An interesting album which benefits from a superb overall sound thanks to ex-Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson.
Luckily for me, our Reviews Editor has got my tastes pegged down to a tee! I'll readily admit that I'd not previously heard of multi-instrumentalist keyboard player Leon Alvarado, however, our esteemed Ed had noticed that Billy Sherwood (a favourite of mine) played on this album and, before you know it, said album is being posted through my letterbox.
According to Alvarado, the idea of creating a concept album out of instrumental Progressive Rock music had appealed to him ever since he heard Rick Wakeman's 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth'. 'The Future Left Behind' is the fourth album from Alvarado, someone who has previously worked with John Goodsall (Brand X), Bill Bruford (Yes), Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel) to name but a few.
The story is set around a time when the planet Earth is decaying due to excess pollution, over-population and the stripping of its natural resources (sound familiar?). The solution (for the more fortunate) is to leave the planet for a better life. There are two perspectives as to what is going on; firstly, there is narration from Canadian Steve Thamer and secondly, there is a more personal viewpoint contained within the album booklet.
'...Behind' kicks off with 'Launch Overture', which has the aforementioned Wakeman guesting on Moog and some fine guitar work by Sherwood. 'Weightless' has an Eastern-flavoured sound and is Jazzy in places. 'The Ones Left Behind' is a powerful track with pounding keyboards and, needless to say, Sherwood adds more intricate lead guitar; it also has a Classical element to it. 'Among The Stars' has a Space Rock feel along with a neat kind of groove.
'In Our Quiet Orbit' again has a Classical feel in places and, at other times, is dark and atmospheric. 'To Be Loved' is a beautiful acoustic piece featuring ex-CIRCA: member Johnny Bruhns and at points sounds like Steve Howe's 'Mood For A Day'.
I won't spoil the end of the story for our readers/listeners, all I will say is that album closer 'The Star Seekers' is another powerful Space Rock jam. 'The Future Left Behind' is an interesting album which benefits from a superb overall sound thanks to ex-Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson. Give it a listen!