Galahad - Following Ghosts

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Avalon
Catalog Number: GHCD6
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:34:00

Bursting out of the speakers with an energetic, muscular blast of guitar and drums, Galahad's Following Ghosts signals that this album is different. And different it is. Yes, there are some of the signature Galahadisms here. Most of the opening track "Myopia," after the blast, is definately Galahad. Violins swoop in towards the end, lending a bit of Celtic feel to it, before ending with another assault of guitars. Not quite speed metal, but pretty darn close - and well played, too.

Where they have taken another path from the same old same old is really in the rest of the album. Track two, "Imago" begins with the appregio of an acoustic guitar and gentle undulations of synths. There is a vague thought of Fish with Stuart Nicholson's delivery here, reminicent of "Charting The Single", but this is just around the edges, flitting in and out - Nicolsons overall vocals sound nothing like Fish.

Galahad more than just flirt with rhythms and arrangements influenced by the ambient and techno music scene - signposts would be Future Sound of London, Spacetime Continuum, etc - the difference being actual vocals rather than audio snippets, though those are here, too. "Bug Eye" most certainly fits into this category - beginning with a gentle synth wash over scattered voices. Nicholson vocals here are light and airy, sparse. The majority of the track is a synth based, with various different audio effects and odd sounds, over angular, crisp, hard-edged percussion, more cymbals than drums (though there is a thinness to them that suggests digital rather human).

Taken out context, you would never identify this as Galahad or even by a band with any connection to the neo-prog genre.

There are also other more traditional textures here - "A Short Reflection On Two Past Lives - part one" is a gentle, old world Italian sounding tune - acoustic with the accordian sound (keys most likely as it's not credited).

"Karma For One" shifts moods and tempos from floating on a gentle synth wave, to being oddly synthcopated (making me think of Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers"), to being guitar led with a breezy flute riding underneath. All throughout I couldn't help but also think of Yes. Nothing that it reminds me of in particular, but here Nicolson's vocals take on an Anderson-like tone. The song subject isn't far off from something Yes would do either.

"Shine," which closes the album, is my favourite track here. Maybe it's a female thing, but Nicholson's phrasing of the chorus here strikes a deep emotional chord - the sound of heartbreak, the sound of a tragic twist of irony.

The weakest track here I find is "Perfection Personified" - in comparison to the rest of the album, it seems routine. There is a vague Middle Eastern flavor to the choral line; Nicholson's vocals are flat in parts.

But this album has taken the top spot on my 1998 Top Ten (actually, it's tied with Arena's The Visitor, also reviewed).

Myopia (5:00) / Imago (5:53) / A Short Reflection On Two Past Lives - Part One (3:53) / Karma For One (6:23) / Perfection Personified (4:51) / Bug Eye (13:58) / A Short Reflection On Two Past Lives - Part Two (5:52) / Ocean Blue (7:13) / Rejuvination (1:59) / Easier Said Than Done (4:31) / Shine (14:01)

Stuart Nicholson - lead and background vocals
Spencer Luckman - drums and percussion
Neil Pepper - bass guitar and pedals, programming, and samples
Dean Baker - keyboards, programming and samples
Roy Keyworth - guitars and effects

In A Moment of Complete Madness (1993)
Nothing Is Written (1991)
Other Crimes And Misdemeanours (1992, cass.)
Sleepers (1995)
Classic Rock Live (1996)
Other Crimes and Misdemeanours II (1995/1997)
Decade (Best of) (1997)
Following Ghosts (1998)
De-constructing Ghosts (1999)
Other Crimes and Misdemeanours III (2001)
Year Zero (2002)
Empires Never Last (2007)
Battle Scars (2012)
Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria (2012)

Resonance - Live In Poland (2006)

Genre: Neo Prog

Origin UK

Added: January 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2228
Language: english


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