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(56:17, High Spy)
By the time of the third album, 2012’s ‘Ignition’, Arny Wheatley was no longer with the band, and his seat at the drum kit had been taken by Rick Maper. Apart from that, here is a band very much continuing on from where they left off, with solid neo prog, but now being driven even harder by the two Marks as they vie for dominance. Rick also offers more textures from the back, far more dramatic than previously, while Lee continues to provide a solid attack on bass. In some ways the band have reverted in style, as the guitars are being riffed far more heavily than previously, and the keyboards are often providing in your face runs. They can still provide ballads and softer songs when they feel the need, which gives a totally different feel, such as on “Eyes of the World” which contains news commentary from 9/11 as the world tried to come to terms with what was happening. “Arrival” has swathes of keyboards, but before one thinks it may be a Mark Price solo, it turns into a driving rock instrumental where they appear to egging each other on to drive it that little bit harder and faster. There are few bands who can still say they play classic neo prog, as many have moved away from the scene, while High Spy are moving very much into the centre. This is an album to be played with a smile on the face, and it makes me think of all the venues I have been to see bands like in the past. They may not be the poshest of places, and they may not be filled with the most fans, but some of my best gigs have been in places like this, and with this album High Spy show they are having fun and whoever goes to see them will enjoy it just as much as them. Fans of early Pallas, Abel Ganz, Freewill and Galahad will get a lot from this.
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