This Swedish project is the latest release on the record label Progress Records of Hansi Cross. The label is the home for the Swedish bands Cross, Galleon and Grandstand. Instead of the long awaited new double album of Galleon, the label surprises us with a new group/project Spektrum. In fact this is a mixture of band members of Cross (Hansi Cross), Galleon (Göran Fors) and Grandstand (Olov Andersson and Göran Johnsson). The band is completed with female singer Lizette von Panajott. As you can imagine the music is a pleasant mix of all those elements.
Lizette von Panajott – Vocals and Additional Keyboards; Olov Andersson – Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Turkish Mini Bells and Vocals; Göran Fors – Basses, Vocals and Taurus Pedals; Göran Johnsson – Drums, Vocals, Electric Guitar and Additional Keyboards; Hansi Cross – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals and Additional keyboards.
The little intro of the album is called “Spektrum” (0:22) and seamless flows into the first real track “Land of longing” (5:39) which confirms my idea that the music is a mix of the different group components. This piece is songmatic with a melodic vocal line. This piece is a pleasant opener with some little indications of one of my favorite keyboard players Olov Andersson that there is more beautiful keyboard work to come. The track “Now” (9:24) is the longest track of this album. After a slow opening the first passionate guitar solo is played. In the second part Olov plays his first “Banks” solo. This time he has a “Wind and Wuthering” sound. Maybe not very original, but he does this in such a great way that Tony Banks will have a smile on his face when he will hear this. After that comes the next melodic guitar solo. All this is placed on top of the steady basis of drummer Göran Johnsson and bass player Göran Fors. The later of those two also weaves bass carpets with his Taurus pedals. The next song is an instrumental one called “Perpetuum mobile” (5:55). The composition slowly builds up to a climax with a full band sound. In “The Quest” (5:16) the instrumental parts have a nice full keyboard sound. This is one of the better tracks with delicious keyboard and guitar solo’s. Lizette von Panajott is back on the vocals. She is not my favorite female singer but when she is not pushing to sing in an aggressive way, which often only gives a screaming effect to the vocals, she fits nicely into Spektrum’s music. In “Ivory Tower” (5:57) you can hear this effect but it is much better than the distorted vocals in “A chemical release” (8:52) which I really hate. Musically this is a great up-tempo symphonic track with an aggressive guitar solo and delicious keyboard work. In the end that magnificent “Wind and Wuthering” sound returns and is even combined with a Hackett like guitar solo. The band gives respect and a little ode to one of the better periods of Genesis.
This Swedish surprise is a good album for proglovers who like melodic music drenched with keyboards. The sound has a little bit of everything. Some Cross music, some Galleon music and some Grandstand music. But Lizette von Panajott gives the music an extra dimension. Personally I would buy this album only for Olov Andersson’s delicious keyboard work. But I am a Hugh fan of this guy; he is one of my keyboard heroes.
Conclusion: a good melodic sympho album. We will wait now for that earlier mentioned Galleon album.