BLUEPRINT will be released in Australia through MGM Distribution on 2nd March and in Japan through Marquee on 25th March and currently receiving a lot of interest in Europe and the USA.
New album BLUEPRINT
Samples of each track now available on Facebook.
Blueprint Reviews: CDS Towers - SEBASTIAN HARDIE: BLUEPRINT (Fantastic 2012 Comeback Album)
Well, here we have our 2012 comeback album for Australia’s biggest ever Mellotron driven melodic prog band, and
I’m here to tell you that without question, it is a stunner!
As you will no doubt all be aware, we get to hear a lot of great music here at CDS towers, and we try to highlight
what we consider to be the best of what is out there, and when I first played this CD I can tell you I was genuinely
thrilled by it and couldn’t wait to tell you all about it!
Why - basically because with ‘Blueprint’ we are speaking one classy album with six tracks of extremely melodic
Prog that is not pretentious in any way, just well written, professionally performed symphonic Prog songs and
instrumentals that have massive appeal.
Seldom have I heard as good a comeback album as good as ‘Blueprint’, the closest being 2011’s COMEDY OF
ERRORS ‘Disobey’ album, but this is something else!
For people unfamiliar with SEBASTIAN HARDIE you have to think: GREENSLADE / BARCLAY JAME HARVEST /
MOODY BLUES area for the incredibly melodic keyboard work (Hammond / Mellotron / Moog etc.), PINK FLOYD -
Gilmour / BJH - Lees for the equally incredible and beautiful guitar work, and as for the vocals, well they are really
great as well – If fact, ‘Blueprint’ really has everything a melodic symphonic Prog fan could possibly want!
After going their separate ways in the late 1970’s, Australian symphonic Prog band SEBASTIAN HARDIE reformed
in 1994 to perform a one-off concert in Los Angeles at Progfest ’94. The show featured tracks from their two classic
albums: ‘Four Moments’ and ‘Windchase’, was recorded and released as the ‘Live In LA’ CD. In March 2003
SEBASTIAN HARDIE again reformed for a performance at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, followed by a concert tour
of Japan, a country where they have always been hugely popular. Retuning home to Australia, enthused and
inspired, the band decided to record their 3rd studio album – What followed was six new tracks and the album
‘Blueprint’, but it has taken until late 2011 to finally complete and release the album on their own self-financed label.
The current SEBASTIAN HARDIE line-up is: Mario Millo (guitars / vocals), Alex Plavsic (drums), Toivo Pilt
(keyboards), Peter Plavsic (bass) and Dave Wilkins (special guest vocalist), and here is our take on ‘Blueprint’.
‘I Wish’ is a semi-instrumental upbeat, yet laid-back track featuring excellent Hammond organ, melodic guitar,
spiralling synths and real mellow Mellotron strings, and stands up as a great opener for the album. It takes over
three minutes before the vocal starts, after an amazing instrumental opening, then there’s some great wah-wah
guitar work followed by GREENSLADE-esque keyboard work – again, really nice Mellotron sounds!
‘Vuja de’ is an up-beat, totally instrumental track that’s a bit like a crossover of YES (‘Yes Album’) meets
GREENSLADE (‘Bedside Manners’) meets BJH (‘Everyone Is Everybody Else’) and just a fantastic eight
minutes of superbly played Prog that takes the genre right back its most melodic roots.
‘Art Of Life’ is a fine, strong thematic song that has (I think) slight echoes of OASIS: ‘Wonderwall’ in parts, but it is
also very like early BJH as the electric guitar plays tunefully over thick Hammond chords with swells of Mellotron
strings coming in to add the icing to an already delicious cake, ending in an ethereal atmosphere that’s not unlike the
closing moments of YES’ ‘Close To The Edge’ – Love it!
‘I Remember’ has a two and a half minute instrumental introduction of guitar riffs set against Mellotron strings and
stabbing Hammond chords and make me think that this is how GREENSLADE would have sounded if they’d had an
electric guitarist on board. When the vocal finally arrives it becomes another beautifully rendered song filled with
strong lyrics, mellow melody and dreamy Mellotron backing that just sends shivers up the spine, then the Lees/
Gilmour-esque guitar solo in the final two minutes to lead the track to a fabulous finale – Love this too guys!
‘Another String…’ is a slightly rockier song that has several fantastic instrumental sections, and features powerful
Hammond organ and Moog-like synthesizer work with the guitar brilliantly streaming over the top in a manner very
similar to John Lees with BJH, occasionally blazing out an instrumental trail of its own with confidant melodic solos.
‘Shame’ in totally instrumental and closes the album on a real emotional high with a fantastic guitar driven melodic
theme that’s guaranteed to bring you out in goose bumps as it soars high over a sea of Mellotron bliss, sending
shivers up your spine as it climaxes to the grandiose sounds of bell-like synths, Mellotron strings and Hammond
organ swells. It’s sort, but totally sweet, and a fantastic way to end to a brilliant album.
At just over forty-minutes long, ‘Blueprint’ is not the longest of albums by today’s standards, but you know what,
SEBASTIAN HARDIE make every one of them count, and I’d rather have forty minute of sheers class than seventy
minutes of mixed and matched tracks that don’t deliver from start to finish – ‘Blueprint’ does… big-time!
Existing long-standing SEBASTIAN HARDIE fans will know exactly what to expect from ‘Blueprint’ – and I suggest
a few might well be amazed as to just how strong a comeback album it actually is, but for those of you new to the
band, if you like your Prog classy, un-pretentious and very melodic, and are into any of the bands mentioned in our
review – believe me when I tell you that ‘Blueprint’ HAS to be in your collection.
01. I Wish (7:42)
02. Vuja de (8:20)
03. Art Of Life (6:20)
04. I Remember (7:36)
05. Another String… (7:07)
06. Shame (3:23)