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Galahad: When Worlds Collide
Reaching milestones often gives us cause to revisit the past, hence having published a candid biography celebrating their quarter century five years ago, a twenty-nine track, two-disc retrospective now arrives to signal the thirtieth year of Galahad. Not just a straight 'best of', When Worlds Collide instead brings ten vintage (1985-1997) but newly re-recorded tracks alongside another nine which received similar refurbishment between 2012 and 2014. The re-record idea certainly seems to be "flavour of the month" amongst many bands, however WWC is possibly the best example of the format I've encountered; Galahad confident enough to rearrange and rework their earliest Neo-Prog recordings into the more rounded and expansive Prog style the band specialise in now, while still staying true to the spirit of the originals. Sonically, with a mix from the in demand Threshold man Karl Groom, songs such as "Lady Messiah", "Dreaming From The Inside" or "Exorcising Demons" sound amazingly fresh and vibrant, standing up superbly against the more contemporary selections housed on disc two. The only down side being that it's impossible to witness the evolution of the band, what with even the oldest cuts sounding as current as those first recorded just a couple of years ago.
However whether through the atmospheric surge of "Room 801" (which genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end by closing with the authoritative tones of much missed legend Tommy Vance, as he introduced the band members back on his Friday Rock Show twenty six years ago. His voice and contribution to the worlds of Prog, Rock and Metal should never be forgotten…), or 2012's more boisterous "Singularity", "Guardian Angel" or "Seize The Day", the effect remains equally mesmerising. These three later cuts are the only ones not to be rerecorded, Groom's hand already having masterfully crafted wonderful pieces of music to near perfection. It has to be said that he's done likewise with everything from "Richelieu's Prayer" (originally 1990) to "The Chase" (1988) and all else in between; the dramatic vocals from Stuart Nicholson allowed to shine against a backdrop of Dean Baker's glistening keyboard work, Spencer Luckman's thunderous beats and Roy Keyworth's stinging guitar (bass on the album comes from a mixture of Tim Ashton, Lee Abraham, Darryl Watts and the much missed Neil Pepper who sadly passed away in 2011).
Galahad's hope is that this stunning collection can "act as a taster to those yet to dip their toes into the world of Galahad", a sentiment I can't endorse strongly enough. However I'd suggest, unlike many retrospectives, that for long term fans of the band this release is indispensable, the new versions often a revelation as they add nuances referencing both some of the band's other songs that couldn't quite be squeezed onto this bulging two disc collection and their wider influences. I'd go as far as to suggest these versions are the definitive recordings of these songs. Congratulations to Galahad for surviving beyond their third decade, that they are thriving to this day is even more impressive than this release, and that's saying something!
1. Lady Messiah (1985/2015)
2. The Chase (1988/2015)
3. City of Freedom (1986/2015)
4. Chamber of Horrors (1990/2015)
5. Dreaming from the Inside (1985/2015)
6. Room 801 (1990/2015)
7. Ocean Blue (1996/2015)
8. Don't Lose Control (1990/015)
9. Exorcising Demons ( 1992/2015)
10. Karma For One (1997/2015)
11. Empires Never Last (2006/2014)
12. Sleepers (1992/2012)
13. Richelieu's Prayer (1990/2012)
14. Painted Lady (1985/2014)
15. Bug Eye (1997/2014)
16. Guardian Angel (2012)
17. Seize the Day (Single mix) (2012)
18. This Life Could Be My Last (2006/2014)
Added: January 17th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Galahad online
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