Purple Pyramid 2013
Catching up with their own prognosis, British veterans go on a mindwarp and into eternity.
Lately there’s been some worrying about this band who seemed all set for celebrating their legacy – 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of NEKTAR’s "Remember The Future" – but the previous year’s covers collection "A Spoonful Of Time" turned out to be anything but writer’s block, rather a pit stop before the charge of this album.
Bearing the same temporal signifier in its title, the quartet fashion a sound – highlighted with Maor Appelbaum’s mastering – both boldly modern and firmly rooted in their past to harness the aforementioned classic’s paradox and move forward, for its opening microcosm “A Better Way” to augur so breathtakingly well that all anxiety is blown away even before its powerful refrain strikes and Roye Albrighton distils his guitar orchestra to exquisite acoustic passages. The same sensation of timelessness in motion permeates the streamlined fusion of instrumental “Juggernaut” and soulful “Destiny”, even though it pins the human existence to here and now.
The title track flows on the slow funk wave, where Lux Vibratus’ bass bubbles and mighty twang surfs the sun-kissed crest, and there’s warm air of grandiosity to the 10-minute “If Only I Could”, Klaus Henatsch’s jazzy piano contrasting the ebb of riffs and space-wide choirs. Yet when the epic sci-fi sway zooms in closer to home, it bares the band’s patented humor to go pop lightly with “Mocking The Moon” as well as let Ron Howden’s unleash his mariachi groove in “Set Me Free, Amigo” and take it back on the interstellar drive. Pushing the barriers again, expansive “Diamond Eyes” gets into heavy swing, as if to reach the escape velocity, but eventually turns dark matter into matters of the heart to hang in there between the lines of ages. Witness the old heroes’ welcome return to form.