March 23, 2022

GOAD is not a band I have come across before which is strange given that they name check acts that I adore with VDGG, King Crimson, Genesis, PFM and Procol Harum being very instrumental in developing the sound of the band; sadly, some bands are destined to forever fly under the RADAR! GOAD is an Italian progressive rock band which goes all the way back to Florence in the late 1970s when brothers Gianni and Maurilio Rossi formed the band but it seems that constant changes in personnel and fall outs within record labels have pretty much curtailed the bands studio output so that La Belle Dame is something like the band’s ninth album to date (it’s a little difficult to be entirely sure as information on the band is pretty sketchy and there does appear to be a quantity of unreleased work too).

GOAD is a band that operates very much on the dark and atmospheric edges of progressive rock and this is where the comparisons with VDFGG and King Crimson have been drawn but do not expect GOAD to sound like these two legendary bands as they have embraced their dark and experimental sides rather than trying to copy the actual sound and feel of them. Maurilio Rossi now seems to be the guiding light behind the band and he provides the vocals as well as bass, keyboards plus acoustic and electric guitar with Alessandro Bruno on slide, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, saxophone, flute, violin and oboe with drums shared between Paolo Carniani and Enrico Ponte with Freddi Delirio operating as the sound engineer as well as providing additional piano. Indeed, it is almost like the band is now the sole project of Maurilio Rossi and he brings in a team of musician to provide additional instrumentation as and when necessary. The band has undertaken some pretty impressive challenges through the years with albums based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, H P Lovecraft and Edgar Lee Masters so they are not afraid to walk down long, dark and winding corridors of nightmare proportions. Indeed, the inspiration behind the new album is the ballad La Belle Dame sans Merci by the English poet John Keats which he wrote in 1819 which was the year in which he died of tuberculosis!

This is very much an early 1970s inspired experimental and keyboard driven melodrama that is ever so rewarding those with the patience to delve deeply into the work. For sure, this is not an album that will please everyone but those that sit, listen and absorb the music and atmospheric vibes it emanates will find an album of pure but tortured genius that is not content to push boundaries but rather to burst them open. I imagine that you would get something like this if the boys from VDGG, King Crimson, Nosound and Peter Gabriel had chased the rabbit down the rabbit hole in 1974.

You are cordially invited down the rabbit hole with them but beware that madness could also be there too!

La Belle Dame

  1. The Haunted Palace In The Poe’s Land (4:02)
  2. The Queen Of The Valley (6:36)
  3. The Man In The Dreamland (5:18)
  4. Magic Stairway pt. 1 (4:27)
  5. Magic Stairway pt. 2 (2:07)
  6. Magic Stairway pt. 3 (4:31)
  7. To Sorrow Good Morrow pt. 1 (4:06)
  8. To Sorrow Good Morrow pt. 2 (6:57)
  9. To Sorrow Good Morrow pt. 3 (3:26)
  10. To Sorrow Good Morrow pt. 4 (5:38)
  11. To Sorrow Good Morrow pt. 5 (2:07)
  12. The Sweetness Of The Pain pt. 1 (3:55)
  13. The Sweetness Of The Pain pt. 2 (2:03),
  14. The Sweetness Of The Pain pt. 3 (3:35)