GALLEON - Engines Of Creation

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Album von 2007

Here is another sweet paradigm of what we oddball proggers mean by progressive. Galleon is a Swedish band that has been kicking around for quite a while now, slowly improving by honing their skills, focusing on their musical identity and delivering entertaining progressive rock music that is close to the edge of neo and in the court of the symphonic king. Their previous "From Land to Ocean" was a superb 2 CD affair combining stretched out epics with some truly memorable ear-friendly pieces that stuck a deep chord. This new offering has a highly modern sheen, with sprightly production, futuristic artwork and most of all, an innovative attitude towards the utilization of their respective instruments (coated with atmospherics and sharpened to an edge). "Signals" is a fine example of a leaner, meaner sound far removed from the sappier neo outfits. The rhythm guitar in particular is harder than ever before, a bit similar to how Galahad got recently more aggressive on their sulfurous "Empires Never Last", the drums smack, the synthesizers have a more metallic zing to them and the vocals are more up tempo than ever before. At least they sound like they made this in the current (21st, may I remind you all) century, so enjoy the schizoid ride. Another important attribute that was crucial to the previous album and is smartly continued here is the social consciousness of the lyrics. The tone in fact gets angrier than ever before. Wow, a group that tackles environmental issues, that lambastes waste, pollution and rampant consumerism. Talk about retro! The title track in particular holds little back, going straight for the jugular, assailing the "failings" of human progress, the lies, the deceptions, the manipulations we have all come to know and some even love (just watch the tube , you will get the picture). So as to back it up and point the accusatory finger, the next track can only be named "State Insane", aimed at our wonderful politicos ("Leaders will claim that the information is for us all to gain, this state insane", "Surveillance madness rules" and "Big Brother is watching you"). So Orwell was off by 23 years or so, a speck of time in the grander scheme of things. "Fog City" playfully assaults the "Very strange new appliance , new technology, new science, manufactured genes, splendid by all means" with a whimsical organ, bass and synth performance, a sprinkling of Arabic sounding violin sample in the background, just to confuse the matters further. A vigorous track that hits the spot, it could have been a segment of the soundtrack for "Children of Men". After a brief interlude, in order to set up the nearly 10 minute "Men & Monsters", a "we never learn" historical essay on the futility of our civilization to become a gentler, kinder species (yeah, right), featuring a grooving instrumental mid- section with all the fixins': a couple of Ulf Pettersson synth solos, a "rock me babe" guitar riff that veers close to metal territory, sliding back and forth into jazzier domains, morphing into a sensational "classic" lead solo that peels the paint. "Machine Mother" offers no critical let up, crossing swords with neuro-scientific computer technologies that are toying with our "natural selection", a fiery burst from Sven Larsson's ruffian guitar, a somber and sad piano section, and excellent bass/drums from the two Gorans. The bombastic finale "Lightworks" is another 9 minute epic, that illuminates the soul with a positive message, in the nick of time ("future bright, like stars in the sky"), just as the doom and gloom were becoming toxic and asphyxiating. Saved by the bell (or gong or prog, I guess), the playing here remains spirited but full of enlightenment and hope. My favorite track here, as I like to maintain my optimism at all costs. We need more bands like Galleon, cannot rely on The Tangent, Fish and Steven Wilson all the time! 4.5 turbo engines


 1. A.I. (1:38) 2. The Assemblers (5:45) 3. Signals (4:21) 4. Engines of creation (7:04) 5. State Insane (6:09) 6. Fog City (5:10) 7. The Cinnamon hideaway (2:04) 8. Men and monsters (9:44) 9. Machine mother (6:21) 10. Lightworks (9:12)





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