Galahad - The Long Goodbye

(CD 2023, 53:10, Avalon Records)

The tracks:
  1- Behind the Veil Of A Smile(6:19)
  2- Everything's Changed(7:39)
  3- Shadow in the Corner(5:28)
  4- The Righteous And The Damned(8:37)
  5- The Long Goodbye(12:58)
CD bonus tracks:
  6- Darker Days(7:45)
  7- Open Water(4:08)

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Last year's Galahad album The Last Great Adventurer (2022, see review) was one of my favourite prog rock albums of the year 2022 (number 8 in my personal BG top 10) and now just a year later Galahad released their brand-new twelfth studio album called The Long Goodbye. This album was mainly recorded during the same sessions of their previous album and again edited and mastered by Karl Groom from Threshold. The main album consists of five new tracks plus two bonus songs on the CD.

Without further ado I can tell you that it is again a brilliant album featuring the two sides of Galahad's sound, namely the prog rock side and the electronics-melodic rock side, at an exceedingly high musical level. Lyrically The Long Goodbye is not really a concept album, although maybe aging and dementia are the main lyrical topics here and there are truly some emotional and dramatic moments. The title track, clocking in at 13 minutes, is the musical and lyrical highlight of this album. After the short piano and vocal intro (1:50), the electronics beat and a dark speaking voice enter the song, followed at 2:25 with melodic guitar and keyboard melodies. The middle part of this awesome track is quiet, featuring acoustic guitar and piano, but the best is yet to come, as Lee Abraham starts his glorious guitar solo at the eight minutes mark; what a solo indeed. This epic Galahad masterpiece ends orchestral, with vocals repeating the chorus and the guitar solo of Abraham in the background....

The album opener Behind The Veil Of A Smile will also turn into a Galahad classic as it is packed with lots of great melodies, tremendous guitar soloing, crystal clear vocals, a true bass line killer and an addictive melodic chorus. Follow up Everything's Changed is the “weakest” song on this album - at least that is my opinion - as the neoprog track features too sweet vocals and an extraordinary “poppy” chorus indeed, reminding me of a band like Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark...

Shadow In The Corner again features an electronic beat intro followed by a great Threshold-like guitar riff and the explosive solo with high arpeggios of Abraham is another guitar highlight of this album. The Righteous And The Damned is probably the “weirdest” song of the album as it starts with acapella singing by Stu Nicholson, followed by lots of nah-nah's, accordion, handclaps, and violin, all creating a rather Middle Eastern atmosphere and sound. The song gets heavier after three minutes, featuring great guitar riffs and a howling keyboard solo, while the lyrics, seeing the current situation in the Middle East, are really up to date. The Long Goodbye is in fact a long grower as it gets better the more you listen to it, and it is a must have album for lovers of melodic prog rock!!

The two bonus tracks are really “other” songs and do not really connect to the other five tracks as Dark Days is a true ear-catching song and Open Water a rather “mediocre” piano ballad, only featuring piano, strings and vocals.

Vinyl LP versions in a gatefold sleeve will also be released and the LP will be available on both standard black vinyl and two-coloured splatter vinyl versions.

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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