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Blind Owl - 1988 Debut At Dusk



ARTIST: Blind Owl
ALBUM: Debut At Dusk
LABEL: Raptor
SERIAL: RAPTOR 27596R
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 1995, Raptor, 1600-27596-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bruce Alger - keyboards, guitar, vocals * Michael Amedure - guitars, vocals * Kenneth Bates - bass, guitar, vocals * Brian Emerson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Feel The Fire * 02 Give Up The Ghost * 03 The Seed Has Been Sown * 04 Hymn For 84 (The Second Coming) * 05 Life On Your Own * 06 Digital Animal Suite * 07 Moroccan Sand


Background
Blind Owl were a Boston based band with a fair dose of progressive tendencies. Many comparisons have been thrown at them; ELP, Yes, Genesis etc, but the closest would be debut album era Asia and 'Opening Act' era Stencil Forest from my point of listening. The keyboard work from Bruce Alger harks back to the seventies in much the same way as Stencil Forest did, but the tight dynamics and shorter constructed pieces make this far more digestible than the prog we remember from the good ol' days. Overall, the band have a full sound, and for an indie release, this is pretty good. The album came out to minimal acclaim, due in part to its indie status, but I'm sure those living in the New England area with a penchant for prog would've heard of them.


The Songs
The opening track 'Feel The Fire' is one we had on our G-DAZE audio stream a short time back. The near AOR approach is a great way to entice listeners to venture further into the album. Settling into the predictable prog groove is 'Give Up The Ghost', the synth solo section and the integrated bass lines from Ken Bates are a feature on this one. 'The Seed Has Been Sown' is a drawn out piece which works itself up to a crescendo by songs end. The guitar solos are straight out of the Steve Howe hand-book. The two part 'Hymn For 84' and 'Second Coming' starts out as an acoustic number, which segues into a synth mosaic of effects, like a dragons breath! The short and sweet 'Life On Your Own' blazes away with a ton of organ patches, while the three-part 'Digital Animal Suite' takes you on a 9 and a half minute extravaganza that only Stencil Forest fans will appreciate. Finishing up with the windswept and exotic 'Moroccan Sand', the track is wistful in a Pink Floyd sort of way.


In Summary
'Debut At Dusk' found a new audience many years after its release. The album has since been re-released on CD and is available from niche progressive rock retailers like Kinesis CD's. If your taste in prog is geared towards the eighties era rather than some of the stodgy seventies, then Blind Owl will be right up your alley.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on June 19 2008 00:44:52
Everything about this album reads on paper something I would like, yet I don't. Can't quite put my finger on why, but I found Blind Owl rather average. Still own the CD version though.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 20 2011 19:39:38
I did not remember anything on this one so I had to get rid of my CD.I remember liking most of it though.Weird.
#3 | super80boy on February 22 2014 02:43:42
The first 3 songs on Side One are favorable, especially the AOR inflected 'Feel The Fire'. After that, the album delves deeper into straight up progressive rock with warm vocal arrangements, heavy keyboard doses and fine guitar passages. 'Digital Animal Suite' with its 3 sub parts is prog heaven with all the classic genre attributes represented. Although all the reviews I read stated this LP was released in 1988, my vinyl copy states 1987 in a variety of spots to include the labels, back jacket and inner sleeve. Blind Owl was a talented yet unnoticed band that is recommended for obscure private press prog AOR collectors.
 
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