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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Gnidrolog - Gnosis - 2000

To read the biography of Gnidrolog is to read the live history of progressive rock. Maybe the name does not remind you of anything, but before entering with the critic I will give you some data that I am sure will arise your curiosity... What would you think if I tell you that this is the first album of the band in 28 years!!!?. And if I told you that the Goldring brothers have played as session musicians in albums of Yes (The Yes album)? And if I told you that RCA signed one of their first contracts with bands of progressive rock with Gnidrolog in the year 1970? And that their first two albums "In Spite Of Harry's Toenail" and "Lady Lake" are considered as masterworks of progressive rock? All this is true, as certain as that we are not reviewing a new band and that when we speak of Gnidrolog we are speaking of a band of the same level that Yes, Jethro Tull or Gentle Giant.

In 27 years, the Goldring brothers has made a little of everything: from appearing in television series and movies until being members of the Administration, besides acting under the name of The Goldring Brothers and preparing this glorious comeback.

The CD opens up with "Reach for tomorrow" (5:14), an antiwar song composed in 1970 that possesses some blended oriental elements with a majestic ethnic essence, with Colin singing like a real possessed man. It is curious, the instrumental moments remind me from the most pastoral Tull... but this topic was composed when Ian & co. were still years away from making this music type!. In the same style we have "Reverend Gantz" (6:02), an epic instrumental with an impressive work of guitars and some changes of rhythms that make me stop breathing. Few times have I seen so much versatility condensed in so little time. The guitars bend and triplicate until the infinite until achieving an eternal dialogue. "Fall to ground" (4:52) is a kind song that evokes the folk-song spirit of the initial 70´s. BJH could serve as a reference. Experimentation returns with "Woolunga" (4:22), an instrumental composed in Australia, with a specially ethnic-progressive flavor by means of the appearance of instruments like the didjeridoo or the kalimba. Delicious and risky. "Wonder, wonder" (4:42) it is another vocal piece with Caribbean sounds that lowers the global appeal of the album, although it is a good piece. Maybe it is a joke of the ironic brothers as we then have other instrumental, "Deventer" (4:51) that puts things in their right place again. Impeccable execution and impressive arrangements in an immortal folk rock style. The joy continues with "Bells of prozac" (6:27), another instrumental that lovers of the classic progressive will taste. The didjeridoos, the flutes and the keyboards, next to the guitars, recreate a surprising song full with beauty. Can’t find words enough to describe it. "Kings of rock" (6:50) is a beautiful piece with big guitar arpeggios and tremendously brilliant climax moments. Interestingly the song was composed in 1973 and it is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. What makes this song special? Just that we can notice when it was composed... it has that genuine flavor of the first progressive rock and that many try to recreate without success (age is a plus). Moody Blues or Procol Harum could have composed a similar song in their good times. And I don't say it gratuitously: Chris Copping (former Procol Harum) plays his hammond B3 here. "Gnosis" (6:47) is an instrumental full with nerve and brutal guitar spills in which the son of Colin collaborates to drums. "Crazy, crazy" (4:31) is another moment of calm... a beautiful folky piece that puts some peace among so much unfolding of instrumental quality. "Going to France" (4:42) is a hard rock piece that shows how two 50 year-old " lads" are able to move our hips. If you think that the song is not of interest, just to tell you that Mr. Copping delights us with his inseparable Hammond again. The CD, unfortunately, ends, but before we have "The city sleeps" (4:42), a vocal piece composed in 1986 that can even remind us from Arena or Pendragon (?), and the beautiful instrumental "Two Helens" (3:20) dedicated to their wives (both called Helen) in which Stewart displays his technique playing classic guitar without accompaniments. The final piece of the album is "Repent Harlequin" (6:30) which... I am sorry, I am out of words….

I have extended lot with the review, true. I have made it on purpose because the final degree of the CD is easy to grasp. Simply if you show off that you like symphonic-progressive rock buy this CD and place it immediately in your bookcase of classics next to the best CDs of Yes, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, BJH, Gentle Giant or Procol Harum. Please, Stewart brothers, don't make us wait another 28 years.

Alfonso Algora - June 2000
rating - Snails Records

 

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