Sebastian Hardie — Blueprint
((Not on label) no#, 2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01
Who woulda thunk, that 35 years after Four Moments and Windchase, Sebastian Hardie's two classic albums from the 70s, the four original members could get back together and produce a new studio album that tops both of those? This isn't just four old geezers trying to capitalize on past glories; instead this band has spent a fair amount of time writing and arranging their new material, and have hit a home run right out of the ballpark. Sebastian Hardie's brilliance was always manifested in the way they craft unforgettable melodies, sometimes refined from fairly simple foundations, manipulated and infused with power and resplendence. The overall sound is as it was before: Toivo Pilt's alternately gritty and spacy keyboard sounds recalling Richard Wright as much as they do Jon Lord; Mario Millo's unmistakably fluid guitars, and the rhythm section of Alex and Peter Plavsic, drums and bass respectively, that supports the effort so well. Every one of the six songs here is a classic, from the autobiographical "Art of Life" to the opener "I Wish" featuring guest singer Dave Wilkins, right out to the closing instrumental "Shame," every one of these has that memorable melody and uncompromising grandeur that marked the band's glory days. Oh yeah, the 70s nostalgia isn't there, but this new album is superb all around and provides new life to the strengths and sensibilities of their classic sound.
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