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Barclay James  Harvest - Octoberon CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.76 | 217 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Barclay James Harvest - Octoberon (1976)

Yet another outstanding sleeve..

I just reviewed Time Honoured Ghosts and it inspired me to listen to some more BJH. Follow-up Octoberon continues the road traveled on the preceding album. The band plays light symphonic rock with a sentimental approach to song-writing. Octoberon is less balanced, which is a good thing in this case! The production is however still very polished.

Opening track The World Goes On is a good rock song with an amazing symphonic land- scape. A gentle bombastic song. Some melodic electric guitar parts are very catchy.

Follow-up May Day is a song that amazes me. The main parts of the track can be seen as a real manifestation of song-writing and arranging talent. The opening parts are amazing with the fuzzy-guitars. The vocals are great and the atmosphere is hopeful with a twist. The real attraction of this song should have been the extremely bombastic middle section with an orchestra and a big choir, but something went terrible wrong here. The choirs is very false and some parts of the vocal departments are totally out of pitch. I want to like the amazing composition here, I want to enjoy the vision of the band, but I get a pain all over my body whilst listening to the horrible pitched male section of the choir. Such a pity! I'm very surprised no other reviewers wrote about this aspect of the album.

Ra is the third track of the album. Luckily the band now reaches what they aimed for; a bombastic symphonic rock masterpiece of a song. This is easily my favorite BJH track. The great keys in the opening section, the amazing couplet theme with it's extremely catchy vocals, the amazing guitars... everything is great about this song! Very atmospheric. Recommend for download for everybody who reads this review.

On side two we get some more symphonic rock songs. I'm not going to describe them since they are less impressive than most songs on side one.

Conclusion. This album shows BJH aiming for the highest possible, this is a very good symphonic rock record. The song-writing is often strong and the recording is good. I'm very fond of 'Ra', which is my favorite song of the band. Three stars. If only the choirs on May Day had been recorded properly...

friso | 3/5 |


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