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Finch - Galleons Of Passion CD (album) cover

GALLEONS OF PASSION

Finch

 

Symphonic Prog

3.36 | 67 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Seventies Dutch band Finch's first two works `Glory of the Inner Force' and `Beyond Expression' were full of ravishing instrumental runs and frenetic energy, but for their third and final album in 1977, the group delivered their most purely symphonic work in `Galleons of Passion', more often in the dreamy and romantic style of groups like Camel, Focus and Rousseau and the spacey keyboard sound of bands such as Eloy. It may sometimes lack the overall power and finesse of the two discs before it (although there's still welcome traces of it throughout), but its lush and tasteful instrumental pieces are very easy to simply relax with and enjoy.

Opener `Unspoken is the Word' is instantly recognisable as the band from the previous albums, just a bit more mellow and subdued. Humming spacey drones and whirring keyboards softly rise, electric guitars fire majestic symphonic themes in the manner of Focus, plodding drums carefully lift the tempo and bass purrs gently, with a dreamy middle that lifts in victory in the finale being particularly heart-warming. The first half of `Remembering the Future' has a darker edge with gutsier churning guitars and Eloy-like synths groaning with drama, oddly reminding ever so slightly of parts of Pink Floyd's `The Wall' that would arrive a few years later! But the second section abruptly moves into racing jazz/fusion-like burst with buoyant bass soloing that, despite sounding cool, seems completely at odds with the first half. `As One' then closes the first side with a precious Andy Latimar-like guitar and synth rumination that Camel fans will adore, and the way it builds in excitement and slow-burn pay-off is masterful.

`With Love as the Motive' is the perfect title for three part suite that opens the second side, and the piece holds several beautiful themes that reprise sweetly throughout that would have fit perfectly on many Camel albums. Initially bristling with danger from deep-space synths and fleeting wilder guitar splinters, it soon morphs into a grand and regal symphonic motif full of embracing romance and grandeur. Album closer `Reconciling' is lively and full of confidence, a smorgasbord of first-rate busy soloing from all the players. It's a supremely upbeat track full of zest and spirit, with plenty of exploding fiery guitar embers, delicious electric piano and Hammond organ sprints and even some cool funky breaks, and the constantly repeating spiralling Moog-runs are playful and very addictive! It's a truly upbeat closer that will leave listeners with a smile on their face, and it's the perfect composition for Finch to close out their career on.

There's no denying that parts of `Galleons of Passion' sound a little directionless and drained, perhaps with a subtle sense of a group `running on empty', especially when compared to the endlessly energetic previous two albums that had such a momentum and excitement. But the LP still holds a respectful dignity with perfectly lovely playing, and there's something refreshing about a group that released three strong and consistent albums (in the space of only three years!) and got out before the rot of disco, punk and AOR popularity of the time distilled their music in any way. It means their entire discography can stand proud, and it's a perfectly satisfying end to this talented group.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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