Exposé Online banner

Galasphere 347 — Galasphere 347
(Karisma KAR144, 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-10-31

Galasphere 347 Cover art

Take a look at who’s involved in this project, and you’ll see familiar names (if you’re a person who pays attention in the world of progressive rock): from Henry Fool we get Stephen James Bennett (vocals, keyboards, guitar); from White Willow we get Ketil Vestrum Einarsen (keyboards, programming, flute), Jacob Holm-Lupo (guitar, bass), and Mattias Olsson (drums, keyboards, guitar); Holm-Lupo and Einarsen are also in Weiserbergland; Einarsen and Olsson are both in Kaukasus; Einarsen has also worked with Jaga Jazzist and Holm-Lupo with The Opium Cartel; and Olsson is the go-to drummer in Northern Europe, with credits including Anglagard, Pixie Ninja, and Necromonkey aside from the groups already mentioned. Call it a supergroup if you want to — let’s listen to the music. Galasphere 347 consists of only three tracks, all over ten minutes in length, for a total of 41 and a half minutes. Much like Kaukasus, this band spans a wide territory of sounds, from spaced-out atmospherics to Genesis-like prog rock to Floydian grooves to elaborate vocal arrangements. In spite of their length, these pieces are not made of multiple varying sections, but leisurely development of consistent themes — more like extended song forms than suites. There’s a part of the first track, “The Voice of Beauty Drowned,” where the keyboard parts sound like something that could have come from one of the better tracks off Duke or Abacab, though in this context (the final third of a ten-plus minute track that is generally not Genesis-like) it seems quite fresh and not at all derivative. “The Fallen Angel” starts out almost like one of those quiet Porcupine Tree songs, or maybe something Tim Bowness would do (Bennett has worked with Bowness, so that’s not unexpected), but then goes into an instrumental section with a tricky rhythm, and suddenly there’s a trombone solo (the only place where the instrument appears). “Barbarella’s Lover” is the final track, a 15-minute tune with two main sections: a ten-minute vocal tune that builds dramatically, diverts into a quieter section, then builds again, and an instrumental tune in 5/4 that jumps out and takes over for a few minutes before relinquishing control back to a heavier version of the vocal section’s finale. Throughout the album, guitars mostly play supporting roles, and the leads are taken by keyboards, with occasional use of flute and trombone. Obviously, the lengths of the tracks will be problematic for listeners in a hurry, but for those willing to take the time, this is some fine progressive rock — high quality imaginative stuff from beginning to end, as you might expect from these musicians.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Galasphere 347, Jacob Holm-Lupo / Telepath

More info
http://galasphere347.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trygve Seim - Sangam – If there was ever a time for a new jazz icon, composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim surely fits that bill. His ensemble's well received performance at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival was a jaw-dropper,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues