Galleon - Beyond dreams - 2000

The history of Galleon from Sweden goes back to he year 1985 when the band made their first demos under the name Aragon. But in 1993 the band presented their first work "Lynx". At that time Galleon was still a trio with Micke Värn, guitars - Göran Fors, bass and Vocals and Dan Fors, drums. They got help from producer and keyboard player Ulf Pettersson, who became later a permanent member of the band. At that time there were some Rush influences in their music.


In the year 1994 they gave birth to "Heritage & Visions" which became a hot item for sympho freaks who loves melodic sympho with the real analog synths of the seventies; Mellotron, mini-Moog, Oberheim, Prophet and Korgs. In 1995 Galleon released a mini CD "At this moment in time" and a Japanese Label gave them the opportunity to make a full length album for the Japanese market "King of Aragon" which became a collector's item for the European fans. The next release was "The all European hero" and the band got the attention of a bigger audience and they even did a minor European tour. In 1998 "Mind over matter" saw the light. For me the best CD they ever made. It included five long tracks with delicious guitar and keyboard solos.


Micke Värn the guitar player has left the band and is replaced by Sven Larsson. The new album is called "Beyond dreams". Galleon has now the following line-up: Göran Fors - vocals, bass & bass pedals Ulf Petterson - keyboards Dan Fors - Drums and Sven Larsson - guitars.


The new CD "Beyond dreams" opens with "Before the sunrise" - (9:09) a typical Galleon song. Galleon always sounds happy and has a kind of freshness I like very much. In the end the new guitar player gets a chance to show off his skills but after a few minutes the guitar solo and the music is fading out. For an opener this piece is ok but I am not as exited as I was when I first played the first track of their previous album "Mind over matter". The second piece "Let us be amazed" - (8:58) is much better, here we hear again the bass pedals, the analog synths and some melodic guitar solos. The melotron sounds and the synth solo brings us the typical Galleon sound. There are a lot of themes and tempo changes, which keep the piece alive, till the end. One of the best tracks of the album, I believe. "The ballad of fortune" - (7:55) has a Genesis ("And then there were three…") synth theme in it which is returning a couple of times. The melotron strings and other keyboard sounds I like more. The ballad has some nice melodies but that synth sound spoils it for me.

The music fades mysteriously into "The dream" - (3:09) Beautiful layers of keyboard sounds some guitar bits and all kind of sounds effects. I like the sound of the singing whales. The piece is a bridge into "Dreamland" - (8:19) This piece starts with a joyful up-tempo theme, then it slows down when Göran sings the first lines. In the second half of the track the guitar is more played as rhythm instrument then as solo instrument. The synth solo in the end can't push the track to a higher level. "Parasite" - (8:07) is my favourite track and starts with heavy keyboards and bass pedals. The melodies are great and there are some original keyboard sounds with an oriental feeling. Several time the piece builds up to a climax with great keys and guitar solo's which fades into a beautiful melodic vocal line. This is the Galleon that I like to hear. This is the highlight of the album for me. The last piece is called "Sailing on by" - (6:25) and starts with a heavy guitar sound and than the keyboards joins the guitar and are playing the same melody while Göran sings the story. In the middle of the song is a small break, which accentuate the following guitar solo. But after that the same melodies again.


Galleon has always been one of the special bands for me. So with pain in my heart I have to say that the album is a little bit disappointing to me. After the very good "Mind over matter" my expectations were maybe to high. In my heart I know that Galleon can make more compelling compositions then the ones that are on this album. With exception of the two highlights of the album "Let us be amazed" and "Parasite".

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - April 2000 -   - Progress Records