Robert Reed: Sanctuary II (2016)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Between 1991 and 2006 I was fortunate enough to run Feedback fanzine in the UK, and my constant cry in the early days was “I need artwork!”. In 1993 I decided that one way to provide this would be by cutting out (literally) photos of album covers sent to me on press releases, and make a collage. One of the albums reviewed in that particular issue, and included on the cover, was Cyan’s ‘ For King And Country’. That 1993 debut release featured a young Robert Reed who provided everything. After a few more Cyan albums, and a dalliance with fellow Welshmen Ezra he has of course made his name with Magenta. But, he is still a true multi-instrumentalist, and in 2014 released ‘Sanctuary’, following it up with the inventively titled ‘Sanctuary II’ in 2016. The version I have here is the double CD, which features the two songs that make up ‘Sanctuary II’ on the first, that album remixed by Tom Newman (yes, the Tom Newman who produced ‘Tubular Bells’) plus some additional songs. There is also a version available with a DVD as well.

Robert doesn’t hide his love of Oldfield, especially considering he has Simon Phillips on drums and Leslie Penning on recorder, both firmly associated with that artist, and he does actually list tubular bells among the instruments he himself provides. But, although this is heavily influenced by Oldfield and his style (especially when he brings in the distorted guitars), this is still Robert producing the music that he wants to, writing the songs and performing them in a certain manner. There are many bands out there who are heavily inspired by Genesis, King Crimson, IQ etc., but there are few who have truly managed to capture the style of Oldfield and turn into something as dramatic and interesting as Robert has with this album. I just think it’s wonderful, and an album I really enjoy playing as it is so vibrant and exciting.

Rating: 9/10

Track list:
Sanctuary II Part One // Sanctuary II Part Two // Sanctuary (Excerpt) Promo 1 // Sanctuary (Excerpt) Promo 2 // Salzburg // Pen Y Fan // Les Penning Section (Single Mix) // Part Two Opening (Alternative Version) // Part Two End (Alternative Version) // Sanctuary II Part 1 (Tom Newman Mix) // Sanctuary II Part 2 (Tom Newman Mix)


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