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Grace and Fire: Elysium

With so many subgenres of prog and rock, it’s easy to overlook bands that do a splendid job of making plain ol’ melodic progressive hard rock. Only in the case of UK-based Grace and Fire, the music is far from plain. And overlook these guys at your own risk.

The band’s classy debut CD, Elysium, was meticulously produced, mixed and mastered by Threshold’s Karl Groom and features guest appearances from Derek Sherinian (keys on “Breathing Murder”) and background vocals from Mark Boals and Göran Edman (“A Warrior’s Tale” and “Paradise Lost,” respectively).

This powerhouse debut is loaded with crystalline singing from André Saint, stunning guitar work from Aaron Gidney (who also pulls out the Chaman Stick), and the monstrous rhythm section of Tim Ashton on bass and Graham Brown on drums. Anthemic, feel-good music mingles with philosophical lyrics and lush arrangements, and it's all wrapped in majestic packaging that's better than what many bands with probably bigger budgets deliver.

The best songs here -- “Paradise Lost,” “Chains of Sanity,” "A Warrior's Tale," “Eyes of the Seer” -- carry memorable hooks that some of the other tracks lack. Nevertheless, Grace and Fire has the potential to be a major force by bringing the muscle of Dream Theater, the depth of Threshold and the ambition of Shadow Gallery.

Track Listing:
1. Overture (instrumental)
2. Elysium
3. Breathing Murder
4. Paradise Lost
5. Chains of Sanity
6. Sea of Dreams
7. A Warrior’s Tale
8. Eyes of the Seer
9. The Great Divide Pt. I (instrumental)
10. The Great Divide Pt. II

Added: March 28th 2022
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Grace and Fire Website
Hits: 656
Language: english

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