Fireworks

Astra - 'The Black Chord' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c0/a5/d8/2682_astratheblackchord_1346262213.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 29, 2012    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
4362   0   1   0   0   0

Artist

Artist

Title

Another quality Prog release in a year full of them.

Retro seems to be catching on; Presto Ballet made it their ethos to record using glorious, classic, analogue instruments, the Flower Kings have gone that way with their latest offering and then there’s Astra. Moogs, Mellotrons, and Hammond Organ adorn this album, as they did the debut (‘The Weirding’), in a way that will have those, like me, who were raised on 70s Prog salivating with pleasure. That’s not to say that Astra are entirely stuck in the past, they seem to have the ability to evoke the era but to present the music in a way that doesn’t make it sound completely dated; that’s great credit to them.

Naturally, there are sections of music contained within the album where one can point a finger and say ‘that sounds just like…’ but frankly who cares? Not me. They simply glory in the sounds of a brilliant and productive era of Rock music.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


The instrumental, ‘Cocoon’ opens proceedings in fine fashion with Pink Floyd style synthesisers floating into the air and then being built on by the other instruments. Slightly ‘trippy’ at the outset (it’s fair to say Astra sit at the psychedelic end of the Prog genre) lovely melodies emerge as the piece unfolds. Non-Prog fans will object to the repeating pattern that underpins the number (a style they use regularly) whilst those who like the genre will revel in the steady development of the track. Early Camel comes to mind thanks to both the keyboard sounds employed and the guitar solo which is pure Andy Latimer. The title track is up next and over its 15 minute span it covers at lot of Prog bases from languid instrumental sections through flourishes of King Crimson-ish bravado. After the initial burst of energy the song changes to a wonderful piano motif which ushers in a delightful layered vocal, this is then added to by understated Hammond and guitar before the synthesisers and Mellotron come to the fore. The band’s influences abound on this track, I could draw up a list but I’ll refrain, let’s just say that, for me, this is a triumph of song creation and arrangement.

I mentioned the vocals earlier and although primarily and instrumental band when they do sing they do so with multiple voices rather than one in a manner not unlike CSNY and Moon Safari. ‘Quake Meat’ is a bit self-indulgent and rather complex making it the most difficult track to get in to; ‘Drift’ is a mellow number initially based around an acoustic guitar and tinkling synthesiser. Again the arrangement is superb and there’s a hint of current It Bites about it and the big finish is a delight. ‘Bull Torpic’ is a short fairly intense instrumental before the album concludes with the nine-minute ‘Barefoot in the Head’ which has early Pink Floyd inflections, not least the guitar solos.

Conclusion: this is another quality Prog release in a year full of them.

Gary Marshall

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  February 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829 

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 weeks, 3 days ago
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site