Galahad - In A Moment Of Complete Madness

Year of Release: 1993
Label: Voiceprint
Catalog Number: GHCD2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:09:00

Galahad were neo-prog in the IQ/Pendragon/Marillion mold stylistically, though they don't sound really like any of the three - a smidgen of each I suppose, but different enough to give them unique voice. Of course, in the years since this release, and with their most recent Following Ghosts, they have progressed beyond the "mold." This disc was first released in 1989 as a cassette to sell at gigs, according to the liner notes. It contains three additional tracks for the CD release (1993).

In A Moment Of Complete Madness is a concept work of sorts that begins with a winking tribute to Genesis (though not just Genesis) in "One For The Record." Granted Genesis as a metaphor for all those bands that have dominated our perception of progressive and have split. That desire to see the classic line up once more in our lifetimes. But not just Genesis, of course, as I'm sure "as the coffin parades/On to a rain sodden stage" could hints at those members who cannot participate in any reunion by reason of being dead. Thus this would be the only way the Beatles would be able to perform in the classic line up. The irony is that a few years later, we get new Beatles songs with Lennon vocals.

"Second Life" begins with chiming guitar like early U2 or The Alarm, or even Big Country, though neither of these bands is progressive (or are they?). The keys are quite perky here, bouncing along in an almost xylophone fashion. Actually, this does have a kinda "new wave" feel about it. And chiming bells that appearance once in the middle and close out the track.

"Parade" follows a similar theme as the first, and this one doesn't just hint but names names. Imagine a parade of artists' past (dead and alive) all just waiting to entertain you once more - "Jimi baby going crazy/Whilst Elvis is getting fat/Freddie's nails are cracking snails/Peter's make-up is running." But there is quite a bit going on during the chorus, as the percussion scritches and scratches in the background like sharp fingernails dancing on the cymbals. They chorus is quite nice with beautiful harmonies and counterpoints.

This followed by rockier "Earth Rhythm" which is a serious commentary on the power of music, magic of music to entertain, inform, heal ? whatever what one listens to music for. For the most part, but for the keys, this could be a mainstream rocker. That isn't to say it's an ordinary rocker, but that it isn't exactly proggy. No complaints though, 'cause I really like it.

Of the original tracks, only "Second Life" doesn't deal with music matters. "Lady Messiah" is the most proggy of these early tracks, going through several different sections some of it dark, heavy, dense with harsh guitar leads swirling, cutting, backed by muscular percussion and bass. Another section gives the percussion the lead before almost staccato guitar eases its way in. Then we get a very atmospheric note, Nicholson's voice echoing, as if from across time and space (a voice from the future warning the past?)...then a section with a proggy-tango like feel... this is quite a varied track.

These additional tracks were re-recorded for this release. The first is the acoustic "Painted Lady," just Roy Keyworth on guitars, Karl Garrett on keys, and Stuart Nicholson on vocals. It is a very sweet and lilting track, quite gentle and a little wistful. "The Ghost of Durtal" is quite a contrast, as it begins very dark and gloomy, with a very fantastical theme (as in fantasy). There is a very nice extended instrumental passage after the first section with some nice guitar and keys courtesy of Keysworth and Garrett respectively. The music so richly sets the scene - evoking thoughts of a lush, green, tree filled England, the air a bit cool. The lyrics suggest none of this; it's all in the music, as the track in mainly instrumental.

"Welcome To Paradise" comes closest to early Marillion, but only occasionally, as soon we get a stringy keyboard phrase dancing its way over light percussion and base. There are some similarities to "Chelsea Monday" here, though, mostly in the lyrical imagery, even if the words are different.

While the chorus to "One For The Record" will stick in your mind, and the arrangement borders on pop (I can't help but occasionally think of such bands like Naked Eyes or the like), there is stronger material to be had on the album. And is well worth checking out as Galahad are one of the better so-called neo-progressive bands out there.

One For The Record (4:48) / Second Life (4:09) / Parade (5:55) / Earth Rhythm (4:32) / Lady Messiah (9:38) / Painted Lady (1:44) / Ghost of Durtal (11:10) / Welcome To Paradise (8:13)

Roy Keyworth - guitars
Stuart Nicholson - vocals
Spencer Luckman - drums
Mark Andrews - keyboards (1-5)
Kark Garrett - keyboards (6-8)
Paul Watts - bass (1,2, 5)
Pat McAnn - bass (3, 4)
Neil Pepper - bass (7, 8)

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: March 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1669
Language: english


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