söndag 4 december 2016


The "68-71" compilation, picked and posted a while ago, took me by surprise. This was a combo I never really cared about in the past, but after giving them a fair chance I was suddenly all in. The blend of skillfully performed complicated structures and catchy melodies made me want more and just a few weeks later I found this their forth original album. At first impression a lot less accessible than what I got from the compilation. For a listener who's already deep into period pych, prog and symphonic it relates to so many contemporary acts the style is almost chaotic. Not sure if they were truly inspired or just part of some common zeitgeist, but I hear similarities to Beggars Opera, Gentle Giant, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP and Zappa/Mothers. Took a whlie to get past that and down to core. There's certainly lots of good music here, well played with some kind of semi-operatic vocals. Sometimes heavy to the ears and mind, still a good trip with both stirring and soothing moments. I especially like the side-long "Plague Of The Lighthouse Keepers" even if I'm not sure if to recieve it as a suite or single tracks. Have to admit I don't fully understand how any of it stick together or the true meaning of the lyrics, but it's intriguing listening and that's good enough for me. A plus for all King Crimson fans would be Robert Fripp appears as guest guitarist. The cover doesn't reveal where or when, but you can clearly hear some of his signature figures at places. Album was a smashing success in Italy where it topped the charts, but otherwise didn't sell a lot. First Italian on Philips (6369 915 L). US on Charisma (samel label and number as UK). Japan 2005 CD came with five bonus tracks (Virgin VJCP - 68759). Premiere UK had label as shown here, matt fold/out cover and a lyric inner sadly missing with this copy. (CÄX*)

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