Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Gates of Delirium (Yes, 1974)

Maybe because of so many masterpieces in their discography, or maybe because of the mixed feelings the previous double album had inspired, the LP "Relayer" has been too soon underrated by both reviewers and fans. But recently many prog sites revised their opinion and this is specially true for "The Gates of Delirium". It's a 22 minute suite somewhat reminiscent of "Close to the Edge", but also very different in mood. Patrick Moraz, the new keyboards man, was less known than Rick Wakeman and somewhat unrelated to the English progressive world, but his touch made the Whole atmosphere lighter, and also the rest of the band adopted a "chamber music"tone, in which classicism is replaced by a Pre-Raphaelite approach.

Another wonderful cover signed by Roger Dean.

 As usual, we appreciate the awesome skills of the band members (Steve Howe, in particular, really shines here) and a special mention goes to Jon Anderson's terrific performance in the "Soon" section, also released as a 7" single. Last but not least, the lyrics. Loosely based on Tolstoy's  novel War And Peace, they heavily influence the music, so that the suite movements are more or less up-tempo following the depiction of the battles and their mournful aftermath. That's why the "Soon" section can be read as a payer for peace. And what a peace it is...