Description of Beyond the Crystal Sea by Jimmy Hotz
The single most innovative progressive art-rock album in the earliest years of CCM was this brilliant recording, released only on LP on an indie label way back in 1980. For the first time ever this classic has been digitally remastered and re-issued on CD May, 2010, on Born Twice Records. Jimmy first shared the stage with The Guess Who when he was just 16. In the years that have followed, he has worked as a producer, engineer, musician, etc. Some of the artists that Hotz has worked with in one capacity or another include: Fleetwood Mac, B.B. King, Dave Mason, Leon Russell, Yes, Jon Anderson, Kitaro, Steve Winwood, Chicago, Jerry Williams, The Association, ArkAngel, Petra, The Smothers Brothers, Roger McGuinn, Giant Killer, Dove, Vision, Scott Gershin and Haven. Ask any in-the-know collector about the best Christian progressive art rock album and the answer is usually as toss up between ArkAngel-Warrior and this one. Beyond The Crystal Sea is the heavier and spacier of the two, plastered with what seems like layer upon layer of synthesizers. 'March Of The Dead Souls' pins your ears to the wall from the start with its hard space rock barrage and eerie banshee choirs. Hotz’s layered hard rock guitar is absolutely venomous on 'Hand Of The Most High,' and the instrumental 'Teton,' while 'Vision Ships,' 'Beyond The Blue,' and 'From Love Life Did Begin' are more reminiscent of the melodic lavish textures of Yes (though vocally Hotz brings to mind Peter Gabriel of early Genesis). ArkAngel’s Kemper Crabb is in here playing recorder on 'Alpine Magic.' The production quality is superb as is the fantasy cover art. If you’ve got a good stereo, you’re gonna wanna blast this up loud. It’s out of this world! (Ken Scott - Archivist) Fans of Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and Pink Floyd must have this. Two previously unreleased bonus tracks also appear on this CD. Songs include: 'Observations Of A Larger Reality: A. 'March Of the Dead Souls,' B. 'Hand Of the Most High;' Night Passage,' 'The Vision Ship,' 'Teton,' 'Beyond the Blues,' 'Alpine Magic,' 'From Love Life Did Begin,' 'Long, Long Ago (previously unreleased bonus track),' and 'The Gates Of Time' (previously unreleased bonus track).