Galahad, SOLIDARITY: LIVE IN KONIN (2015). Tracks: Salvation I and II; Guardian Angel; Empires Never Last; Secret Kingdoms and Secret Worlds; Singularity; Beyond the Barbed Wire; This Life Could Be My Last; Sleepers; Guardian Angel (reprise); Painted Lady; Seize the Day.
Birzer rating: blissfully stunned.
Sheesh. What to say? What to write? Today is the release date of Galahad’s latest live album, SOLIDARITY: LIVE IN KONIN. As with all live albums, of course, these are songs that had been perfected in the studio and on the mixing boards. Our ears become rather use to these things of perfection. And, certainly, few modern prog bands sound as good as Galahad when it comes to the studio releases. It’s clear that the band comes together in amazing ways, all songs perfectly nurtured and engineered.
I wasn’t, however, quite sure how Galahad’s more recent music would translate live, though I know the band possesses a rather strong reputation as a live act. As I understand it from my British and European friends, this comes from 1) the tightness of the band; and 2) the rather natural showmanship of Stu Nicholson.
Well, let me just state as bluntly as possible: SOLIDARITY is a gorgeous album. Not only does the music sound every bit as good as on the studio albums, but Galahad clearly has some fun playing around with live sounds. Additionally, the band has crafted a concert that has has much art to it as any placement of the tracks on a studio album. That is, SOLIDARITY sounds like something beautifully crafted as an album, in and of itself. It’s akin to a brand new studio release. The positioning of tracks allows the band to present a long and relatively coherent story. The placement of “Guardian Angel” toward the beginning and the end of the concert But, most of all, it’s Nicholson’s voice that stands out on SOLIDARITY. If anything, he sounds even better live than he does in the studio! And, this is about the highest praise I could give any vocalist.
The prog rock world is not only different from what it was a decade ago, but it’s also significantly different from just two years ago. Galahad has made its own style of music since 1985, and the band has continued to hone that sound in vastly creative ways.
Long live, Galahad!