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Kestrel is an obscure progressive rock act with one album released in their short career. Selftitled from 1975 , this album is a good one in every way, because it reminds me of the great prog rock bands from mid'70's. To me this album is a combination between heavy prog arrangements and some art rock parts, very well composed with some memorable parts. I have the japan CD version and the sound is crystal clear, evey instrument is where it belogs creating some excellent passages full of intristing keybords and great guitar chops. The vocalis Tom Knowles is very ok, warm voice and fits perfectly in the mood of the album.
What I like most are the keybords parts, there are some fantastic passages like on In The War, both on great intro of the piece and the last min of it, great atmospheric and grandious keybords, excellent. Also the heavy prog sections are very well performed, where the duel guitar-keyboards are awesome, tight and intristing in same time. Another highlight is Take It Away , a piece full of joy and positive mood, what a great tune. Well, to end the review , it was a very pleasent audition, from me desearve 4 stars, not quite a masterpiece, but worth own it. In places they remind me of belgian prog rock band Womega.
In the early 70's, a symphonic rock quintet were doing the London college circuit when they caught the attention of producer John Worth who signed them and released their one album in 1975. It didn't sell too well but the boys took it more or less in stride and then went their separate ways. Guitarist Dave Black, who had composed the lion's share of the material, went on to become a member of David BOWIE's band for a few years and then formed several other groups of his own. Some thirty years later, a Japanese man was reported to have paid £366 to acquire the album, through an internet auction on eBay. In the words of guitarist Black who heard about the incident: "It's amazing to think that 30 years after we made the recording that the album is now being described as a prog-rock masterpiece."
You may or may not agree with the word "masterpiece", but the album does feature enough mellotron blasts to hook the most fleeting tron admirer. The eponymous LP also features some good guitar work, excellent vocals and interesting arrangements; the compositions are simple and straightforward - call it a sort of prog/MOR crossover, if you will. Not overly complex but pleasantly melodious and well executed.
If you're a tron enthusiast or into bands such as FRUUP, SPRING, FANTASY or early MOODY BLUES, it would be worth lending an ear to KESTREL's album. [progarchives.com]
♣ Dave Black - guitar, vocals
♣ John Cook - guitar, synthesizers
♣ Tom Knowles - lead vocals
♣ Fenwick Moir - bass
♣ Dave Whitaker - drums, percussion
01. The Acrobat (6:45)
02. Wind Cloud (4:41)
03. I Believe In You (4:10)
04. Last Request (4:50)
05. In The War (7:32)
06. Take It Away (4:11)
07. Ene Of The Affair (4:51)
08. August Carol (7:18)
01. August Carol (Different Version) 7:02
02. The Acrobat (Different Version) 6:30
03. Part of the Machine (Outtake) 4:42
04. The Sercher (Outtake) 4:28
05. August Carol (Single Edit) 3:47
06. Wind Cloud (Single Edit) 3:43