The riffs stop and then the beat stops as spacey sounds return. Electronics 7 minutes in as song continues until ending with mellotron.
Vocals arrive and then flute and sax. Guitar arrives 4 minutes in. Waves of synths wash through.
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Church organ to end it. Very epic sounding with the trumpet and choirs to end it. It's easy to tell that a lot of heart and soul went into this album, all I have to say is bravo! This album is more symphonic than usual and the band is trying some successful experimentations. Nothing from the other world but at least they showed a concern for more complex stuff compared to their standards. The best moment is a great guitar solo during "Ever The Optimist". What happened to Stuart Nicholson?
The most complex song of the whole is "Democracy". Space-rock oriented intro for what should be the highlight. But I have to say that these hard-rocking-electro beats are quite unbearable to me. Just as the vocals. This song is a collage of several parts which doesn't have anything in common. And even if there are some fine keyboards moments at half time let's speak in terms of football since it is the Champions League final tonight the remaining parts of this track are going nowhere from Chinese sounds to electro pop.
But it is immediately followed by a poor "Deeper Understanding" during which Stuart almost wants to sound as Jon Anderson. This album is absolutely not consistent.
The problem with the latter is that it only lasts for ninety-five seconds. It is my fave here. Year Zero" is not a great album.
Not such a blunder as "Ghosts" but nothing truly memorable. Starting life as a rather traditional Neo-Prog band, Galahad has come a long way since their inception in Over the years, Galahad has released six proper studio albums not counting compilations, re-mix albums and the acoustic one-off album Not All There with the present album appearing a mere three years after the previous Following Ghosts album - the shortest gap between albums in Galahad's history given that In A Moment Of Complete Madness was in reality an 80's album released in I prefer to divide the band's career into two equal halves with 's Sleepers as the culmination of their first era and 's Empires Never Last as the culmination of their second era.
Year Zero is advertised as an album-length, multi-part composition, but in reality it is a collage of songs and instrumental interludes in various different styles. The first four sections do, however, hang together very well and this portion of the album has become a mainstay in the band's live set.
It is always nice to hear Wetton's distinctive voice, but with such a fine vocalist in Stuart Nicholson they didn't really need outside participation. But it probably helped to boost sales!? Haunted begins promisingly with some electric piano and a strong vocal but it soon develops into a heavily Deep Purple-like, bluesy rocker complete with Hammond organ!
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Not bad at all, but you tend to lose sight of the idea that Year Zero is supposed to be an album-length, conceptual piece. After the good, but somewhat disjointed Following Ghosts album, you would have hoped for this follow-up to be a more consistent effort, but sadly Year Zero suffers from the same shortcomings, only exacerbated! Following Ghosts had several redeeming features, but Year Zero features at best some good bits and pieces scattered thinly over the album.
Thankfully, they keep it a bit more concise this time with a running time of just under an hour.
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The nearly ten minute Democracy is Hawkwind-like Space Rock all the way and it is indeed hard to recognize this one as being a Galahad number. Do not expect this to be anything like the excellent Bug Eye, which was the centrepiece from the previous album. Year Zero doesn't have a centrepiece! With the exception of the aforementioned Take A Deep Breath And Hold On Tight which is a short reminder of Belt Up from the beginning of the album; again with Wetton on lead vocals and Hindsight 2 - A Very Clever Guy, the rest of the album consists mostly of shorter instrumental pieces with a surprisingly jazzy and also Classical nature with lots of vintage keyboard instruments as well as flutes, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet!
To my mind this is where the album loses its way and becomes an incoherent mess of seemingly randomly assembled bits and pieces that shouldn't have been allowed to escape from the drawing board. It is indeed doubtful that they ever were on the "drawing board" in the first place as they sound more like the result of a jam!
Buy GALAHAD Year Zero Music
The conclusion can only be that Year Zero falls rather flat despite the reasonably strong opening and a few good bits scattered over the rest of the album. The highlights are the first four sections as well as the ballad Hindsight 2. The opening portion of the album is though readily available on live recordings and Galahad is a more powerful band in a live setting anyway. Somewhat disappointing this one. Indeed, this is my least favourite Galahad album. This is their only concept album so far , with one piece of continuous music broken down into fifteen digestible chunks to make it easier for CDs and they had clearly spread their musical wings.
In fact it takes until nearly halfway through the second track for the album to become recognisable as Galahad, as they are utilising the talents of Dean on keyboards to take the music in a new direction. He certainly brought a great many new sounds and effects to the band, some sounding much more like Hawkwind or Ozric Tentacles than Genesis!
GALAHAD Year Zero reviews
When Roy starts riffing it soon becomes clear that this is the old band with a lot of new ideas, which even allowed for John Wetton to sing a few lead lines, which certainly confuses the ear as he is quite different to Stu but was trying to sing in Stu's style. They started with a clean palette and brought many new styles and colours to their sound, so many that at times it is hard to think that this was the same band that brought us 'Nothing Is Written'.
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