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Celestium - 1984 Sanctuary



ARTIST: Celestium
ALBUM: Sanctuary
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: BFE 38912
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2006, Epic (Japan), MHCP 1148

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Gary Usher - keyboards, guitars, vocals * Tom Kelly - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sanctuary * 02 Tender Is The Heart * 03 Listen To The Spirit Sing * 04 You Give Me A Reason To Believe * 05 Children Of The Stars * 06 Unfailing Power Of Love * 07 I Will * 08 Radiate


Background
A fascinating album this one. More of a project album than anything but superb AOR nonetheless. If you can imagine spiritual themes (hence the Celestium handle) played in a style of I-Ten (I suppose that influence was obvious) and a less bombastic Arcangel then you've got the picture! Some of the keyboard work is wonderful, and combined with acoustic guitar melodies, they weave themselves throughout the album. Topped off with Tom Kelly's vocals it really is the icing on the cake.


The Songs
The song titles emphasise the spiritual nature of the lyrics and theme (ie: 'Radiate', 'Listen To The Spirit Sing', 'Children Of The Stars'). Don't get me wrong, this is not a bible bashing album at all! The late Gary Usher's influences were more 'new age' (or aquarian as I would prefer to call it) and this has culminated in a luscious mix of sound. For those synth buffs out there, the Mini Moog, Prophet 5 and Jupiter 8 stomp all over this album. My favourite moments include 'Tender Is The Heart', the very I-Ten flavoured 'Unfailing Power Of Love', and 'I Will', with a drum sound Bev Bevan of ELO would be proud of.


In Summary
Not easy to find, but classy enough to pick up, just for the sheer fact that Tom Kelly (once rumoured to be the lead singer of Giant in their formative days) sings on it. As at 2007, the album was due for a CD release in Japan only.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on February 22 2015 15:21:24
Synth-laden Westcoast goodness from a highly talented song writer. The vinyl version comes with a very informative insert, full of the obvious lyrics, but there is also a summary before each song, detailing the ideas behind it and how it came to be. Like the song 'Children Of The Stars', which was the first song written for the album and it was written in fifteen minutes. This was after a ten year hiatus of not writing anything, although with Usher's song writing talent level, I can see him getting right back in the saddle. The title song is a favorite as well as 'I Will' and 'Radiate'.
 
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