ANDROMEDA – Andromeda
Not the well-regarded UK band of the early 70’s, but a German duo, aided and abetted on their sole album by Brits (?) Gerry Fleming and Tony Hendrick, who also produced the album. Coming out in 1970, it was very much keyboard and drums dominated, with Peter Schild writing most of the music, which gives him a chance to show off his classical and jazz leanings on the keys. The vocals could be better, but in most cases they are kept short and so it is the music which impresses. Opener ‘Andromeda’ is a frenetic organ piece which bodes well for the rest of the album, and then the mood changes completely with the lovely solo piano intro of ‘Cosmos Main Road’, before the band come in for a mid-tempo rocker, featuring the ever-present organ. ‘Galaxy Of Beauty, Galaxy Of Nightmares’ is almost a hard rock song, with the keyboards taking a back seat and the guitar leading the song, but the keys are back for ‘A World On A Star’, which is a haunting ballad enhanced by Schild’s piano and a Procol Harum-like organ sound. The lengthy ‘Space Trip’ is a jazzy rocker, in the mould of that opening track, although giving Gunter Steinborn a four minute drum solo does mean that it drags a bit in the middle. ‘Rockets’ is another long piece, although generally more successful than ‘Space Trip’, and the album ends with ‘Silvery Lady Star’, a ballad augmented with a horn section and backing vocalists. Andromeda are not really up there with the top rank of German prog bands, but make a good showing in the second division, and this album should be of interest to fans of keyboard led progressive rock.