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BIG BIG TRAIN The Underfall Yard ratings distribution
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%) Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%) Good, but non-essential (16%) Collectors/fans only (4%) Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
BIG BIG TRAIN The Underfall Yard reviews
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Surprise - surprise. I can't figure it out - every time I listen to this album at least a little sounds new to me in some way. Respect! This occurs not often I have to confess. Stylistically BIG BIG TRAIN don't have turned away from what they have offered before really - however, I'm nailed on here - even when listening for more than ten times now. Wow... it's hard to find the right words for the compositional attempt.
Well - of course some things are new. First - Sean Filkins is substituted by David Longdon, so they've changed the singer once more. Not that I have any problem with that - on top of it a multi-instrumentalist (offering several flute contributions) he's comfortably embedded in this context and has a rather important role for the album's success. Summarized he's very present - expressive - often polyphonic, also speaking of the mix - concerning the voice nearly acting like an additional instrument as one may say.
On the opener Evening Star his vocals even appear choir arranged - designated to initiate the band's warm up for the complete course. What may surprise one or two is the lush brass instrumentation which appears on some songs. Well, they play so light-hearted as never before whilst picking up the best times of Genesis and Yes here. And so the album includes some nice references to wellknown prog paragons - the Hackett reminiscent guitar here and there as one example - or the mellotron layers all over - sometimes it's even the complete symphonic mood.
'He used to build castles of stone' - a catchy phrase dominates Master James Of St. George - wonderful melodic using a intriguing combination of vocals, keyboards and guitars. After some rounds this is my favourite - yes indeed! (may change anytime soon though) Victorian Brickwork more or less points to Steve Howe's Yes - seemingly taking a bow - often copied but this is more subtle, really well made and having something of an epic.
Last Train now follows and this Foxtrot/Selling England adapted vibe immediately wraps me up... wait - I don't want to be misunderstood - they are offering hints here incorporated in a unique BIG BIG TRAIN entity - excellent! Winchester Diver continues slightly Marillion reminiscent as for the vocals predominantly and then - to be honest, how else could it be - the ultimate epic title song crowns the whole album. Well - It makes you really accessible after several rounds finally - gripping - a fascinating tour de force with 23 minutes summarizing all the band's qualities at once - the point of culmination.
If I will be faced with a decision to recommend a typical progressive rock album to someone in the near future I would take this one. Some days ago I was on the road with my wife and took a chance to enter into 'The Underfall Yard' (unfortunately interrupted by several traffic jam announcements)... she's not a prog fan as such but was really impressed... especially because we could immediately compare with stuff offered by commercial radio stations. What a salient contrast! Yes - this directly makes you aware of how substantial this music genre is.
Full-value instrumentation, not overproduced though - playful songs with hijacking guitar work and a rich vintage keyboard substance - you will often find supportive backing mellotron layers when it comes to a melancholic turn. So my conclusion is, and it probably may take some years until this is confirmed for good: after several attemps the band just now have reached for the masterpiece - everyone involved here, including drummer Nick D'Virgilio, does a great job - completely rounded this time - congrats.
Beware of this big (big) train robbery (more like proggery), because this album is quite a trickster, you know? (actually you don't know yet, because you'll be mostly people who'll read this review without knowing the album, that this review should help you decide. Uh oh, responsibility, you b..ch).
Let's state few things that annoys me. Very first seconds of first track, this "vocal intro". Then most parts of second track, these multiple vocals doesn't work for me here. And finally, artwork. It looks like some communist propaganda picture. And another thing, first two tracks, so roughly first 1/6 (but it weights) seems like worse (I would say side, but it's just one sixth). Then third track is better, but still, not so good. And then it gets only better.
There are also positives. Last three tracks, mostly very last one (which is truly masterpiece). Is it possible that it clouded mind of some into giving 5-star rating, just because they were so much influenced by this track? I've been listening this last few days, but now, I had to play it again. But OK, the bigger part I'm talking about has a lot of things. Melody, multi-layered structure.
Any many more things that you'll find in other reviews. But I'm here today to talk about magic. The last part has it and I'm sure that a lot of these people sensed it too. On some maybe, it works more, but for sure it works. Magic and beauty, this music is far from being wild and aggressive (there isn't a spot being ugly, just melody and harmony).
5(+) and I feel tempted a lot to give more. EDIT Let's stop being silly. This is a good album. Even I would find myself in situation where I will hate it, still, it would be nonsense (against my beliefs) to give it 1-star. And I like it, so it should be better. It's strange situation. After words by Brian (Slartibartfast) I gave it a chance. And I was pleased. Very weird, because I do not usually change my opinions so quickly and so often. Something is wrong here. Perhaps my presumption that I don't like the vocals. So I told myself to try to enjoy them. And so I did and was happy. This is easy guide how to be happy guys and girls, just say it and do it. And be.
Solid very special album, as it basically has everything I need, want, desire, embrace, worship, or simply love/like. And it even works, I'm enjoying it. Let it give a chance to blossom and shine with all colors and maybe, who knows, maybe masterpiece rating.
EDIT 2 (March 2010) - the best mark, because this album always pleases, treat and raises me, my mood and my thoughts. It's true gem.
Well, I just can't tell you how much I'm impressed with this one.
I was a complete newcomer to Big Big Train, I'd never heard of them until THE UNDERFALL YARD. I suppose it was Jim Trainer's extraordinary cover art which drew my attention. As I started seeing more and more positive and intelligent reviews of this album, I decided I couldn't go wrong and gave the album a try. What I discovered surpassed my greatest expectations.
THE UNDERFALL YARD is quite possibly the most triumphant progressive rock album to come out of England in more than thirty years. As other reviewers have pointed out, it grew out of the classic tradition established by Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd. Since David Longdon's lead vocals bear a striking resemblance to Phil Collins's (in fact Longdon is the more powerful singer) you might even go as far as to say that THE UNDERFALL YARD is the most convincing Genesis album since A TRICK OF THE TAIL. Big Big Train's epic compositions fulfill all requirements of symphonic prog, but the band also have some tricks up their sleeve of their own. Just as Anekdoten sprang out of a style developed by early 1970s King Crimson, Big Big Train have made some highly creative use of tradition.
To start with, THE UNDERFALL YARD doesn't feature songs about pantomime burglars or cute little rodents dissolving themselves in tears. For once, this is a prog album which sounds terribly urgent (NOT in the overblown way we have come to expect from the likes of The Flower Kings) and which deals with the real world. Its main theme is the dissolution of the old industrial England which reached the height of its power in the Victorian age. The album's lyrics are subtle and elegiac, and to my relief they are kept within reasonable bounds, you never get the feeling the band are setting to music some middle-aged bloke's endless rants, as happens with The Tangent.
Furthermore, virtually all the tracks are enlivened with inspired, truly exciting guitar solos, mainly performed (as far as I know) by XTC's own Dave Gregory. These solos never sound vulgar or banal but truly take the music to a higher level. Coupled with Dave Desmond's delicate brass arrangements, David Longdon's superb vocal arrangements, and generally inspired writing and playing by the entire band, they make for an album that will be enjoyed for decades to come.
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Progarchives discussion threads often pose the question if it's possible to do original things in a genre that reached its apex in the 1970s. Bands like Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Beardfish have tried to swallow and digest 1970s styles, but they have failed, in my view, to come up with anything really new. For many listeners (myself NOT included) the most striking developments in recent years have been in progressive metal.
Until I discovered Big Big Train, I was convinced that all of the greatest progressive acts of the past 25 years had a foot (or at the least a few toes) in jazz-rock territory (e.g. Kenso, Robert Wyatt, Discus, the Pat Metheny Group, Bill Bruford's Earthworks). Now I see this is not the whole story. Big Big Train have shown there's abundant life outside "fusion". Long may they thrive!
Progressive Rock emerged in the '70s as rock artists decided to go beyond the boundaries of what rock was doing at the time. It earned the name, "progressive", for it was "progressing" rock. It was expanding the boundaries of what had been done before.
But for each discovery along the way, what if someone liked it? Should that discovery never be revisited, simply because to revisit an already-existing idea would be... NOT progressive? If you had asked the bands of the '70s about this, they might have just shaken their head and wondered what you were talking about, because back then "progressive rock" wasn't yet a term. They were just making music. If they happened to stumble upon something good, something that connected with their audience, they wouldn't complain about that idea being expanded upon.
One of the biggest and most imitated bands of the '70s went by the name of Genesis. Their influence can be heard everywhere in modern day prog, especially in the Neo-Prog and Symphonic Prog genres. IQ and The Watch aren't the only place where you will hear strong Genesis influences.
Big Big Train have, on this album, taken bits and pieces of the sound that Genesis discovered and incorporated them into their own sound. I have seen people say that this album is what Genesis might sound like if Hacket had never left, and I can understand why. But what this album represents to me is further exploration of the musical landscape that was unearthed in the '70s and made famous by Gabriel and the boys.
For sure, the short a capella intro in Evening Star would likely never have occurred in a Genesis album. And there is something about the energy that the band exudes that is different than the energy of Genesis. My feelings in this terms are that Genesis are more pastoral - it evokes ideas of calm hills with sheep bleating and green grass. Big Big Train make me imagine these same hills 100 years later, after the industrial revolution hit. This is the best way I can think to describe the difference in the feeling I get from each band.
The album really picks up for me with the second track, Master James of St. George. I would even go so far as to say that this track is my favorite off of the album. The vocal interplay, the repeated but catchy main chorus, and the energy of the instruments all build together to make "Master James, James, James of St. George" seem like he had quite an epic life with some late tragedy.
Victorian Brickwork recalls early Genesis more than the previous tracks have to this point. It makes me think that this is what it might have sounded like it Phil Collins and Anthony Philips had been in the band at the same time. It starts more subdued, with acoustic guitars and softer singing. It does grow more up beat musically once the electric guitar enters, and the singing grows more powerful, but the song maintains the same lyrical content, a song that seems to be about the end of an era (in fact, that's the feeling I get from the whole album, and it has a feel of melancholy about it as a result). The track continues to trade between the lower intensity and higher intensity quite nicely.
Last Train and Winchester Diver are both similar to Victorian Brickwork, songs that evoke the feeling of an ending with alternations between the harder rocking and softer parts, and each is quite nice in it's own way. Winchester Diver in particular, builds up quite nicely at the end and becomes quite intense.
That brings us to the epic closing title track, "The Underfall Yard", which one would presume takes it's name from the real underfall yard in Bristol (since Big Big Train are British). Going back to our Genesis comparison, I would say that this epic does not quite match Genesis' Supper's Ready in quality and epic-ness. But where Supper's Ready was full of quirky Gabriel-isms, the concept of The Underfall Yard is a bit more concrete. Like the rest of the album, the song continues the theme of time passing and leaving era's behind. And yet, I find that I don't have much else to say about the song - it pretty much sounds like a more epic version of the three before it, which is in no way a bad thing. It has some excellent moments and really impassioned vocals as well. I think my favorite guitar parts from the album are on this track as well.
So to summarise - Big Big Train are definitely further exploring the musical field made famous by Genesis in the '70s, but this is a style of music that will probably always be popular with the prog audience.
The news that a new vocalist had joined the ranks of Big Big Train really stirred my interest. The weakness in the vocal department had made The Difference Machine hard to enjoy for me and I hoped BBT would fulfil their true potential this time.
And indeed, the vocals are much better. Or should I say more professional? Longdon's vocals aren't very different from the previous singer Filkins and share a similar Phil Collins timbre, but Longdon is more steady and dynamic. However, he still fails to inject BBT's music with the soul that was lacking from the previous album. The result is a pleasant but ultimately unexciting prog album that follows all rules of prog songwriting but forgot to add the excitement of rock 'n' roll. Really, where's the drive and emotion in this music? It's so clean and sterile. Maybe I'm biased from listening to too much RPI lately, but the emotive power I discovered in that scene really puts a perspective on an album like The Underfall Yard. The form is ok, but the substance is lacking.
It doesn't make this a bad album though. The two opening songs for example are very good. But the quality is uneven and much of the album goes to the motions without moving me for more then a few scattered sections. The drums and bass are great and the guitars add some edge to the music, but the songs disappoint for not offering the inspired drive that marked The Difference Machine, an album I prefer to this one. The 1975 Genesis vibe is simply too big for me here. Generally, as soon as the vocals start, I have to get out of the room to get me a coffee or some other distraction.
The Underfall Yard is a professional album that takes a strong start but that ultimately disappointed me. I simply don't have any nostalgia for mellowed out post-'74 sympho, but if you love A Trick of the Tail you shouldn't hesitate. So I arrive at 4 stars for the music, 2 for the vocals, 1 for passion. 2.5, rounded up for now.
Fans shouldn't worry though. This criticism will sure spur another onslaught of 5 star reviews.
The instrumental opening number (except some short vocalizing) from this album is quite remarkable. It is full of optimism, delight, freshness and wonderful keyboards and fluting. A real great start to tell the truth where the influence of the mighty "Yes" is obvious and the whole sounds pretty much as the "Gates Of Delirium" / "Awaken" period to my ears.
What comes afterwards is still very skilled but so much clich again. "Victorian Brickwork" is a good song but so much borrowed to "Yes" and "Genesis" that it falls a bit flat. The closing section, with sweet sax and an orgy of symphonic keys is truly poignant and beautiful though.
The whole album provides splendid mellotron passages, superb melodies, sweet keyboards, nice fluting here and there ("Winchester Driver") and a very warm feeling. This is the type of music that should please any symphonic prog fan, provided that you accept the pastiche side of the work?Some Gabriel feel as well during this fine song.
The same characteristics are available during "The Underfall Yard" (the title track) which is a kaleidoscope of the band's ability in playing enjoyable music. Fully neo-prog oriented, but with talent during this epic song (almost twenty-three minutes).
All in all, this is a very good moment of music. My rating is four stars, but be aware if you can't stand regressive music.
I write this review under a great deal of strain, both professionally and personally. The former I won't bore people with, but the latter is pertinent to this review.
Last Friday, my best friend Kerri died suddenly, without any warning whatsoever. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
I'm sure that most members of Prog Archives appreciate that, at times such as these, we turn to our music in order to release our emotions, try to find out some meaning to such events, or simply to wallow in the depths of our individual feelings and torment.
I was recommended The Underfall Yard by Progkidjoel on the forum when asking for birthday recommendations. When I finally acted on his, wise, advice I sent him a PM telling him just how fantastic this piece of modern progressive rock was as a body of work. If I had reviewed it at the time, it would have generated a certain four star review. "An excellent addition to any prog rock collection".
Since last weekend, the album has come to mean a whole lot more, deserving of five stars, and really because of one piece of music, and I will explain why.
Victorian Brickwork is the first epic track on the album. Until that point, we are treated to exemplary playing and lyrics on Evening Star and Master James of St George.
The lyrics themselves, when I played them on my MP3 player last week meant so much to me, recalling so many conversations with Kerri, my friend.
Lost in the low lights at the ocean tides The love you never meant to hide The low lights at the ocean tides The love you never meant to hide
Kerri and I had so many discussions about how different our beloved wives were from us, the idiosyncrasies, and the day to day ups and downs of married life. But one thing held us in a bond. The love we both shared for our life partners and the children that we have. Those lyrics are so profound and just so painfully reflective. And so true. We never seem to tell our love just how much they mean to us until it is too late.
Some seven minutes into the track, the piece transforms itself into a glorious explosion of sound, guitar telling a painful story. And then, that moment.
The joy of the best progressive rock bands is to change moods and signatures. I am not ashamed to say that at eight and a half minutes into the track, when the brass solo commences, then accompanied by keyboard and rhythm section, into such an achingly beautiful, joyously painful, section of music, I cried my eyes out, in sheer wonder of the breadth of expression and emotion portrayed.
I am not an overtly religious man. However, I tell you, God spoke to me that night, and as I write this review. God gave these musicians the wonderful talent to create such an incredible piece of music, to call out to me in a moment of emotional crisis and of need. These incredibly talented musicians provided me with an outlet in which to cry, reflect, and to come to terms with both Kerri, and the love I feel for my family.
Very rarely does a band, or music, touch one like this.
The album as a whole is a great work. However, for me, I am going to award five stars to this album on the rare basis of one track from it, a track which I will forever associate with my friend.
Genesis clone? Nope. Yes copycat? No way.
Big Big Train's Underfall Yard has been a very pleasant surprise. Inspired by some classic prog, yet aspiring to make their own mark, the band has developed a very nice sound for this album. This album reminds me a bit of neo-prog, but without the--as some might believe unnecessary--bombast and pandering. Within that genre, it's much more Phideaux than Arena or IQ, for example.
Overall it feels fairly mellow, but underneath lies a certain intensity that really holds my interests. Big Big Train has a habit of keeping the tempo up in quieter sections, accentuated by some very nice basslines, delicate percussion, and numerous lively guitar melodies. The result is a collection of songs that keep you coming back for more, without always knowing precisely why. Throw in some occasional flute, sitar effects, and a fair helping of refreshing horn arrangements, and this makes for a very nice album in most prog collections.
The highlights for me are of course the two extended pieces (with the opener, Evening Star, deserving mention as well): Victorian Brickwork and the title track. Brickwork is a little sporadically pieced together, but certainly well-played, with the gorgeous brass sequence toward the end stealing the show. Definitely progressive in my book. They also saved plenty for the title track epic, as the intro by itself just teems with intense playing and musical creativity. Sometimes I feel it drags a bit long, but I don't know what I would cut, and the band does a nice just of kicking up the energy just when things might be starting to lose momentum.
All in all, a great effort by talented set of musicians, and a prog epic that is much more than standard prog-by-numbers to boot! It's difficult not to be pleased with Underfall Yard.
BBT's "The Underfall Yard" is quite good example of good crossover prog for me. There are plenty of multi layered boys' vocal bands and synth-pop bands and all other types of mostly pop-bands,who decided because of current progressive fashion just to add some vintage keyboards sound to their music or make it a bit more complex. Then listeners without deep prog knowledge or with deep under-skin love to pop-harmonies name such release "prog- masterpiece". A believe that "prog fashion" will pass very soon and no-one will remember such fake "progsters".
In such strange times it 's really pleasant to find some real crossover prog album: album with some softer and possibly more melodic sound, sometimes a bit more accessible music, but that music is prog!
I you as me not very big fun of fakes, but at the same time like melodic,a bit vintage,but quality prog, this album is for you. Yes, there are plenty of citation from early Genesis, but in all music is still enough original and pleasant. Musicianship is surprisingly of high level, and in fact it's difficult to criticize this album's music on any department.
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Being released in mid 70-s, such album could be really the one in the centre of attention. For today it sounds a bit dated, not too much original, but there are many listeners for whom originality or innovation isn't too much important. If you're one of them, take this album and you will enjoy!
I am new ideas and sounds seeker, so I am not very happy when didn't find them there. But still really enjoyed this release: far from Supertramp's " Crime Of The Century" (which is absolute etalon of great crossover prog for me), but much better than many of genre competitors all around. Should attract many neo-prog lovers ass well.
My rating is 3+ ( fans early Genesis and other melodic not very complex and well arranged symphonic prog could add plus 1 point over my rating).
The Underfall Yard is a 2009 release by the English band Big Big Train. This is the band's 5th studio album, and first with their new lead singer. This is my first experience with Big Big Train, so I was going in not knowing what to expect, but was extremely pleased with my purchase. Listeners who have any interest in symphonic prog and modern prog at all should feel the same.
The music of The Underfall Yard is very pleasing, and consistently good throughout. Most of the songs are driven by acoustic guitar lines, and have a fair amount of singing. Other instruments include electric guitar, flute, and a few different keyboards. There are also a number of classical instruments, such as cello and an assortments of horns. However, these are played by studio musicians, and don't make as many appearances as the core instruments. The flute along with the acoustic guitar give the music an almost pastoral feeling, which really sets the mood. Although the standard feel of the album is softer, they do have their loud moments, characterized by electric guitar riffs, and are usually accompanied by well placed strings. These moments help in giving each song a nice up and down dynamic, and usually aid in leading to their climaxes. The lyrical themes of the album are pretty interesting, and deal with a band member's deceased father, English folk stories, and the decline of Western thought.
The album itself is very consistent, with every song being enjoyable and having something to offer. Each song is also pretty dynamic, and has a clear, satisfying climax. The lyrics carry the songs well, and are sung with lots of emotion that make them very enjoyable. There are a lot of nice guitar solos, and even the occasional flute and keyboard solo, which are used sparingly, but effectively. The solos in the last song are closer to the shredding you might find on a metal album, rather than the slower paced, melodic efforts in the previous 5 songs, but they offer a nice contrast, and are some of the most exciting moments on the album. Some passages involving the brass are just so emotional and beautiful that I just go into shock every time they pass. There are also some great, subtle, compositional touches, such as the vocal harmony in the first song that is brought back in the closer, or some whistling at the end of the second song that introduces the vocal melody of the next. Moments like these are great touches, and really make the album come together as a whole, rather than being just a collection of good songs. At just around an hour, the album is a great length, that really has no down moment.
The parts that I like about the album also brings me to my only complaint about it, namely, its consistency. Each song feels very safe within the context of the album. After listening to one song, you could pick a random one and guess very major characteristics about it, and you'd probably be right. That's not to say that every album has to have a weirdo song from the rest, it's just that the band seems to lack a sense of adventure here, and likes to stick to what it's good at. Again, this is a minor point, and really speaks to how good it is if the only negative point I can make is basically "none of these songs manage to be worse than any other song."
Lack of exploration aside, this album truly is excellent. There is just no bad moment to be found here, and the highs are very high and worth waiting for. This is surely one of 2009's top albums, and even at the end of 2010, it's still pulling at me and distracting me from this year's releases. The Underfall Yard is a must listen to, and a masterpiece of modern progressive rock.
This is the first album I heard from these guys, I wanted to check it out due to all the positive reviews this was getting. Before listening to this, I wasn't sure I was going to like it much. Turns out I enjoyed it a lot more than I ever thought I would. You can definitely hear a Genesis influence in the music, but it also sounds more modern as well. Lots of guest musicans on the album, some more famous than others. The lyrics are very England- oriented. This is apparently a concept album about Victorian England.
The album opens with great a capella harmony vocals in the otherwise instrumental "Evening Star". Great electric piano and tom-tom centred drumming at first. Nice flute solo. Great brass at the end. "Master James Of St. George" has great marching style drumming and catchy lyrics. Unlike the vocals on the first track, I don't really like the harmony vocals here. I do like the bass and the guitar solo in the middle, which continues until the vocals come back. Nice whistling and the sound of waves at the end.
I don't like the beginning of "Victorian Brickwork" very much. It's the second longest song but overall doesn't do much for me until over halfway with the eerie piano and crazy drumming. Then a hard rock riff. Good ending with the keyboards and brass before some vocals, acoustic guitar and flute finish it. "Winchester Diver" has good sounding synth at the start. Good flute and guitar work in this song. The flute melody is great and is sometimes double- tracked. I like the backwards effects before the singing begins and violin comes in. Gets very Genesis sounding near the end. Backwards effects with eerie music comes back at the end.
The almost 23 minute title track has some good guitar playing and drumming at the beginning before some great piano chords. Followed by more great playing and then the vocals start. I like the parts with the line "he can still see faaaaar..." Good guitar solo around the 5 minute mark. Cool Mellotron in this track (or is it a digital imitation like a Memotron?) Nice synth solo around 6 1/2 minutes. The harmony vocals halfway are good. Some subtle but good use of (electric?) sitar throughout the piece. Another good synth solo after 15 minutes, followed by some great cello. Later on some great organ playing. More great harmony vocals. You hear the sounds of people making noises at one point. Later a Wakeman-style synth solo, not as good as the others IMO. Ends with some sitar arpeggios. This epic generally flows well but some parts are better than others.
The sound and production is very well done. The compositions are good and the playing is genrally great. I can see why many like this album, but this is usually not my kind of music. I'm not sure if I would enjoy their earlier albums or not. I enjoyed this album for the most part, but I don't think it's something I would listen to very often. Recommended to Symph and Neo fans. I would rate this as 3.5 but I'll bump it up to 4 stars.
The sixth full studio album from Big Big Train featuring new vocalist David Longdon.
The Good: Despite having been around for twenty years now The Underfall Yard was my first exposure to this band. It was recommended to me by a friend as 'the best greatest album of the decade' and whilst I don't entirely agree with this bold claim, I can see where they are coming from. The stunning finale was the first track I heard and is easily the highlight of the album. The rest manages to avoid Octavariumitus with generally strong compositions throughout, Master James of St. George and Victorian Brickwork being my personal favourites. The vocals are a joy to listen to and the combination of brass instrumentation and screaming synthesizer fills is a somewhat unusual mix, but actually works really well. The overall sound falls somewhere between Genesis, Camel and Spock's Beard.
The Bad: Evening Star and Winchester Diver never really grab my attention.
With this album issued in 2009 named The underfall yard BBT become one of the most appreciated prog acts in last years, and for good reason. Sounding almost same with predecesor but with a good doze of brass sections in some parts, BBT manage to come with a pleasent album all the way but again I can't call this a masterpieces, because the influences are more or less present taken from old Genesis (Gabriel era ). Now with D'Virgilio as permanent meber who btw done a great job here specially on title track, another gust appears here Dunnery from It Bites and Godfrey from Frost. The music is calm most of the time combined with some great guitar parts made by the head of the band Greg Spawton combined with refined instrumental sections almost pastoral in places. Nice voice coming from the new voice David Longdon, with a typical english tone not far from old masters from prog like Gabriel. All in all I like every BBT album, some of them more some of them less, this one is among their best quite diffrent from what is to be heread on English boy wonders, but still pleasent most of the time. All pieces are ok with a plus one Victorian Brickwork and the stunninmg title track, an epic that worth to be investigated for sure for every prog fan. So among the top albums in last yers in prog, to me a little more then a great album but not a masterpieces for sure. Jim Trainer done a fantastic job, the drawings from the booklet are top notch. 3.5 stars is best I can give, great but not fantstic.
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