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Blind Golem – A Dream Of Fantasy Award winner

Blind Golem
A Dream Of Fantasy
by Mike McMahan at 23 February 2021, 9:46 AM

The bands of the early and mid-seventies still hold a very special place in my heart. The musicianship of such artists as DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, LUCIFER’S FRIEND, MAGNUM and URIAH HEEP is legendary; and a cut above much of the work that has been produced since. The lyrical content of these artists, particularly with LUCIFER’S FRIEND, URIAH HEEP and early RAINBOW, was filled with mystic imagery and tales of medieval, possibly even Tolkien-esque, quests; overflowing with stories of wizards and kings flowing through their songs.

While there isn’t a great deal of that imagery at work on BLIND GOLEM’S debut release “A Dream Of Fantasy”, there seems to be some, and the record has the sound and feel that it has come from that same era; and from a band that would have been right at home amongst those artists. The band comes by their sound honestly, as they are made up of members of the blues band BULLFROG and FOREVER HEEP, who were dedicated to the continuation of the music of URIAH HEEP; and who have worked in the past as the backing band for the late Ken Hensley (URIAH HEEP). It was indeed with Hensley’s blessing that the band was formed, and that, in and of itself, was enough to gain my immediate interest.

“Devil In A Dream” opens this fourteen song, seventy minute opus with a sweeping Hammond organ and vocal harmonies unlike anything I have heard recorded in years. The musical work on this song was amazing, with the entire band indeed showing their passion through the notes they play. Vocally, they were equally impressive. The heavy hitting “Sunbreaker” follows; and follows suit. As a matter of fact, the deeper I dove into this album, the more absolutely enamored with the band’s ability I became. By the time I got to “The Day Is Gone”, which features Ken Hensley (in one of the last recorded works he was part of, before his passing in November of 2020) on slide guitar and keyboards, I was 100% all in for the ride.

Every song on this release is its own highlight. The record took me places I have not been in a long time, in a musical sense; and by the time I got to the hauntingly beautiful “A Spell And A Charm”, I found myself wanting for more, and digging through my own vast vinyl collection. This band is not a “parrot act”, by any stretch of the imagination. Their works here are entirely original; and astounding in their presentation. I wish more artists today felt the passion these five gentlemen possess. Rest in peace, Ken, with the knowledge that you have once again been part of something amazing.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Devil In A Dream
2.Sunbreaker
3.Screaming To The Stars
4.Scarlet Eyes
5.Bright Light
6.The Day Is Gone (featuring Ken Hensley)
7.The Ghost Of Eveline
8.Night Of Broken Dreams
9.Pegasus
10.The Gathering
11.Star Of The Darkest Night
12.Carousel
13.Living And Dying
14.A Spell And A Charm
Lineup:
Andrea Vilardo – Vocals
Silvano Zago – Guitars
Simon Bistaffa – Hammond Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Francesco Dalla Riva – Bass, Lead and Backing Vocals
Walter Mantovanelli – Drums

Special guest: Ken Hensley – Slide Guitar and Keyboards “The Day Is Gone”
Record Label: Andromeda Relix
     


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Edited 27 September 2021
 

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