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Galleon - From Land To Ocean

Galleon - From Land To OceanGalleon has existed since the 80’s in one form or other.  Initially starting out under the name Aragon, the change to Galleon in the late 80’s brought about the release of a number of albums in the 90’s.  The current line up of Goran Fors, Ulf Pettersson, Sven Larsson and Dan Fors spent some three years producing this, their latest work, which was finally released late in 2003.

From Land To Ocean is a double album, CD1 being The Land consisting of seven tracks and CD2 contains The Ocean which is one 52 minute long track.

A wash of synth hails the start of Three Colours followed by a strong tribal drumbeat.  Keyboards are in the style of Tony Banks though the melodies are definitely not Genesis.  That said, there are moments of guitar that are reminiscent of Marillion.  The lyrics are an observational nutshell of the state of the world, Europe in particular and how we fought for freedom in WWII (though the term ‘great war’ is normally used for WWI), create a European Community to preserve peace and a ‘common market’ yet the arguments and barriers still exist and industry moves to countries outside Europe to reduce costs.

The observations into life today continue with the second track, Fall of Fame, commentating on those who, in search of instant fame, appear on TV in programmes such as Big Brother, Pop Idol etc. only to fade away not long after.  Musically, there are snippets of mid seventies Camel and even a brief Hendrix riff.

The Porch is a contemplative song about news events around the world, in a sort of Neil Diamond style.

The instrumental, Liopleurodon, again has elements that bring Camel to mind with an energetic first half followed with a wonderfully relaxed drifting jazzy closing section.

Land returns with the theme of politics, politicians and their promises in particular.  The keyboard emulation of flute is prominent in this track resulting in a sound not dissimilar to early Kaipa.

The personal aspect of life is covered in Solitude, a track about a lonely man living alone, surrounded by people yet doesn’t know any of his neighbours after 15 years.  The sad but common theme is depicted by Gilmouresque guitar work.

CD1 closes with The Price, a depressing view of the knock on effects of what we call progress, at the expense of nature.  The track follows in the vein of neo-proggers Pendragon, but also has elements of classic prog, especially in the latter part where Tony Banks style keyboards come to the fore.

Although CD2, The Ocean, is one long track, it is subdivided into nineteen sections covering the beginning of creation onwards.  The track starts with a Mike Oldfield style background theme and it soon becomes clear that The Ocean is more adventurous than The Land.  Many styles and textures can be detected from YES Close To The Edge funkiness, Grace aggressiveness, to the majestic qualities of the Flower Kings or IQ and delicateness of Pink Floyd (Echoes).  At around the 42-minute mark there is a Snowgoose type vocal harmony effect followed by Tony Banks’ sound-alike keys for example which are done to great effect.  Yes, it is a long track but it is all excellent and devoid of the ‘filler’ often found in similar length tracks on other albums.

From Land To Ocean is an intense album, more so if both discs are listened to in succession without a break, but those who can find the (almost) two hours required to do so should find it a worthwhile experience.  The concept is sound and the observations pertinent and the music a delight.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Galleon

Progress Records

 

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