Forty years is a long time, a generation some say. Yet UK prog legends Flash origins date back that long ago. The band was created by vocalist Colin Carter and original Yes guitarist Peter Banks (1947-2013), with bassist Ray Bennett and drummer Mike Hough. Flash released three albums in the short span of one and a half years. The buzz caught on with UK and US tours with performances in major venues and festivals, and also several television appearances. The band succumbed in 1973, but both Carter and Bennett kept writing over the years.
Fast forward to as early as 2005 where Carter and Bennett made a stronger effort to resurrect Flash. The eventual culmination of their attempts is this new album Flash featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter, with keyboardist Rick Daugherty, Mark Pardy on drums and Wayne Carver on bass. The album includes five new songs, two new instrumental pieces, a new version Manhattan Morning from Out Of Our Hands, and a cover of Nine Inch Nailsís Hurt.
The album is essentially a return to form for Flash: fundamental melodic progressive rock in the English tradition. The arrangements are versatile and involved enough to keep the prog bollocks engaged, yet also develop the sensibility of melodic rock accessibility. Besides the compositional element, two more strengths come to forefront: strong vocal arrangements from Carter and guitar work from Bennett now on lead. The best of this combination comes on Night Vision, Something So Dark, and Into Sun, and not so much on Grand Canyon or the Manhattan Morning remake. Actually, the two instrumental pieces Morpheum and Richerd of Venice may trump everything here, and not because they lack vocals. Rather they're not bound by them and sound more expressive. Nevertheless, Flash in 2013 is a well-rounded, well-performed, slice of classic melodic prog rock, though not hardly novel. Recommended.
The return of UK prog legends Flash brings a a well-rounded, well-performed, slice of classic melodic prog rock, though not hardly novel.
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