It was love at first sight when I heard “Chasing The Dragonfly”, the second album by the Spanish band Galadriel. The transparent sound with the high-pitched voice of Jesus Filardi, with a constantly, pleasant reverberation, came in like a bomb. The musical style with its crystal clear contributions from everyone in the band and often muggy, percussion driven, atmosphere immediately got to me.
Galadriel produces symphonic rock mixed with neo-prog, world music and new age. It sounds a bit like Jon Anderson in an experimental mood. Don’t get me wrong, personally I find the cut-paste structure has an extra value on the overall sound. The album switches from swirling to languid, from intoxicating to compelling. Well, if you want to catch a dragonfly, you have to pull some weird tricks sometimes.
Everyone who gets carried away in the band’s world of thoughts is rewarded in the end. Take, for instance, the violin in the album opener Senshi, a song where Peruvian percussion defines the rhythm. Or the bolero Alveo besides the characteristic drumfills a sparkling piano-part is included. On other songs the beautiful Mediterranean sound takes you on a journey as well. Under A Full-Coloured Sky has a marimba keyboard-pattern with a sitar-sound as a bonus. Whoops, there’s also a Spanish guitar present. The album closes with the 18 minute epic The Gray Stones Of Escalia. The magnificent vocal-lines and ditto lyrics completely submerges you. At the end there are two guitar-pieces with in between Galadriel’s signature: intoxicating musical incense.
I love it when musicians control their instruments. The guys form Galadriel know exactly what their capabilities are. On “Chasing The Dragonfly” you will hear that the bandsound is bigger than the sum of all parts. I consider myself a rich man.
© Dick van der Heijde 2022