With great pleasure I wrote the above words. My Galleon who disappointed me a little bit with their previous album “Beyond dreams” (2000) strikes back with a wonderful double album called “From land to ocean”. This is what I wrote as conclusion in my review of the album “Beyond dreams”:
Galleon has always been one of the special bands for me. So with pain in my heart I have to say that the album is a little bit disappointing to me. After the very good “Mind over matter” my expectations were maybe to high. In my heart I know that Galleon can make more compelling compositions then the ones that are on this album. With exception of the two highlights of the album "Let us be amazed" and "Parasite".
For details of Galleons discography I would advise you to read the above mentioned review first. It took them three years to finish their seventh album. But the patience of the fans is rewarded by releasing this great double album.
Göran Fors – lead vocals, bass, additional guitars & keyboards; Ulf Petterson – keyboards & background vocals; Dan Fors - Drums and percussion; Sven Larsson – lead guitars & background vocals
Tania Hedlund – vocals; Johnny Martinsson – additional drums on “The price”; Stefan Olsson – Irish bozouki on “The land”; Kristina Olsson – flute on “The land”
So what can you expect from this new album. “From land to ocean” is a classic concept album. It is divided into “The land” (CD1) and “The ocean” (CD2). The difference between “The land” and “The ocean” part is that “The land” consists out of seven tracks ( “Three colours”, “Fall of fame”, “The porch”, “Liopleurodon”, “Land”, “Solitude” and “The price” ) and “The ocean” is one long track of fifty-two minutes!
“The Land” opens with a track called “Three colours” (11:32), a typical Galleon track which shows all the ingredients of a good Neo-Prog album. The music of Galleon is very melodic and the basis of all this are the keyboard carpets of Ulf Petterson. Galleon is at it best in those long pieces (“Three colours” (11:32), “The price” (14:36) and “The ocean” (52:07)). The basis of “Fall of fame” (9:53) is more up-tempo and songmatic but has also beautiful melodic parts. In “The porch” (5:16) the acoustic guitars and the voice of Tania Hedlund give something extra. A delicious ballad with a melodic guitar solo. In the instrumental “Liopleurodon” (5:49) Galleon rocks but they never forget to put in some great melodies. Also I hear some jazzy influences like Camel did on their “Raindances” album. Göran’s bass is humming. “Land” (5:55) sometimes sound like Dire Straits but in the folky part the flute melodies of Kristina Olsson and the synth solo compensate for this. (I have a personal aversion to the music of Dire Straits – sorry about this). On the slow melodies of “Solitude” (6:11) you can float away. “The Land” closes with the long track “The Price” (14:36). The first part of this track reminded me of the music of Saga. Together with the openings track “Three colours”, “The price” is the highlight of disk one. If you are a lover of keyboards, you will love this track. And the melodic guitar solo of Sven Larsson is a must for Genesis lovers. “The price” is my personal highlight of “The land”. After listening to CD1 I thought: Galleon is back! And I only wanted to hear the next disc. And believe me .. it only gets better!
“The ocean” is the best thing Galleon has ever made. This long mega track can be divided into 19 themes which are seamless stitched together (“Beginning”, “And on …”, “Tsunami”, “International”, “Killer green”, “Bermuda”, “Atlantis”, “Polar white – part one”, “The abyss”, “Polar white – part two”, “Blood waters”, “Into the deep”, “Blue richness”, “Black sea”, “Tidal wave”, “Undertow”, “Swirl”, “On the north shore” and “Paradise or What?”). The opening where the lyrics describe the creation of life are atmospheric and tasteful, but soon trouble begin ( “and then came man to begin the human plan … develop and to take evolutions big mistake” ) and Galleon can accompany the lyrics with adventurous music that can build up in tension to delicious symphonic climaxes. The history of mankind and the destruction of our resources is the subject of the lyrics. And they end with a warning: “if nothing done we loose all we have won … from here to eternity …” . You can imagine that the lyrics give the band a good framework for presenting a long piece of music with enough variation to captivate the listener’s attention.
“From land to ocean” is Galleon’s best work up to now. The band seems to have taken out a patent on producing light digestible melodic neo-prog. In this sub genre of progressive music it is one of the best albums of 2003. Galleon has not the intention to make complex or highly progressive music. They have made a delicious album with wonderful music that can be enjoyed over and over again.