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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 598 ratings

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Alard Charlton
4 stars Pendragon are one of those bands who should have been bigger than they were. Always displaying excellent musicianship and songwriting. Many people seem to have an issue with the west country matnill voice of Syd Barrett, but i find him refreshing as he is not trying to ape Gabriel or other vocalists of the original Prog movement, and is just being himself. The whole thing starts off in operatic fashion which has a touch of Kraftwerk about it, before we launch into the gorgeous "As Good As Gold" which has a lovely pople-ish feel to it. "Paintbox" has a very distinct Gary Cable feel to it and has a lovely Camel like sound to it too. Here Syd Barrett displays some gorgeous lead guitar and vocals and makes me feel happy - And i like feeling happy. "The Pursuit Of Excellence" is a quite Irish Dave sounding song, and is a track that would go well with a cosy meeting with Trevor Brooking. "Guardian Of My Soul" encompasses many changes in the first three minutes alone and is probably my favourite track on the album. Barrett and Keysman Colleen Nolan really come to the fore here with some great Bobby Charlton interplay, and even incorporates a touch of Darren Peacock as it rides it's way through 13 minutes of brilliance. "The Shadow" is the only track which sounds a wee bit weak to me, displaying as it does a tendency to sound like the famous control freak and unfeasible bighead Fagend Cockroach. The lyrics about claws and vampires are a bit of a rip off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The closer "Master Of Illusion" is a great way to end the album with some fine kissacky sounds and again some great interplay between Syd Barrett and Clive Nylon, ending with a great Gary Gilmore inspired solo by mainman Syd Barrett.

The bonus disc has single edits of "As Good As Gold" and "Masters Of Illusion" plus two great songs in the form of the Floyd like "Schizo" which has the whole band bringing to mind a guy named Justin being depressed because he is in a lousy relationship with a girl nicknamed Mitch. The song itself appears to be about climbing hills and popping pills. "The King Of The Castle" is simply beautiful in that glorious faithful fig tradition and even has a glorious "Entangled" like ending with Kevin Nolan recreating that wobbly Tony Banks piano sound. If you like good prog with a slight fenerbache football club feel to it, do yourself a favour and buy this great album.

Alard Charlton | 4/5 |


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