ALBATROSS – Albatross

An American progressive rock band very much in the style of Starcastle. This 1975 release starts off with the almost side-long epic ‘Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse’, which is an excellent prog rocker with lashings of keyboards and guitars, harmony vocals, and the requisite changes in tempo and mood. The rest of the album is made up of four shorter songs, none of which is in the same league as the opener. ‘Mr. Natural’ has a more commercial edge, but still features some nice keyboard and guitar-work, and ‘Devil’s Strumpet’ has some majestic church organ in there, which at times might veer just a little too close to Yes’ ‘Close To The Edge’, but still makes for a lively little progressive rock number. ‘Cannot Be Found’ is a slow, bluesy piece which contains some lovely piano from Mark Dahlgren, and ‘Humpback Whales’ is another keyboard-laden progressive rocker. This album is so rare that it does not even feature in any of my encyclopedias, and yet it is a great prog rock album which deserves to be heard by any fan of the genre – even more so as it is one of the few US progressive bands to play the UK at their own game and come away with any credit. Luckily it is available on a Japanese CD, but it might take some tracking down. Rest assured, though, it will be worth it.