Tom Hayes 2-Oct-2006 Fantasy of Horses

If the Gnosis ratings were about uniqueness, then “Fantasy of Horses” would most certainly rate a 15. There are few albums that we can truly point to as being wholly original, but Rainbow Theatre’s second album would have to qualify. Not to say it uses made up scales or instruments, but within the common boundaries of what is considered melodic music, Australia’s Rainbow Theatre have most certainly created their own room in the house. An operating 8 piece rock unit (keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, sax, trombone and flute) accompanied by a string sextet, “Fantasy of Horses” makes full use of the large palette of instrumentation available, not to mention that Keith Hoban’s vocals are sung in operatic style. Overall it’s a spirited affair, not an academic high-brow run through, so rockers have much to sink their teeth into. In fact, the drumming is astounding, and propels the album to great heights of intensity. The four tracks presented here, including two lengthy multi-part affairs, chock full of mellotron and high invention, are a progressive rock lovers dream. At least for those who keep an open mind. It wasn’t until 2006, that an official CD release arrived (Aztec). A beautiful multi foldout digi-pak with a full history and gorgeous artwork. As well, an unusual bonus track has been added - a recent full-on classical work written by bandleader Julian Browning, that is the perfect conclusion to the rocked out album proper. I cannot think of too many albums where that would make sense, but naturally it would be apropos here.

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