“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.