Ancient Vision - Focus Or Blinders

Year of Release: 1994
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: TM-02
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:21:00

What struck me first was how much grizzeled vocalist Tom Hook sounds at times like Ian Anderson - most noticably on "Rock Child." But, oddly enough, in the case of "Tonight," he also sounds like Billy Joel (circa '78), even down to the song's lyrics and instrumentation (mostly).

Thematically following on from their previous release, The Vision, I find I actually like this release better.

The mode for most of the tracks here is muscular and gravelly - Hook's voice would sound right singing bawdy medieval drinking songs. However, the shortest track here, "Dreams," is instead very nice, gentle, and dreamlike acoustic piece, with a pleasant sax solo. "Mother Earth" ends with a very jazzy sax line. "Reprisals," the closing track, starts off very atmospheric (almost uncharacteristic) and then seques into, well, reprisals of refrains from the earlier tracks.

But, comparisons aside, this is a really good album - listenable, and not entirely a Tull clone. Recommended.

[Aug 2005: Not sure where the band is now... the website has been "new" since 1998... -ed.]

[Aug 2009: Well, the band is back, having released a new album in 2008. I discovered this quite by chance visiting the website of a Polish prog label, Oskar. And there it said "Ancient Vision". The same?, I wondered. Sure enough. -ed.]

Fail Not Me (4:53) / Rock Child (4:46) / What Is Not Given Is Lost (3:56) / Tonight (4:48) / Dreams (Part I) (1:59) / Why Send A Man In To Do A Boy's Job (10:12) / Father And Son (5:33) / We Are Not Gentlemen (5:32) / Focus Or Blinders (6:12) / Mountains (5:51) / Mother Earth (5:44) / Hope, Love and Fear (1:58) / Reprisals (9:09)

Tom May - guitars and keyboards
Barry Spry - bass
Joe Allen - keyboards
Rob Leythem - drums
Russ Gross - guitars
Tom Hook - vocals

The Vision (1991)
Focus or Blinders (1995)
Ancient Promises (1997)
Lost At Sea (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1170
Language: english


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