|With their new sensational album Stand Up, Final Conflict
from the UK re-enter the Progressive Scene again. Since 1992 we all have been waiting for
their new album - and this new CD is a real powerful release proving it has been worth
waiting for it!
Final Conflict was formed in 1985 by Andy Lawton and Brian Donkin. After recruiting a keyboard player and a bass player, the band's search for a drummer continued in vain, even after many auditions. The band decided to record a cassette album with the use of a drum machine, and the resultant Channel 8 was released. A short while later finally a drummer was found and a second cassette album The Time Has Arrived was recorded and released on the band's own label "Future Records". During this time they played many gigs in their hometown of Stoke on Trent, building up a reputation as a powerful live act. This led to requests from progressive fanzines in England for information - and reviews soon followed.
Soon the band were receiving mail from Progressive Rock fans across Europe. At that time they started recording for Adrian Skerretts "Gaia Records" label. This resulted in the CD release Redress The Balance in 1991. The album was well received in England, throughout Europe and many other countries around the world. Gaia Records immediately asked for another album, and with two changes to the line up of the band, work began on what was to become Final Conflict's most successful recording so far, the concept album Quest. Released during the summer of 1992, sales of Quest exceeded the band's expectations and for the first time they were able to take their live shows to Europe to promote the album. During 1992 to 1995 the band played many gigs alongside the likes of Pendragon, Jadis, The Enid, Wishbone Ash and many other bands.
And now they are back with their long awaited new recording Stand Up, an album that presents the band having matured further. This 68 min. majestic masterpiece is featuring the most exciting song material Final Conflict have ever written. Cornerstones of the 68 min. albums are the two contrapuntal songs 'Stand Up' and the epic 15 min. 'Stop'. The latter one came at a time when the band were looking for something a little different. Penned by Andy Lawton it tells of the rise in violent crime by young people against the old. The opener 'Stand Up' was written as a reply to 'Stop', explaining the need for different generations to stand up and say 'enough is enough'!
Between these two tracks, there are eight more stories to be told, all perfectly orchestrated with the typical Final Conflict sound. 'Whiteline Highway' tells again of young people, being forced through peer pressure into the world of drugs. Steve Lipiec has produced some haunting keyboard sounds to illustrate this, but it was also decided by the band to make the feel of the song one of hope and not of despair. 'Wasteland' was originally planned to be released on a single format and may soon become the 'hit' of this album. 'T230' was first thought to be a pure keyboard instrumental. In the CD version it is now a full-band version, featuring guest vocals from female singer Kristi Bonfield. She also contributes to the skin-creeping atmosphere of 'Signature In The Sand'.
This basic idea of the song 'Stand Up' is also reflected in the cover artwork which avoids the usual clichés of typical Progressive Rock fantasy covers. In contrast to the plainness of the cover, the music of this album is enriched with a myriad of thrilling ideas, making Stand Up indispensable for any fan of Progressive Rock music..
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