Exposé Online banner

Golgotha — Symphony in Extremis
(Progressive International PRO-035, 1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-02-01

Symphony in Extremis Cover artOnce a full band, by the first release - Unmaker of Worlds (1990), Golgotha had already scaled down to being the singlehanded project of one Karl Foster. That release, with its four lengthy tracks, bore out the evidence that progressive rock can also be excessive and agressive - beautiful and destructive. Golgotha's sound effectively can be described as keyboard-driven symphonic progressive-metal, complete with frenetic Arthur Brown-esque style vocals. On Symphony in Extremis, Foster has further refined this trademark sound, smoothing out many of the rougher edges, while offering a concept worthy of attention, especially in these divisive times: the lyrics explore the then-popular rationale, attitudes, and bogus ideology that led to the holocaust in Germany, complete with printed lyrics and booklet photos that may be more than a bit disturbing at times - certainly not for the faint-hearted. The album consists of only this one 40 minute gargantuan epic, powerful and stunning, divided into four parts, each with its own focus and direction. Musically, by comparison to the first album, this is much more symphonic and less hard edged, utilizing dense keyboard overlays and a four piece choir; but there are still plenty of soaring metallic guitar passages with some heavy distortion. For those who require comparisons, musically this could be aptly described as The Enid meets seventies Rush. My only complaint is the use of programmed drums; although they don't detract from the overall effect of the album, it could've been that much more powerful with the added dynamics of real drums and percussion. In summary, if you don't mind the very direct and to-the-point concept lyrics, and a musical style that some may consider pretentious, this is an excellent album that delivers on many levels.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 2, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Golgotha

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Phideaux - Friction – Phideaux (pronounced like "Fido") is New York singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Phideaux Xavier. His debut release, Friction, is a dense and quite impressive piece of work. Featuring something in...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues