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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 593 ratings

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4 stars One would not forget Pendragon because it released the "Jewel" album in 1985 when neo progressive music was emerging with the existence of Marillion, IQ, and Pallas - the bands that wanted to continue prog rock flag in the middle of punk and new wave attacks. Even though Jewel was a good album, my focus at that was more toward Marillion because I fit with the music of Marillion. "Masquarade Overture" came out in 1996 and I consider it as the best album out of all albums by Pendragon so far.

The album kicks off wonderfully with "The Masquarade Overture" which has intense elements of classical opening through an excellent combination of keyboards and female vocal line. Listening to this track I suddenly have a high expectation for the music of the entire album because the opening track is so promising. My expectation was fulfilled satisfactorily when the second track "As Good As Gold" enters. It has an excellent opening with long sustain keyboard sound accompanying Nick Barrett voice in low register notes. The music flows with a bit pop style but the keyboard work by Clive Nolan makes it sounds like Marillion's "Garden Party". Of course I also like the stunning guitar work by Barrett.

"Paintbox" starts with guitar fills in the vein of Hackett followed with flute-like sound (from keyboard) that brings the music into atmospheric nuance. The tagline melody of this song is excellent especially when it's coupled with guitar solo. The combined bass guitar and keyboard solo happens in the middle of the track. "The Pursuit Of Excellence" is a song that serves a nice bridge to the next energetic song "Guardian Of My Soul". Oh yes, this is really a great track as it starts with something attractive, percussion, followed with a blast of music. The music then changes to a break with nice combination of piano and guitar in relatively long period until Barret voice enters. The singing part and the music that accompanies form a very catchy music, overall. It's a joy listening to this track. "The Shadow" is a mellow track with catchy melody and nice lyrics. I like the acoustic guitar work. "Masters Of Illusion" is the best track from this album and also the longest because it consumes 12 minutes duration. Clive Nolan keyboard work is really superb, enriched with Nick Barrett's stunning guitar work.

Overall, this is the best album from Pendragon I have known so far. The strengths of this album include its tight composition, great songwriting and variety of styles in the corridor of neo progressive music. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Gatot | 4/5 |


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