Esoteric / Antenna (label)
25 May 2018 (released)
20 June 2018
It isn’t often that I review charity albums but it is very rare that a charity album comes along featuring Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett, Roger King, Nick Magus and Nad Sylvan.
The album is in aid of the ‘Elephants For Africa’ charity, raising funds and awareness of the state of the African elephant population.
Musically, this is a fine example of the best of modern Progressive rock and features new tracks by the likes of Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett) Tony Patterson, Anthony Phillips and more. As with all good progressive music it insinuates itself into your psyche, laying down themes and riffs that take your thoughts in many and varied directions.
It opens with ‘Eventide’ by Nad Sylvan, co-written by Anders Wollbeck and featuring driving percussion from Sylvan. It is followed by perhaps my favourite number on the album ‘In A Perfect World’ which features Steve Hackett, Anthony Phillips and Roger King swooping guitar lines that bring to mind sunset on the African plain.
All through the album it evokes images through the music and the lyrical compositions, never crossing into cod-African rhythms but unmistakably themed and set in the dark continent.
For me, the best numbers are the instrumentals, pieces like Nick Magus’ ‘Crossing The Savannah’ or Anthony Phillips ‘The Elephant’s Tale’ or ‘Rivers Of Fire’ by Brendan Eyre – all played and produced beautifully and loaded with emotion.
Whether you want some great new Progressive rock or to support the Elephants For Africa charity is irrelevant; it is a superb collection of music first and foremost. Nice to have a charity album you can actually listen to twice.