Thursday, August 16, 2007

FIREBALLET-NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN (1975, LP, USA)



This is one of the gems from the USA progrock history. The band featured Jim Como (lead vocals, drums, percussion), Bryan Howe (Hammond – and pipe organ, celeste and vocals), Ryche Chlanda (electric – and acoustic guitars, electronic devices and vocals), Frak Petto (piano, electric piano, ARP 2600 synthesizer, Mellotron, electronic strings, Oberheim DS-2 digital sequencer and vocals) and Martyn Biling (bass, 12-string guitar, Moog Taurus bass pedals). Their first album “Night on Bald Mountain” was released in ’75 and produced by Ian McDonald (KING CRIMSON). It sounds like a very tasteful progrock stew with elements from GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT and YES. The very disappointing second LP (’76) is entitled “Two, two ... “, no surprise that it turned out to be their swansong. The album debut-album “Night on Bald Mountain” from 1975 is a bit unknown beauty, other USA prog rock bands NETHERWORLD and LIFT got far more attention from the prog fans all over the world. The twelve compositions (including seven bonus tracks, “All Killers, No Fillers” would Greg Walker from Syn-Phonic say) contain alternating and captivating music with strong echoes from early GENESIS and also GENTLE GIANT and YES. But many twists and turns give the music an original approach, including exciting arrangements from classic composers (MUSSORGSKY and DEBUSSY). The singer sounds powerful and has a wide range, the ‘vintage’ keyboards are very lush with spectacular synthesizer solos and the guitar work has a beautiful, 24-carat symphonic tradition. Highlight on this splendid CD is the epic title track (almost 20 minutes): wonderful changes of climate, great breaks, impressive pipe organ (evoking “Close to the Edge” from YES) and beautiful HACKETT-like guitar work. Also worth mentioning is Ian McDonald’s contribution to this album, he plays flute on two tracks and saxophone on two tracks, his sound is very distinctive. Highly recommended! (progarchives).
A great disc for all lovers of good music. An immense class, genius, romance, great performance, a short drive that makes crazy!!!

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