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Galahad Electric Company: Soul Therapy

Soul Therapy explores grief and loss in an extremely stark, honest manner, with the title of this eleven song collection from two key members of the Galahad collective summing up much of the motivation behind its creation. Via six of its songs singer Stu Nicholson attempts to come to terms with the loss of his mother exactly eleven months prior to this album’s release, something which makes for the most heartfelt experience you could ever expect to come across - and it’s no surprise that it also results in a hugely atmospheric experience.

With the construction of these songs clearly therapeutic, it possibly also explains why Soul Therapy appears just under a year after the release of the previous Galahad Electric Company outing, When The Battle Is Over. For those not in the know, this endeavour consists of two members of Galahad, with Nicholson joined by keyboard and synth man Dean Baker and while the use of their parent band in this act’s name may seem a little indulgent, what is clear as you look at the Galahad band’s website, or read their newsletter, is that this outfit all appear to fully support each other whether they are working together in the main band, or outside of that umbrella. It’s a refreshing approach and one that possibly goes a long way to explaining why this veteran UK prog (and much more) act still survive so many years after their formation.

Soul Therapy, for me, is undoubtedly one of the best extended Galahad family releases to see the light of day so far. Nicholson’s lyrical constructions and his magnificent delivery of what can, at times, be some quite literal lyrics, is something to behold. However, without enigmatic shimmers on which to hang those words, these songs could have been left impotent, but here nothing could be further from the truth. Bask in the melancholy of “Gone To Ground” where a mixture of Jarre-like darkness is combined to a hint of 80s synths and the results, through some sumptuous vocal layering and a stunningly brave arrangement, hits deep. “Monsters In The Dark” takes a similar framework, but with the intensity severely ramped up, then adds a snapping snarl that makes you sit to attention and truly take notice.

Maybe more than previous albums from this duo, the pair’s main band is referenced in a musical stance that combines some progressive leanings to an electronic surge that really does make a deep impression. However, soak in the shoving beats and barks of “I Cannot Forgive You” and you’re left in no doubt that the heart of this beast beats with melodic intent. All of these tracks are honest and emotional, yet with Baker allowed to explore the musical side of the lyrical intentions, that he decides to do so in a way that often eschews the darker tones without altering the mood, is possibly this album’s strongest weapon. From the plaintive vocal and swooping synths of “All That Glitters” to the surging sounds and almost pleading vocal of “When Darkness Comes”, that what has been pieced together here lands on so many different levels really is what makes Soul Therapy such an involving experience, but one that draws you in to encounter it again and again. And as it does it becomes one of those rare albums able to seemingly alter its approach and intention to suit your mood. That’s a quality seldom heard and it speaks much of those who created it.

Track Listing
1. Therapy
2. All That Glitters
3. Gone To Ground
4. Fluidity
5. The Living Ghost
6. Everywhere I look
7. Monster In The Dark
8. When Darkness Comes
9. I Cannot Forgive You
10. Muted Expectations
11. A Belly Full Of Stones

Added: October 29th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Soul Therapy @ bandcamp
Hits: 680
Language: english

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