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Kayak - Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen CD (album) cover

MERLIN - BARD OF THE UNSEEN

Kayak

 

Crossover Prog

3.88 | 129 ratings

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Dragon Phoenix
5 stars My first review is reserved for the best CD I have ever heard - hence five stars, which I will dish out sparingly. The eighties album Merlin of this undervalued Dutch band included a suite of five songs based on the Arthur legend. They were fantastic songs, including the powerful Merlin and the melancholy ballad Niniane. Shortly after the album, Kayak quit without having achieved a real international career.

They reunited in the late nineties, and with their third studio album since then they realised their dream of almost 20 years: extend the five song 20 minute Merlin suite to a full 70 minutes CD. A new lead singer was employed (Heerink), a female lead singer was recruited (Oudshoorn), and nine new songs were writen to complement the original five and fill in the gaps in the story line. And a symphony orchestra backing was thrown in for good measure. The result is unbelievable.

In the new versions, the old songs sparkle just as bright as they did before, and the nine new songs blend in marvelously. The highlights are the already mentioned Merlin and Niniane, but also the fantastic duet When the seer looks away (incredible performance by Cindy Oudshoorn), and the moving The other side, with a quiet instrumental part for symphony orchestra that is simply breathtaking. But all 14 songs are great.

Too many superlatives? Perhaps. But I have listened to this masterpiece over 20 times now and I consider it the best CD in our vast collection.

Dragon Phoenix | 5/5 |

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