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Galahad - 'When Worlds Collide' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/df/31/29/Galahad-When-Worlds-Collide-83-1478547553.jpg Hot

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A twenty-nine track, two-disc retrospective to signal the thirtieth year of Galahad.

Reaching milestones often gives us reason to revisit the past, hence 'When Worlds Collide', a twenty-nine track, two-disc retrospective arrives to signal the thirtieth year of Galahad. Not just a straight "Best of", '.... Collide' instead brings ten vintage (1985-1997) but newly re-recorded tracks alongside another nine which received similar refurbishment between 2012 and 2014. The re-record idea certainly seems to be "flavour of the month" amongst many bands, however '... Collide' is possibly the best example of the format I've encountered; Galahad, confident enough to re-arrange and re-work their earliest Neo-Prog recordings into the more rounded and expansive Prog style the band now specialise in. Sonically, with a mix from the in-demand Threshold man Karl Groom, songs such as 'Lady Messiah', 'Dreaming From The Inside' or 'Exorcising Demons' sound amazingly fresh and vibrant, standing up superbly against the more contemporary selections housed on disc two. The only down-side being that the updating of the old cuts makes it impossible to witness the evolution of the band; with even the oldest tracks sounding as current as those first recorded just a couple of years ago.

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However, whether it's through 2012's more boisterous 'Singularity', 'Guardian Angel' and 'Seize The Day', or the atmospheric surge of 'Room 801' (which genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end by closing with the authoritative tones of much missed legendary DJ Tommy Vance, as he introduced the band members on his Friday Rock Show some twenty six years ago), the effect remains equally mesmerizing. The three later cuts are the only ones not to be re-recorded; Groom's hand already having masterfully crafted these wonderful pieces of music to near perfection. It has to be said that he's done likewise with everything from 'Richelieu's Prayer' (originally 1990) to 'The Chase' (1988) and all else in between. The dramatic vocals from Stuart Nicholson are allowed to shine against a backdrop of Dean Baker's glistening keyboard work, Spencer Luckman's thunderous beats and Roy Keyworth's stinging guitar (bass on the album comes from a mixture of Tim Ashton, Lee Abraham, Darryl Watts and the much missed Neil Pepper who sadly passed away in 2011).

The band's hope is that this stunning collection can "act as a taster to those yet to dip their toes into the world of Galahad" – a sentiment I can't endorse strongly enough. However, I'd suggest, unlike many retrospectives, for long term fans of the band this release is indispensable; the new recordings often a revelation as they add nuances referencing both some of the band's other songs and their wider influences. I'd go as far as to suggest these versions are definitive. Therefore, congratulations to Galahad for surviving beyond their third decade, and the fact they are thriving to this day is even more impressive than this release... and that's saying something!

Steven Reid

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