Galleon - From Land To Ocean

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD 011
Format: CD
Total Time: 111:00:00

Since last year?s Tricks Of Time release by Grand Stand, and Galleon mainman G?ran Fors' offspring Spektrum, luckily more attention has gone to the Swedish label Progress Records label, as run by Hansi Cross. Although the band Galleon has been going strong for some time now, they seem to grow and develop with each release. Their last studio release Beyond Dreams was a big step forward in the development of the band, but once I was able to listen to their latest offering, boy what a pleasant surprise this was. You can clearly hear that Galleon has finally found its niche, fusing authentic vintage sounds with a contemporary feel. In fact, you immediately get the proof with the first song on the album, "Three Colours," where from a musical perspective, the band kind of delivers a Genesis feel from around the Wind And Wuthering-era (just listen to those synths!) whilst G?ran Fors? vocals in a way remind me of a cross between Simple Minds? Jim Kerr and Saga?s Michael Sadler. All the drama is there, yet the band is able to inject the right dose of accessible rock with the right amount of prog elements to make everyone happy. Towards the end of "Three Colours" Galleon even delivers a battle between guitar and synth.

I wouldn?t like to use the label "neo-prog" when I have to describe Galleon?s latest product, although, of course, the rhythm section often sounds "simpler" than your average seventies prog icon. During "Fall Of Fame," drummer Dan Fors really delivers a simple, stompin? rock 'n' roll rhythm whereby the song itself could easily have been written by Saga or It Bites. Sven Larsson even introduces some wah-wah guitar, as if he possesses sampled parts out of the mighty "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes! Listening closely to Galleon's music one has to admit it?s mainly keyboard player Ulf Pettersson who introduces the Genesis feel with his strong Tony Banks-like playing and chords. The other musicians however try to focus more on the rock idiom at times, as the weird entitled instrumental "Liopleurodon" proves. As the song evolves it leaves the rock structure in search of fusion containing kind of a jamming feel. A different cup of tea is noted by means of "Land." Due to the inclusion of flute and acoustic guitars, this song unleashes a decent amount of folk flavours, ending in true "jig" fashion. The grand piano in the opening section of "The Price" for a minute reminds me of Supertramp, but the rest of the arrangement soon stops that comparaison, as to my ears it?s once again Saga all over. However, the atmosphere changes when Ulf Pettersson unleashes some Dave Stewart synth sounds against an everchanging background. Towards the end, the style of the music also contains a fair bit of IQ references, so all in all Galleon does tackle loads of different styles in order to create its very own music. Pity they "borrow" such a large chunk of authentic Genesis towards the end!

Recorded over a period of nearly three years, the album came together as an idea from G?ran, a concept he had been thinking about for quite some time. In the end it became a double album with one album dedicated to The Land and the second to The Ocean. To make it even proggier than it already is, the second disc only contains one composition, but then again it lasts for the duration of a whole album, clocking in at around 52 minutes! The beginning of this epic kind of evokes a similar feel as Yes' Close To The Edge with synth sounds creating a different world. Again it becomes rather difficult for a reviewer to desribe what to expect as after all this concerns one single track. The information inside the booklet tells us that this epic is actually put together by means of no fewer than nineteen subdivisions. In order to keep it interesting throughout, the band has been clever enough to place little instrumental sections in between the vocal tracks. That way it becomes more diversified, which makes listening to this monster track easier. Again Ulf Pettersson?s keyboards lift the music to directions the band has never unearthed before. Listening to "Atlantis" with its repeating ambient structure is almost like listening to some older Simple Minds material. "Blood Waters" unleashes a lot of energy both from the almost tribal drums and the powerful guitars, whilst distant mellotron gives it a great finish. This is the kind of material bands like The Mars Volta, Opeth and Pain of Salvation could master. Slight fusion with George Benson-like guitar and a funky slapping bass mingle during "Blue Richness" creating kind of a song within a song. Absolutely delightful is the almost chaotic flow of synths and extremely clear and "dry" drums during the instrumental "Swirl." Galleon then introduces some nice slide guitar before the general atmosphere slides down to a rather predictable nature, ending in a way similar to how it all began 52 minutes earlier. It often happens that a band releases a lengthy epic, and very often I find myself falling asleep halfway through. Some musicians simply have this idea that the longer a song becomes, the more it becomes progressive. Here every single second is worth listening to, resulting in endless replays of the same song revealing new details time after time the way true progressive rock should sound. In the career of Galleon, From Land To Ocean is their absolute high, and the kind of calling card we have all been waiting for in order to finally introduce them to the world over as one of the bright hopes of the great prog revival!

Disc One: Three Colours (11:32) / Fall Of Fame (9:53) / The Porch (5:16) / Liopleurodon (5:49) / Land (5:55) / Solitude (6:11) / The Price (14:36) Disc Two: The Ocean (52:07) (Beginning - And On .. - Tsunami - International - Killer Green - Bermuda - Atlantis - Polar White Part 1 - The Abyss - Polar White Part 2 - Blood Waters - Into The Deep - Blue Richness - Black Sea - Tidal Wave - Undertow - Swirl - On The North Shore Part 4 - Paradise Or What?)

G?ran Fors - lead vocals, bass, additional gutars, keyboards
Ulf Petterson - keyboards, background vocals
Sven Larsson - guitars, background vocals
Dan Fors - drums, percussion


Tanja Hedlund - vocals
Johnny Martinsson - additional drums
Stefan Olsson - Irish bouzouki
Kristina Olsson - flute

Lynx (1993)
Heritage & Visions (1994)
At This Moment In Time (1995)
King Of Aragon (1995)
The All European Hero (1996)
Mind Over Matter (1998/2005)
Beyond Dreams (2000)
From Land To Ocean (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: November 16th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg
Artist website:
Hits: 1817
Language: english


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