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Fireballet: Night On Bald Mountain

Fireballet was an American Progressive Rock band who released two albums in the mid-70’s. Their musical roots are firmly in the British Progressive sound, borrowing heavily from Yes, Genesis, and ELP. In addition, Ian McDonald of King Crimson fame produced the album, yet surprisingly, it doesn’t sound great. Night on Bald Mountain gives you bits and pieces of the bands mentioned, and it lulls you into a comfort zone based on that familiarity. This is the effect of the entire album.

The opening “Les Cathedrals” brings out the two keyboardists, and lead vocalist/drummer Jim Como is passable, if sometimes a bit dramatic and over the top. The short bits of narration/spoken word are a distraction and do nothing to enhance the song. The vocals work better when Como is accompanied by his bandmates. The song goes through many motifs, with a number or quiet subtle moments for contrast. Ian McDonald also plays saxophone which adds a nice change to the music that should have been used more often. “Centurion” is a tip of the cap to Yes with the vocal delivery, but the song is marred with harsh and unpleasant guitar tones. There are plenty of variations in this track, but they seem a bit pieced together, puzzle pieces that don’t always fit. “Atmospheres” is a nice change of pace, a beautiful track that is reminiscent of that early Genesis acoustic sound, including some flute to add to the haunting atmosphere.

The 19+ minute epic “Night on Bald Mountain” is worth your price of admission. An ambitious undertaking, but honestly a bit too long, some editing would have helped keep the momentum going throughout. Fireballet is not a band that is going to jump to the top of your list, and probably not an album you will reach for often. They represent many things we love about progressive music, but will never be mistaken for the masters of the genre.


Track List:
1. Les cathédrales (10:16)
2. Centurion (Tales of the Fireball Kids) (4:46)
3. The Fireballet (5:15)
4. Atmospheres (3:40)
5. Night on Bald Mountain: (18:55) :
- a) Night on Bald Mountain
- b) Night-Tale
- c) The Engulfed Cathedrale
- d) Night-Tale (reprise)
- e) Night on Bald Mountain (finale)

Added: September 29th 2021
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Score:
Related Link: Band @ProgArchives
Hits: 214
Language: english

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