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Shackleton's Voyage

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tempus Fugit
  • ASIN: B0026DNK74
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

EUREKA Shackleton's Voyage CD


As near death experiences go Ernest Shackleton s 1914-1916 ill fated Antarctica expedition is the stuff of the legends. Now, courtesy of Hamburg s multi instrumentalist Frank Bossert and his Eureka project the expedition is the stuff of an excellent progressive rock album. Frank Bossert left Hamburg in the early 90 s to build his own studio in the North Sea town of Husun. His debut album Eureka emerged in 1997 and represented a now familiar range of celtic flavoured symphonic drama. Clearly living so close to the dramatic North Sea coastline had an inspirational effect on his music. In 2002 he released the second album The Full Circle, which was followed by The Compass Rose four years later. These albums gained many impressive reviews and it was clear that any Eureka release would be loaded with atmospheric and symphonic music. With Shackleton s Voyage Bossert has again returned to nautical themes. The result is an absolute gem among this years prog rock releases. When Shackelton s crew of 28 set off with the aim of becoming the first ever expedition to cross Antarctica little did they know that they were embarking on a two year journey to hell and back. Just one day short of its destination their aptly named ship Endurance sank having been crushed by pack ice. Shackleton and his men escaped on life boats to a nearby island. He then set off with five of his men in one of the small boats braving the ravages of the dreaded Drake Passage. That wasn t all, they then had to cross ice covered mountains which had, up until that point, been considered impassable. He succeeded and help was sent to rescue the remainder of his crew who were saved without loss of life. The stuff of legends indeed. Shackleton's Voyage tells the story through fifteen lavishly arranged tracks. Actor Ian Dickinson, narrates the dramatic story. Also involved is ex-Yes member Billy Sherwood who had been so impressed with Eureka that he contacted Bossert offering his help. He covers vocals on both 'Going Home' and 'The Challenge'. Meanwhile Yogi Lang of RPWL, mixed and mastered the album whilst also supplying the moog solo on 'Heading South'. The highly respected Troy Donockley, who has played with Iona and Nightwish, whilst still finding time to release some excellent solo albums, adds his trademark Celtic touches of bagpipes and flutes. To complete the scene the album s artwork includes original photographs from the expedition. This is an album so atmospheric that it will literally have you feeling the icy cold blast of the Antarctic. The album opens with a brief explanation from Ian Dickinson before 'Departure' releases the joy and anticipation felt as the Endurance sets sail. Troy Donockley adds great swathes of celtic colour and as the album opens, and the ship leaves, you are literally swept away too. 'The Challenge' sees the entrance of Billy Sherwood who adds further detail to the background to a story that already has me hooked. 'Grytviken Whaling Station' creates a powerful image of one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. From this point on the going would get even tougher. By now I am wondering what type of person would even contemplate undertaking such a journey which stares death literally in the face. It is the place for heroes and there was none bigger than Shackleton who despite every conceivable setback succeeded in saving his crew. Whilst losing yourself in the story it is easy to overlook the quality of the musicianship and song writing on offer. 'Heading South' underlines both and leads nicely into the moment where the expedition suffered a near fatal disaster during the self explanatory 'Icebound'. This is a track so haunting that it will literally have you shivering in the imaginary cold. --Jeff Perkins - BlogCritics

The joyful jig that is 'Plenty Of Time' leaves you almost able to see the crew downing what is left of any rum that they may have saved. 'Going Home' again features the excellent vocals of Billy Sherwood. The determined 'Into The Lifeboats' marks the point where the crew abandon their sinking ship with little hope of survival. That word survival soon becomes the main driving force. 'Elephant Island' again underlines the unerring ability of Frank Bossert to create powerful lasting images through his music. Meanwhile 'Will You Ever Return' features the voice of Kalema as a wife left back at home with the pain of not knowing. 'In Search Of Relief' takes us back onto the ice as Shackleton tries to find help to save his men. This piece is, like the album itself, beautifully constructed. Layer upon layer of instrumentation build the drama conjuring up the movement of the sea in breathtaking, seasickness-provoking reality. A sudden guitar break, slightly reminiscent of Mike Oldfield, leads us into calmer water as the dangerous Drake Passage is defeated. 'The Rescue' leads smoothly into the last track 'We Had Seen God!'. Yes, they had been that close to death. This is no Hollywood epic even though this music would make a perfect backdrop to one. Instead it is a real life story of heroism beyond most of our imaginations that confirms Shackleton s place in history. Shackleton s Voyage expertly brings it all vibrantly to life and allows us to touch the drama, feel the fear, shiver with the cold, and taste the grim prospect of death. It is a huge theme that needs a huge level of skill to do it justice. Eureka hit every atmospheric target and successfully serve up a quality album that will have you frantically checking your toes for frostbite. --Jeff Perkins - Blog Critics

Customer Reviews

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I bought this cd after I found out that two of my favourite musicians, Billy Sherwood (formerly of Yes) and Troy Donockley (formerly of Iona) were on it. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert has produced a magnificent cd, that has everything. This is fantastic, expansive, progressive rock, beautiful melodies and some great vocals and harmonies. Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Mike Oldfield influences are present, yet this is such a varied, strong album, that the music stands out on its own entirely. I found myself wanting to play this over and over. Highly recommended.
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I am writing this review on the basis of just one listening to this CD, but I know that I am hooked and will give this an awful lot more time on my players and iPod! If you are a prog-rock fan, with leanings towards the more 'mellow' and symphonic style of prog, then this is undoubtedly the CD for you! Mainly instrumental throughout, there are a few short tracks of narration and a couple of vocal tracks, but the rest is atmospheric keyboards or guitar. Fans of Camel, Glasshammer, even Rick Wakeman and his epic concept albums will revel in the material here. And it's not too long either; so many artists these days fill up their 80-minute disc with pointless drivel or aimless meanderings, but that is not the case here where the music clocks in at just under an hour, leaving the listener wanting more.
Lots of ethereal keyboards paint pictures of vast icescapes and ominous doom, and in tracks 13 and 14 you'd swear that Mike Oldfield was in the room with his guitars. Listen to it under headphones and drift off to Antarctica, following the journey of the Endurance, enjoying the beautiful photography of Frank Hurley which is reproduced in the booklet - haha! You don't get that when buying just the download tracks themselves do you?
Featuring the talents of Billy Sherwood ('Yes' pedigree), Yogi Lang (of RPWL, a German prog band that I *LOVE*), Troy Donockley (Iona and one-time performer with my favourite band, The Enid) and the beautiful vocals of Kalema on 'Will You Ever Return?', this is an immensely entertaining piece of music and one to which I will be returning now that I have finished this review.
Go on, treat yourself - you won't regret it!
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Eureka is basically multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert who is joined here by a few friends - most notably - piper Troy Donockley and former Yes/Chris Squire cohort - Billy Sherwood.
There is a little bit of narration here and there to highlight "the story" but it doesn't really impact.
At the risk of sounding cliched - there are certainly hints of Jarre, Vangelis and Mike Oldfield; indeed it is the latter who it bears most resemblance to; with some very 'Oldfield guitar'.
In my opinion, this is what Oldfield should be doing instead of spewing out constant re-runs!
The music is - on the whole, very pleasing and atmospheric; I really enjoy listening to it. There are some vocals from Sherwood and a lady called Kalema(?), but is it largely and instrumental album.
I'll stick my neck out compare it to "good Oldfield" - circa Ommadawn and Incantations, but hope that isn't misleading.
Nice CD this - not quite 5 stars but a very worthy 4!
As a result I think I'll check out some of the other Eureka material available.
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This is a great piece of work. The music, much of which has a Celtic feel to it, is excellent and, to anyone familiar with the Shackleton/Endurance story, evokes all the main chapters perfectly. I get the impression that this CD was a real labour of love for those involved. It is certainly a most fitting tribute to Shackleton and his men and their incredible adventure almost 100 years ago. Stuck in the ice, they had no way of communicating - no satnavs, no mobiles, no helicopters, no TV crews, no way of getting a message to the outside world. They were on their own. This was real (not to be confused with 'reality'). This truly was, in my opinion and that of many others, the greatest and most miraculous survival story of all time. Shackleton's Endurance voyage was nothing short of astounding and this CD is something to be played again whenever you think that life is getting a bit tough. It will put things into perspective and raise the spirit. It is inspiring and uplifting. I highly recommend this CD.
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A superb album , i reccomend listening to Great Escapes their latest offering
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