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England - The Imperial Hotel CD (album) cover

THE IMPERIAL HOTEL

England

 

Symphonic Prog

3.10 | 18 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars England was a short-lived British Prog band, hailing from Maidstone, Kent, led by drummer Mark Ibbotson.Just before settling to a regular four-piece operating line-up, Ibbotson recruited keyboardist Robert Webb and guitarist Jamie Moses.The same year they recorded one ambitious 25-min. long piece at the Marquee Studios in London, which was never officially released.During a brief reformation some thirty years laters, including visits at the Baja Prog Festival and a short Japanese tour, the band handed out a number of CD copies with that song, titled ''The imperial hotel''.

At the time of the recording with no bassist on board, Webb played the bass lines through his Moog bass and ''The imperial hotel'' suggested a young band, heavily inspired by the British Prog bands of the time, basically GENESIS, YES and a little bit of KESTREL.Their sound was largely symphonic with many interesting keyboard parts and a few fiery guitar solos, sounding close to the likes of GENESIS circa-''The knife''.Rhythm changes and bombastic parts are definitely close to YES, but the melodies and omnipresent Hammond organ flashing reminds me a lot of TONY BANKS.''The imperial hotel'' is a super-tight composition, not actually on par with the best material the band recorded over its limited career, but the lust for long instrumental parts, multiple thematic variations and the undisputed talent of the trio resulted an overlooked prog epic, which sounds a bit raw at moments, still reveals a great potential.Poetic and theatrical singing lines to go along with more normal vocal arrangements, some fantastic organ executions, smooth piano backgrounds and a mixture of dramatic vibes and melodious orchestratins offer a nice listening experience in a Classic Prog vein.Of course they sounded pretty similar to their idols and hadn't matured enough to deliver the same monumental ideas, but this is nonetheless an easy-flowing prog piece with series of interesting instrumental and vocal stuff.

The free distribution of this archival piece makes its discovery quite a hard case.If you are lucky enough to detect a copy, be sure to love the classic years of GENESIS and YES.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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