EUREKA - Great Escapes

Eureka - Great Escapes

10 songs
46:53 minutes
***** **


It would be misleading to call Eureka a band, as most of the music and the vocals are performed by multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert from Northern Germany. Eureka released four albums between 1997 and 2009. In 2010 a retrospective compilation came out, and then it was silent until now. Great Escapes, the fifth longplayer by Eureka, sees Frank Bossert in a more rock oriented way than in the past, where folk elements often played a major role in the bandís sound.

The two minute instrumental opener Stepping Out is an atmospheric guitar and keyboard intro that shows instantly that Mike Oldfield is one of Bossertís principal idols. The first regular song, Animated World, is a melodic and downright catchy progressive rock trach in the vein of Eighties Rush, another band that has left an impact on the artist. It will be clear quite early on that Eureka play progressive rock, but in a way it was done in the Eighties. After the sometimes self-indulgent Seventies, a lot of the major players toned it down the following decade, which quite often resulted in success for unlikely stars like Yes, Genesis, Asia, etc. Letís just call this post progressive rock.

This is of course a courageous step for Eureka, as vintage proggers often disdain the more accessible fare of the Eighties, while pop fans still prefer their simpler music. In the end Frank Bossert is a really good and talented songwriter, even if I also prefer my prog rock a bit edgier.

But letís move on with the music. Stolen Child is a very personal song for Frank Bossert, dealing with his divorce and his separation from his son. Painful stuff, packed in a moving ballad where the vocals remind me at times of Feargal Sharkey, to allow for another Eighties reference. The following One Million Stars is once again a piece of catchy prog rock with an unforgettable chorus. Thereís more stuff you might want to check out. Chase The Dream is an Ė of course Ė dreamy ballad about Bossertís fascination with flying. Escape is a groovy instrumental piece on which Bossert shows off both his guitar and bass skills. With The Big Picture, we even get a ten minute long-track which comes with a 7/4 time part which is disguised to sound more straightforward. I wouldnít have discovered it on my own though. Also the beginning comes with a very Celtic intro, hinting at the bandís more folk oriented past. All in all this is a song that offers a lot to discover, and in that way contrasts with the otherwise more straightforward material.

Letís face it: Great Escapes is not the kind of progressive rock I usually listen to, but even I canít deny that Frank Bossert has put a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears into this fifth Eureka album which has been released on the artistís own label. Songwriting is really good, the production gives equal room for every instrument. There remains only the fact that this is the kind of post progressive rock which shows parallels to Rush, Mike Oldfield, Yes and Marillion, all of them bands that were most successful in the Eighties. If you like those references, do support Frank Bossert and check out Eurekaís Great Escapes.

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