After two high regarded albums; Battle Scars (see review) and Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria (see review) that were both released in 2012, Galahad chose to perform a few selected live shows in the UK, Central America and Europe's mainland. One of these shows; the one in Konin, Poland was recorded for both audio and video purposes. After the audio was mixed by Threshold's Karl Groom and the video by OSKAR Productions, the recorded material was ready for release. The result is two CDs with the whole concert and a DVD holding the video performance of the same concert with some additional features, packed in a beautiful digipack.
Being the Battle Scars and Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria tour, Galahad focused on the music on those two albums. A big plus when it comes to my personal perception of Galahad's music, for the earlier albums; before Karl Groom's mixing duties, starting with 2007's release Empires Never Last, mainly saw strong neo-progressive rock with Fish/Marillion influences. Nowadays Galahad's music sees a more varied pallet of music with the addition of more power; read: metal sounding guitars, and also the strong trance and dance elements, balancing Galahad's music perfectly.
The line-up sees, besides the regular line-up, one younger god on the podium; bass player Mark Spencer replaces the deceased Neil Pepper. The concert starts with the two parts of Salvation, played to perfection and introducing the wonderful voice of Stu Nicholson. Guardian Angel from the same album continues and I really have to give credits for the perfect sounding album as well as the DVD sound; all instruments sound clear and the balance is perfect, sharp guitar sounds; listen to the opening of Secret Kingdoms, crispy keyboards; the end of Guardian Angel - Reprise, drums that sound very well and a nice low end on the bass. Besides the two aforementioned albums Galahad plays two tracks from the earlier Empires Never Last; the title track and a great version of This Life Could Be My Last, including nice solo spots for Dean Baker's piano and Roy Keyworth's guitar. A song that should not be forgotten is the song Sleeper and indeed Galahad's magnum opus is played, powerful with double bass action of drummer Spencer Luckman. During the encore the audience is treated with a demonstration of fabulous vocal handling, when Stu does Painted Lady solo. The final Seize The Day is a strong end of the album and a great one to close a concert.
The visual aspect of this package holds the same music as the CDs. The images are clear and filmed with several cameras that allow multi angle shots and zoom in on individual musicians. The use of the cams on both keyboards and drums are frequently used and really add something to the visual production. On stage Galahad is perfectly in their element, they show their enthusiasm and the interaction is good. Recording a DVD in Poland usually has a positive effect on the financial aspect of the production, the downside however is that you have to depend on the die-hard progressive rock community in Poland to be present at the event. Like during this concert, the venue looks nice, but isn't filled with Galahad-fans, just a few aficionados are close to the stage, the rest remains seated and enjoys a nice concert. Nevertheless the band really doesn't bother and plays a wonderful set, full of passion, musical craftsmanship and a lot of fun.
All in all, this three disc package is a nice one, great music, well played and a fantastic sound. If you have never seen Galahad play live, you totally should check this out. If you have seen them live, this is a great show to cherish and watch in comparison of the shows you already have seen. Solidarity could also be used as an introduction to progressive rock fans who are curious about the band, but never really listened to their music.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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