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Haggard - Awaking the Centuries CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.51 | 27 ratings

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4 stars As a brief intro to put some context with respect to this review today: I have just met a prog friend who owns a cafe that plays no music but prog. It's located quite far away from Jakarta, or precisely at Jombang, East Java, roughly 800 KM away from my resident. I was introduced by him a RIO band called as Cosa Brava which uses many violin work throughout its unique musical composition. I was in a progring (progressive gathering with the owner of the prog cafe, Edi Apple Santoso) discussing the music of Cosa Brava as well as Ceramic Dog and Tin hat plus some other RIO bands. What mattered to me was the fact that I am not that familiar with RIO but I love the sound of violin in prog music. I suddenly remember haggard and I have this Awaking The Centuries that I have not reviewed yet.

Well .. I have to admit that once I knew their debut album I was not following the band intensively until I found Tales of Itheria which to me is a really wonderful album with no flaw at all musically! And now I am having the Awaking the Centuries which to me is an excellent album blending metal and classical music, I think the root is actually classical music through the use of violin as well as flute. But then the band push forward the envelope to make the music as colossal as possible to make it really a BIG thing at the end. The result is truly an excellent music composition combining great choirs, growling vocal plus metal music and string arrangements. WOW! I like it very much.

The first four tracks to me is a comprehensive offering opened with a nice choir as intro ini Rachmaninov: Choir (0:37) followed beautifully with Pestilencia (1:53) , Heavenly Damnation (2:58) and The Final Victory (3:35) . I can see the band tried very hard to blend nice melody with various components of the music: the string arrangements as well as the growling vocal line that becomes an important part of the music. I also like the transition segments where the violin or flute put its work beautifully. The female vocal that accompanies the growling part is also great! Oh boy .. it's a wonderfully crafted composition, really!

Maybe the peak is the fifth track where Awaking The Centuries (9:33) being played with excellent exploration of growling, female vocal and violin work throughout the music. I am touched with the piano solo at the beginning of the track. I can say that this track is really a msterpiece and it isnpires the next album of tales of Itheria where the composition is quite similar with it. The male clean vocal inserted somewhere in this track is also terrific even though it's just a filler. But then it flows with another great piano solo combined with acoustic guitar! WOW!!!!!!

This is another excellent prog music that blends the heavy side of the music: metal and string arrangements. If you like the exploration of violin combined with great and touchy piano solo, wonderful string arrangements, nice choirs as well as growling vocal, I bet you would love this album! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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