Eureka - Great Escapes

(CD 2015, 46:58, Silverware SILO2015)

The tracks:
  1- Stepping Out(2:08)
  2- Animated World(4:00)
  3- Stolen Child(3:42)
  4- One Million Stars(3:53)
  5- State of View(4:06)
  6- Chase the Dream(6:33)
  7- Escape!(3:36)
  8- On the Run(4:00)
  9- The Big Picture(10:08)
         - a. Part I: Bricks and Mortar
         - b. Part II: A Slow Poison
         - c. Part III: Lady Luck
10- Solid Ground(4:42)

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Eureka is a band/project led by multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert, based in Hamburg, Germany. He has done a couple of albums before, but previously I've only listened to Eureka's 2002 debut album The Full Circle that showcased beautiful Celtic and Oldfield-influenced music. After this were a couple of other CDs that I haven't had the chance to listen to yet, so it's a bit hard to comment on the project's musical development. I can say, however, that the new CD is rather different from the debut. According to information online it's the first proper rock album by the band and also the first to feature Frank as the lead vocalist.

The short opener Stepping Out is very Pink Floyd-like with typical Dave Gilmour type of guitar parts. I think it would have fit perfectly on one of the post-1985 albums. The first proper song, Animated World, takes on a very rocky edge with riffs that remind of mid-1980s Rush. The vocals by Frank are quite good. It also reminds me a bit of the rockier period of Eloy, both through the guitar, atmosphere and the slightly accented singing.
The next track Stolen Child is a nice, but also slightly forgettable rock track. One Million Stars has mild reggae influences which sets it apart, sound wise. State Of View kicks off with sharp guitar and reminds me again a bit of mid-1980s Rush mixed with a tiny dash of something that I can't put my finger on (but Marillion's White Feather comes to mind).
The second longest track on the CD, Chase The Dream, is a great symphonic piece with sound effects and fantastic atmosphere (this is also one of the two tracks that have Yogi Lang from RPWL guesting) and is one of the highlights of the album.

Another highlight and favourite of mine follows immediately after. Escape! is a relatively short instrumental that again reminds of Rush. I love the bass playing that takes the part of the lead role before guitar picks up with some nice riffs. I would have liked more of this stuff!
The longest track on the CD, The Big Picture, opens with Celtic influences, echoing Eureka's origins. At first it is a gentle piece with acoustic guitars, dreamy keys and fine harmony vocals. Around 2 minutes into the piece there is a shift in atmosphere towards a darker almost Ayreon-like sound. Then we move into a soulful Pink Floyd part with female backing vocals and Gilmour-esque guitar play. Also, closing track, Solid Ground, is-thanks to the female backing vocals and some fine soaring guitar-again in a soulful and Floyd-influenced mode.

This is a fine album that may appeal to many prog heads who like their music not too complicated.

***+ Carsten Busch (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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