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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover

THE WINDOW OF LIFE

Pendragon

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 339 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Their last album "The World" was a brilliant effort, and after a short break in terms of Pendragon (two years), they couldn't deceive their fans. And they won't.

From the very first notes of the opening number, we know that the direction they have taken in "The World" will be investigated again. We are heading towards another great album, apparently. The very long and beautiful instrumental introduction is one of the moment during which I am really thankful to the giant bands we all praised to have inspired some of their followers. This part is spacey, emotional. In one word : superb. The vocals (which won't be too many here) are a bit naive and not really on par with the beauty of the music, but it is a very impressive start.

Did I mention that the intro is reminiscent of a Floyd song and then evolves into a well known Genesis riff ? Ouuuups, I forgot this ! Well actually, I do not really care. When I listen to this type of music, it just remind me my youth (yes, I am bloody old), and I am not too much of a purist. Just a music lover. And I will be satisfied all the way through with this album. From the cover artwork to the last track.

The format of the songs (each being a long piece of music, except the closing number) tend to please me. Their poppish and boring "Kowtow" is definitely forgotten.

"Ghosts" is very much "Cinema Show" oriented at times. The song has many different tempos and lacks a bit in unity. But at least, one can not say that it is boring. Just a bit less achieved than most of the other songs. It does not have the splendor of the opener but it is much more than a filler.

"Breaking The Spell" is another beautiful moment. Very much symphonic. It is amazing to notice the different role played by Clive in Pendragon compared with the one he will have later with Arena. He has a much discreet role here, playing most of the time great backing keyboards, but scarcely having a prominent role (except during some songs, but really not a lot).

With Arena, it will be another story. Being at times even too much dominant like in their album "Immortal". The leading role in Pendragon, Nick holds it. Like he holds and plays the guitar somptuously. Just have a listen to his guitar solo in "The Spell". Great job, my friend. One of the best song of this album (but there will be more).

"The Last Man on Heart" is one of the longest Pendragon track ever. I know that there are a lot of people out there that can't stand this band and his lead singer. In my case, his guitar play and tone of voice are deeply touching me. And this from the very first time I listened to Pendragon. And the same feeling applies when playing live as well. He is funny, relaxed, and very human. Thanks, Mr. Barrett (Nick).

This song holds any aspect of the music I love in Pendragon. it even refers to ELP during one of the rockiest moment of the song, while Nick mentions "welcome to the show that never ends". But it is just a wink.

We will really get the most symphonic and emotional side of the band here. It is definitely the inspirator of their later "Paintbox" from "the Masquerade". They will justify as well their entry in the neo-prog genre during more nervous passages.

It really forms the core of this album together with "The Spell". These two numbers only, make this album a must own for prog lovers.

The least interesting song from this work is "Nostrodamus". It starts with a long and spacey instrumental introduction; but it does not reach the same level than "The Walls Of Babylon". The second part is dynamic and poppish. It sounds a bit flat when compared with some other numbers. But after all, it is not a bad song. Nice to hear when you drive or as background music. Not something to concentrate on and depict it as I am doing here !

The closing number is the shortest of the original album. Nick's vocals are very sad (but I must admit that he hardly sounds funny on a studio album), while Clive's keys are superbly filling the background. Truely poignant. The final guitar break is extremely melodic. A pure jewel of symphonic prog music. I just love it very much.

The remastered editon features four bonus tracks that can be found on their EP "Fallen Dreams And Angels". It is a worthy addition and it sells for cheap, so ...

Just be aware that there is nothing really new in their music. Yes, Pendragon sounds at times like some great bands we all know and respect, but if this feature does not hurt you too much, this album is very much recommended. Still, I preferred the consistency of "The World" and therefore rate this album with four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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