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Eureka: Shackleton's Voyage

Founded by German multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert in 1997, Eureka's self-titled debut album was a heady mix of Celtic themed world music interspersed with rock and symphonic influences. The Full Circle from 2002 followed in a similar vein before The Compass Rose was warmly received by the prog rock community. For album number four, Shackleton's Voyage, Bossert has embarked on a nautical journey that carries the listener through the trials and tribulations of Sir Ernest Shackleton's exploration of Antarctica in the years 1914 to 1916. More than just a one man project, Bossert has secured the services of, amongst others, Yes alumni Billy Sherwood who contributes vocals on "The Challenge" and "Going Home". Troy Donockley (Iona, Nightwish, Mostly Autumn) also weighs in with his trademark bagpipes and flute for that authentic Celtic sound.

Much of the album is an instrumental work with British actor Ian Dickenson linking the concept with some occasional narration. But words are not really necessary to bring the concept to life as the emotions of leaving home, facing near starvation, isolation and near mutiny are expressed by the musical themes that will have substantial appeal for admirers of Mike Oldfield or Vangelis in addition to concept album afficienados. Wonderfully paced throughout the story is one of joyous optimism ("Plenty of Time") and desperate lows ("Will You Ever Return/") and the dynamic atmospherics are ever present. Authentic photographs fro the original voyage are used in the cover artwork and booklet and it is clear that attention to detail is of the utmost importance.

For much of his expedition Shackleton and his crew were almost forgotten at home in Britain where the Great War raged until eventually receiving fitting recognition as one of the most important pioneers of Antarctic exploration. Shackleton's Voyage is a fitting tribute to their legacy.

Track Listing
01. The Last Adventure
02. Departure
03. The Challenge
04. Grytviken Whaling Station
05. Heading South
06. Icebound
07. Plenty Of Time
08. The Turning Point
09. Going Home
10. Into The Lifeboats
11. Elephant Island
12. Will You Ever Return?
13. In Search Of Relief
14. The Rescue
15. We Had Seen God!

Added: September 9th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Artist MySpace
Hits: 3200
Language: english

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