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Phenomena - Psychofantasy (CD)

Phenomena
Psychofantasy
by Grigoris Chronis at 23 September 2006, 1:38 PM

Where the hell did he emerge from? Tom Galley, credited producer and brother of ex-Trapeze/Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley offers the fourth of the Phenomena sci-fi concept albums series. More than twenty years after the first excerpt was released, Psychofantasy falls a little bit less than 'anticipating' - whoever would expect a Phenomena album, anyway?
To give you an idea, when inspirator Tom Galley 'offered' his concept idea to the Bronze label, he enlisted his brother Mel to organize the project and - eventually - signed up where a series of well known musicians to participate in the three - up to now - albums (released respectively in 1985, 1987, 1991). To mention a few: Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Trapeze), Cozy Powell (Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Gary Moore), Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), Don Airey (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Ray Gillen (Black Sabbath), Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy), John Wetton (Asia) and Brian May (Queen). Now to the new one:
Sunrise starts off with a modern-sound guitar riff. It transforms in an 'updated' House Of Lords British alternative, while Lee Small performs as a Glenn Hughes relative. Touch My Life sees Hughes himself taking the leads, in a 'smart' tune with interesting riffing. Passionate singing supported by 'wandering' harmonies. Again, I 'see' the House Of Lords 'taste' in front of me. Killing For The Thrill is theatrical/modern and features fitting vocals by Matt Moreton (Cloven Hoof). So Near So Far is a slow tempo US Hard Rock cut with Keith Murell (Airrace, Mamas Boys) behind the mic. A good one! Chemical High is a mid tempo 'atmospheric' Rock song with Tony Martin on vocals; it kicks total ass (even the electronic keys in the background)! Higher sums up the first half of the album with Glenn Hughes providing excellent vocals in a 'poor' British AOR track.
60 Seconds is full of slow poke energy - remember Whitesnake's Judgement Day tune? - sung by an ethereal lady named Joy Strachan but seems quite boring the way it's 'unfolded' (Kamelot at its worst). Crazy Grooves - on the other side - returns to a modern, sci-fi sound with Keith Murell in 'space' singing. How Do You Feel? is a typical Glenn Hughes-performing song with a 80s Rock chorus that could easily be deriving from an Asia album! All that I Need needs no attention at all while God Forgives features 'angry' guitar chords with Tony Martin trying to preserve the song's value.
Psychofantasy lacks of balance. Great musicians, average songwriting and pale production sum it up to an album you can definitely live without. In second thought, you need a good reason (a particular singer, the three previous albums etc) to add this one to your collection.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Sunrise
Touch My Life
Killing For The Thrill
So Near So Far
Chemical High
Higher
60 Seconds
Crazy Grooves
How Do You Feel
All That I Need
God Forgives
Lineup:
Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin, Keith Murell, Lee Small, Matt Moreton, Joy Stratchan - Lead Vocals
Pete Howerth, Keith Murell - Backing Vocals
Orlin Radinsky - Drums
Mel Galley, Andy Shortland, J.J. March - Guitars
Richard Lymn - Bass
Ian Rowlands, Tom Brown - Keyboards
Rumen Boyadgiev - Strings & Arrangements
Record Label: Escape Music
     


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