child, each one a joy to behold and lately, the band has been as timely as any pregnancy, birthing successfully every 9 months, or so it seems. My fascination for this band is kind of unique as I bought both the incredible 'Sleepers' and the bucolic 'Not All There' at the same time in 1995, and have not missed a single studio, live or DVD release ever since! Faithful fan I am! I am starting to wonder what more great vintages may come from the Avalon vineyards, as the recent Galahad output has been off the charts. In fact, it's not just the amazing music but the chosen themes have become extremely personal as well, as the preceding The Last Great Adventurer could also have been an homage to my father who had passed away in 2013 and whom I miss intensely each day. In 2001, my beloved mother went to the heavens, shepherded by the worst guide ever, some evil villain called Alzheimer! So, when my much-adored stepmom passed due to Covid last year, I sort of got my crimson-waxed diploma attesting to my expertise in grieving over the past 20 years. When 'the Long Goodbye' appeared so rapidly behind last year's masterpiece, I was quite emotional, as my farewells have certainly been prolonged, its as if I had some subliminal connection with this band, perhaps even accessing my mind. Throw in some thoughts on duplicity, misunderstanding, paranoia, and megalomania. Both albums contain five tracks and two bonus tracks, so, it is clearly strategically throughout.

Before diving into this opus, a quick word about Stuart Nicholson, a wonderful vocalist whose dedication to both this band and its fan base is to be commended. Owner of a terrific voice, and well schooled in the drama of theater and stage, he surely must be anointed among the truly master vocalists of the prog era, along such luminaries as Gabriel, Nichols, Fish, and company. He can hush, bellow, groove, and wail with noticeable facility, and does so convincingly. The remaining crew has been around quite awhile now, so we have a well-oiled, turbo-charged band whose sound has become even crisper, as well as infusing those trademark keyboards that span not only the prog universe but also the electronic spectrum, thus offering a freshly futuristic sheen to the material they comfortably dish out.

This phenomenal style is put to the test once again on the blazing 'Behind a Veil of A Smile', an anthemic surge of Dean Baker's synthesized frenzy, ringing guitar shavings from Lee Abraham, Mark Spencer's bruising bass bottom and solid (and I mean real solid) percussive propulsion courtesy of Spencer Luckman's drum kit. The lyrical theme may be interpreted as an essay on hypocrisy, which is a vehicle for that new modern fad of lying without any hint of remorse. Swerving synths seem to dance with the rampaging bass on 'Everything's Changed', emphasizing a twist on that eminent French adage 'Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose', where 'actions mean consequences' (well that's a novel thought today!) and how dreams can easily be shattered. Dedicated to those who constantly desire even faster internet service. Confusion will be my epitaph, as the orchestral finale clearly suggests. Why are you following me? 'Shadow in the Corner' deals with paranoid reactions, as Stu hushes 'coincidences, circumstances, random or pre-ordained, who really knows'? The burping bass guitar knows! And Lee's spiralling out of balance lead guitar solo recognizes it as well, over his shoulder, he still cannot see, only sense. A dark, brooding number that certainly evokes gloom and perhaps even doom.

A complete diversion into a handclapping by the campfire, gypsy/folk intro that winks back at 'Empires Never Last', before dive bombing into a furious rant that would make Derek Dick blush with envy, as Stu brings out his Shakespearean theatrics to the front of the stage 'Why so many lies?' as the athletic band stops on endless shifting dimes, only to pirouette into absurdum and dizziness, a rant fuelled by bickering guitars, blaming bass, shouting synths and flaming drum gymnastics that will make all those self-righteous jaws drop to the floor. Angry older lads are a hearing to behold!

The title track is the epic and the core of the album, and perhaps one of the finest tracks ever forged by the band, on par with the previous album's title track, thus completing the parental duo theme. Peter Gabriel's finest lyric was one of his simplest 'I don't remember, I don't recall, I got no memory of anything at all' and it is the quintessential thought going into this jewel of song, one that courageously deals with old age dementia, and the ugly Alzheimer scourge previously evoked. Reading the painful lyrics while embracing Stuart's passionate delivery brought me to tears, something normal for those who have lived and seen the destruction it causes. The music is respectfully grandiose, full of skin-deep emotion, the theme elevated to surreal heights with that incredible guitar, violin patch, piano, an orchestral and rhythmic mid-section evoking raw splendour, eternally rising to the skies with massive goodbye choirs that should make anyone gulp with admiration. Stunning piece of art.

Incredibly ominous and perhaps even forecasting the current chaos, 'Darker Days' is not a pretty ride by any stretch, as the world has halved into an either/or universe with no more third options seemingly. On one side, we are led to believe that we are a blessed society, loaded up with endless shopping and online gambling, while the other side is perhaps even bleaker and more evil than ever before, offering merciless fanaticism that shows little mercy, even flashing it online as if some video game. The arrangement is urgent, an endless canyon of resolute surrender as we all lie on the brink and the playing is suitably chaotic, portraying a sense of self- inflicted isolation to perfection. Buzzing guitars shred, droning synths cry, a sad piano prays, and yet Stuart tries to destroy this killing negativity, surely a hopeless fight., Stuart commends a final hurrah: 'Out in the distance, I see a little light, its just a pale pin spot but it's burning so bright'. Forever the optimist. Time to whip out Roy Buchanan's 'The Messiah Will Come Again' and what for the ETs to show up and put some order into this miasma. A candle in the wind, may it flicker forever.

Piano and voice linger on 'Open Water', as gentle orchestra and acoustic guitar float gently towards dry land, is it 'the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning'? as Winston once claimed. The track's overt simplicity is immensely impactful, a serenely gorgeous song, nothing more, nothing less. And a prefect goodbye.

5 eternal au revoirs

 Studio 95 by GALAHAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2023
3.91 | 3 ratings

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Studio 95
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars On 26th October 1985, just three months after they had formed and two months after their first show, Galahad entered Studio 95 in Boscombe, Dorset to record five songs. Back then the band were a seven-piece, and only three of those involved in this session would make it through to their 1989 'In A Moment of Madness' cassette, and only one is still there to this day. Of course that one person is lead singer Stu Nicholson, while guitarist and founder Roy Keyworth was around for quite a while although bassist Paul Watts was gone by the time of their 1991 debut CD, 'Nothing Is Written'. The others in the band at that time were Nick Hodgson (keyboards, Mellotron, clavinet, Minimoog, string synth), Mike Hooker (keyboards, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond organ), Paddy O'Callaghan (drums) and John O'Callaghan (rhythm guitar). They recorded five songs in the studio on an analogue Tascam 8 track machine with a few overdubs, and they laid dormant until now.

To any Galafan, especially those interested in the early days, then this set is solid gold, and not just because it contains recordings from the seven-piece line-up, but also because four of the five are well-known to anyone who likes this period of the band. The first song is "Dreaming From The Inside", which a few years later would be re- recorded and released as a single (with a song called "The Opiate" on the B-side). Those versions can now be found on 'Other Crimes & Misdemeanours II', but it is nice hear this so soon after the band got together. What is somewhat surprising in many ways is the way that all the well-known numbers are very similar to the later versions given this line-up had two guitarists and two keyboard players, plus they had been together for a short period indeed at this point. "Second Life" was revitalised for the 'In A Moment of Madness' tape, which I still have and recall playing a great deal when I first got it (32 years ago!). A version of "Painted Lady" later appeared on 'Other Crimes & Misdemeanours', but it is probably the last two tracks which are going to be of most interest.

The first of these was their version of Bizet's "L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 ? Farandole", which has only previously been made available on the 'OCD' series and is not on their 'One Knight at Mr C's' tape which was released in 1987 so presumably it had already been dropped from the set by then even though it was important enough for them to record it in their debut session. The last song on the tape is an 11-minute-long version of "Ghost of Durtal", which stayed an important song for them through the Nineties and was one they played often, appearing on live albums such 'The Christmas Lecture' and 'Classic Rock Live'. Hearing this music is like being taken on a time machine, and I know anyone only coming to Galahad with their later albums will wonder why I am making such a fuss over these, as they do not have the depth or power of their newer material, but this is the style of music Galahad were playing when I first started raving over them in 1991. By then only Stu and Roy were left from these days, but there was very much a direct link from these early recordings to the band I was seeing when I first got involved in the underground.

For me this is easily a 4* release, but I am fully aware that many others will not agree, but they are unlikely to have the same history with the band as I do. I am looking forward so much to the new album (due soon!), but for a moment (in madness?) it has been nice to step back in time and hear the band at the beginning of their career which is now firmly into its fourth decade.

 Galahad Electric Company: When the Battle Is Over by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.43 | 30 ratings

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Galahad Electric Company: When the Battle Is Over
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

3 stars GALAHAD is an English group founded in 1985 and one of the archetypes of groups not recognized for their value. This is their 13th album including their side projects GALAHAD ELECTRIC COMPANY and GALAHAD ACOUSTIC QUINTET. Boosted in 2002 with John WETTON, for "Empires Never Last", starring Karl GROOM who oriented them towards a more prog metal sound. This year, 2 reissues of old albums, plus this reactivation of the GEC and an album focused on synths and other programming, so far from the hard prog sound and angry guitars. Album composed during the pandemic you will have understood it in just 2 months.

''Restoration (intro)'' for a new age, bucolic intro, ah this fly that circles around me and these voices of astronauts, this owl, in short it starts in the middle of nature. "When the Battle Is Over" for the flagship track on an ambient and hovering electro atmosphere that radically changes from the GALAHAD sound, here it's synth and minimal rhythm. ''Be Careful...'' continues on this metallic atmosphere at the level of the icy sounds like new wave à la Gary NUMAN and sounds à la TANGERINE DREAM of the 80's. "All That Binds Us" rests a little, the voice is warmer here and recalls the calm moments of the GALAHAD that we know! The chorus is catchy and remains monotonous, it lacks the guitars and the flights of nervous and fat synths which made the reputation of the group.

"The Inquisition (intermezzo) '' closes this side with the most successful title in my opinion, voices and sound effects like the intro and especially this stereophonic synth which fills your ears then this piano and these voices of Stu, celestial or d beyond the grave giving the rhythm to a marvelous crescendo. A suite without regrouping of the two musicians, paradoxical, well orchestrated.

"Letting Go" begins the 2nd side on a dance tune with new wave and new age synths, PET SHOP BOYS, cold and rhythmic title however; "Mysterioso" goes on in a somewhat ambient line, more elaborate, bringing joy just with the voice of his master's cat, notes of VANGELIS come to mind. "1976" continues on the same line, a bit of Jean Michel JARRE, soaring and ambient minimalist, which gives a redundant air for memories of the warm and almost murderous summer. "My Orcha'd in Lindèn Lea" takes a 150-year-old poem by Barness for a cold, monolithic and ethereal nursery rhyme, phased vocals; "Open Water'' closes the album with the ballad that stands out, piano, keyboards on classical instruments and Stu's normal voice with finesse for a rather folk title.

An album with a suite of 5 tracks, 5 more disparate ones, electric and eclectic titles, a bit of dance, folk, gospel and opera, a lot of krautrock, a title from a poem by William Barnes , from electro dance to ambient and icy cold wave, that's what you're going to have to prepare yourself for by listening to this side project by two of the band's founding members.

 The Last Great Adventurer by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.04 | 108 ratings

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The Last Great Adventurer
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars One of the original British neo-prog bands from the 80s that sat side by side with the bigwigs of Marillion, Pallas, IQ and Pendragon, GALAHAD was formed as far back as 1985 but didn't release its debut album "Nothing Is Written" until 1991. It would take even longer for the band to master the neo-prog sound with a few early clunkers but once the new millennium arrived GALAHAD has been instrumental in releasing a series of excellent neo-prog classics with 2006's "Empires Never Last" remaining a fan favorite.

Always willing to take risks and dive into something new, 2021's "Soul Therapy" under the GALAHAD ELECTRIC COMPANY moniker threatened to ditch the world of neo-prog altogether and adopted a bizarre hybrid of downtempo and synthpop as its medium of choice. Startled prog stalwarts were in utter shock and honestly i didn't care for that album too much as it jettisoned all the characteristics that made this band stand out amongst the competition. Luckily lessons were learned and GALAHAD made an abrupt retreat back into classic hook-laden neo-prog catchiness of yore. Much of the material actually predates the "Seas Of Change" album so it's no wonder why the album has bit of a retro feel preceding the later experiments.

THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER returns GALAHAD to its classic pop-hook fueled neo-prog that has kept the band relevant for its lengthy career but something about this band seems to just get better as these veteran neo-proggers become seasoned elders. The album sees the return of Twelfth Night bassist Mark Spencer who played with the band between the "Beyond the Realms of Euphoria" and "Quiet Storms" albums but never appeared on any album himself. The lineup retains the classic long term members vocalist Stu Nicholson, keyboardist Dean Baker and drummer Spencer Luckman. Former bassist turned guitarist Lee Abraham is also still around and has become as proficient on the six string as his former instrument.

Like many contemporary neo-prog albums, THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER features bonus tracks on the CD version making a total of seven whereas the vinyl LP release has five. With the extras the album is just over 55 minutes and showcases some of the band's best work in a while. While resurrecting their classic neo-prog hooks with the accompaniment of feisty guitar work, GALAHAD has also employed an ample use of electronic wizardry on this one with lots of trippy keyboard extras behind the usual piano, synth and atmospheric contributions with even some progressive electronic sophistication seeping into the mix.

The album opens with the super-catchy "Alive" which finds the band in perfect neo-prog form. The track showcases the classic sounds of the 80s with strong catchy verse / chorus almost new wave sounding post-punk tendencies with all the musicians sounding at the top of their game. Clearly the years have been kind to Nicholson's voice as he remains dynamically soulful with each performance and honestly has one of the best vocal styles in the world of neo-prog. The band's sense of pacing is polished like a diamond in the rough with the pop sensibilities dominating but augmented by the more complex layering of prog tendencies. In many ways GALAHAD and similarly minded neo-prog acts have taken the 80s sounds of bands like Asia, GTR and other AOR / arena rock acts and given them true prog credentials.

While the opening track is the most in-yer-face flirtation with mainstream 80s new wave, the album ratchets up the progressive rock aspects with "Blood Skin and Bone" and the 10-minute plus title track taking the musical experience in advanced prog technique territory. The title track is a tribute to Stu's father and covers a lot of ground with the most interesting compositional changes on the album's run. The track ends with an interesting loungy jazz club saxophone cameo.

As far as the CD bonus tracks are concerned they are set on ballad mode with the tempos and dynamics slowed down for an emotive vocal dominance. While a bit sappier than the rest of the album, it almost sounds like these tracks are supposed to be the "singles" so to speak and a mixed bag really. "Normality of Distance" is a bit too sappy for my liking but "Another Life Not Lived" holds up pretty well with a better mix of electronics, guitars and compositional fortitude. While GALAHAD has never been total top tier neo-prog band in my world due to inconsistencies, i have to say that these guys are as good as it gets when they're hitting a high note and THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURER is chock filled with such higher octave moments. After nearly 40 years on the scene it seems that GALAHAD is like fine wine that only becomes better with age so i'm sure we can look forward to more excellent music from these UK neo-proggers.

 Galahad Electric Company: Soul Therapy by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.59 | 25 ratings

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Galahad Electric Company: Soul Therapy
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I was somewhat surprised to realise I had not reviewed this album from the end of 2021, as generally Galahad hit the player as soon as it arrives but given this was from the Stu/Dean side project it obviously got put to one side until I was ready and I promptly forgot about it (sorry guys). GEC is just Stu (vocals) and Dean (keyboards), and the first time the name was used was back in the Nineties when 'Following Ghosts' was somewhat rethought and released in a very different form as 'Deconstructing Ghosts'. They followed this up in 2020 with 'When The Battle Is Over', coming back with this one less than a year later. Towards the end of that year they wrote seven songs in a four week period, and this combined with some left over from the previous recording process meant there was enough for an album.

Of course, this being the time it was, Stu and Dean were unable to physically work together, with everything being completed remotely. I often find electronica to be somewhat soulless, as opposed to therapy, but there is no doubt that while this album is again in that genre, there are far more progressive tendencies than on the last one. Stu was also mourning the death of his mother after a five-year battle against cancer, and no less than six of the tracks relate directly to that. Consequently, there is a great deal of emotion in this, with Stu pouring everything into his words while Dean provides the backdrop. Galahad have never been afraid of showcasing their singer, but with no guitars/bass and only electronic percussion he stands out ever more than normal while Dean shows why he has been such a major asset since joining the band nearly 25 years ago.

Although this may not be exactly what progheads may think of from Galahad, this is an interesting sidestep which provides a different way of hearing their music and it is not difficult to imagine some of these becoming belters if they ever wanted to revisit them with the full band.

 The Last Great Adventurer by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.04 | 108 ratings

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The Last Great Adventurer
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review # 119.

Every new release of Galahad is like sweet sound to my ears. So, after the release of the "difficult" Seas of Change, and the 2 albums they released as Galahad Electric Company, the complete Galahad are back with one more wonderful album!

I have been following their releases for almost 15 years now, and have in my collection all their albums after Empires Never Last (together with a few older ones). I don't think that there is not even one album after "Empires" which I didn't like, but as it's normal, I like some a bit more than others. Although it is still very early, I believe that The Last Great Adventurer is (and probably will be) one of the albums that I will like more than others.

Since 2007, they released 6 studio albums (including Quiet Storms), and the 3 albums I like the most are: Empires Never Last, Beyond the Realms of Euphoria and The Great Adventure. (So, in case you are not familiar with Galahad, these 3 albums are a good starting point in my opinion).

Once more, the powerful keyboards of Dean Baker dominate the sound of Galahad, together with the wonderful guitar riffs and solos of Lee Abraham. But on the top of everything (for me) stands the wonderful voice and stunning performance of Stu Nicholson, who is a brilliant singer, and his voice gives another dynamic to every song he sings.

The album's lyrics include many personal moments of Stu, which I do not want to mention here, and excuse me for that. The CD includes the booklet with the lyrics, so in case you are interested, you can read that and find out on your own.

The album's "weakest" moment (for me) is Blood, Skin and Bone, which sounds a bit weird to my ears. All the other songs are really, really good, and I'm having a hard time choosing the best ones. But if I have to pick some, I would choose The Last Great Adventure (gives me goosebumps in some parts), Enclosure 1764, the stunning Another Life not Lived, and Alive (especially in the radio edit version). (The CD version includes Alive and Omega Lights in radio edit versions as bonus tracks).

So, in a nutshell, The Last Great Adventurer is a top-class album, and definitely one of the best albums of 2022 for me. Of course everybody can have his/her own opinion, but the best way to form your own, is to listen to it a few times.

Thank you Galahad for one more wonderful album! The musical universe would be poorer without you in it. My Rating would be 4.5 stars.

 The Last Great Adventurer by GALAHAD album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.04 | 108 ratings

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The Last Great Adventurer
Galahad Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The 2022 offering from these British NeoProg veterans. The album contains a lot of words of retrospection and elegy dedicated to recently deceased friends and family.

1. "Alive" (8:20) sounds like something straight out of the 1980s. I don't really like the poppy NEW ORDER vocals and computer-enhanced/added drums. Solid instrumental section in the third quarter turns mushy when the band has to switch back to 4/4 time in order to accommodate the guitar solo of Lee Abraham. The finish is just airbowling till the 80s finish. (16.75/20)

2. "Omega Lights" (10:05) (17.25/20): - Part One: Λ - 90s keyboard sounds through the filter of 21st Century computers opens this and plays on for three and a half VANGELIS-like minutes. - Part Two: Ω - a bluesy Steve Hackett/The Who-like pulsing sound comes out of the Part One intro. Never comes to anything special (especially with such an awful chorus); totally unfulfilled potential. Even the big shift at the 7:00 mark does nothing to excite.

3. "Blood Skin and Bone" (8:17) opens with the first minute sounding like something from 1980s pop-experimenting TANGERINE DREAM before shifting into a hypnotic Pete Shelley-sounding piece. Again, the chorus takes us away from the good stuff, dumbs it down into something mundane. I actually like the variable-speed tempo used in the beginning of instrumental passage starting at the end of the fourth minute--and it remains engaging even when they lock it in for another Lee Abraham guitar solo. At 5:25 when break down for a walk through the fair ("the human freak show"), Stu continues a narration-like commentary on our human species (which sounds like a priest's two-pitch singing of the text of the High Mass). Then we bounce back into a smoothed-out PET SHOP BOYS-like version of the chorus. Some good, some banal. (17.5/20)

4. "Enclosure 1764" (4:07) sounds so dramatic--as if it comes from some theatric stage production. What is Stu singing about--something from British history? (8.25/10)

5. "The Last Great Adventurer" (10:35) four chord rock supports a really simply written homage to Stu's father. (Stu is no poet; he's more of a observational narrator.) I agree with Thomas Szirmay: the instrumental passage in the eighth minute has a very STEELY DAN feel to it before the Traffic/Canterbury keyboard enters. And Lee Abraham's solo in the ninth minute really builds and soars. The contemplative jazzy section in the tenth minute is interesting--especially when Stu tries to croon the same lyrics as before over/within it. (17/20)

6. "Normality of Distance" (5:50) * piano and keyboard "orchestra"-supported ballad for Stu to sing in a pop-theatre way. It's like a heart-strings-pulling ballad from the 1970s. (Think "Shannon" ao something from AIR SUPPLY.) (8/10)

7. "Another Life Not Lived" (7:55) * 1980s electric guitar arpeggi in revers and slow forward joined by piano to slow build as Stu lays down his best vocal of the album--strained, acrobatic, and nuanced. But then the power chords enter and dominate--diminishing the power and centrality of Stu's vocal. Luckily this only occurs for the choruses. Several times the vocal melody comes devastatingly close to replicating Roger Hodgson's from the Supertramp song "A Soapbox Opera"--and then the guitar solo is too close to something by David Gilmour. The best song on the album (or is it ... on the album?). (13.5/15)

Total Time 55:09

* bonus tracks on CD

B-/3.5 stars; a nice addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if your of the NeoProg prog persuasion.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to kev rowland for the last updates

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