(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
(originally written for www.prog4you.com)
Galahad are veterans in the prog business. With a history dating back 22 years, and officially releasing records since 1991, they certainly have a pedigree. For a band that has kept it going for so long, there's always a danger of stagnation setting in, that the band gets stuck in a certain sound and style. Although I'm not familiar with these guys from previously, I doubt if this can be said for these guys. Because this release has an overall contemporary sound and style, with certain nods and winks to past styles included.
The musical style on this release isn't easy described. The more mellow sections can remind a bit of Marillion as well as late 70's Eloy, but the overall sound of the album reaches more out towards prog metal territory.
The synth is present everywhere on the album, both as musical backdrop as well as floating above the rest of the instruments in the mix. But it's rarely the dominant instrument here. The rhythm section is sharp, and in quite a few of the songs here drums and bass are played prog metal style; hard, fast and sharp.
The guitars here have a dark, somewhat gritty sound to them, but still polished. Not much frenetic riffing. Even when riffing fast we're allowed to hear the individual riff reverberate a bit before the next riff comes; and quite often the individual riff is given a second or three to make itself heard before the next one comes along.
Vocalist Stuart Nicholson has a wonderful voice, which is used as an instrument in it's own right on this release, nicely filling out the soundscape and underlining melody and mood along with the synth.
The overall mood of the album is a dark one, after opening mood piece De-Fi's angelic voices we're thrown into another mood piece with a soundscape that could have fitted perfectly in a horror movie. And throughout the rest of the album, the mood continues being dark.
Most songs on this album are strong ones. Instrumental "Memoirs Form An African Twin" is the only song a tad weaker than the rest here in my opinion, and the nightmarish sounds of "Sidewinder" are in my ears more of a sound and music collage than a regular song as such, but the rest of the album here consists of strong tunes with good melodies, as well as catchy and memorable chorus sections.
Personal highlights: "I Could Be God", "Empires Never Last"