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Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 650 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars A very "classy", 'Classical' classic!

Ashes Are Burning was the second Renaissance album featuring Annie Haslam's vocals and the band's fourth album overall. While some songs from previous albums had been a little bit sloppy, Ashes Are Burning is the band's first really polished release. The slight Psychedelic tendencies that were present on the three previous albums are completely left behind here in favour of the pure Classical/Folk influences.

The sound is crystal clear and the vocals and instruments are very articulate and precise. The bass guitar in particular is very impressive with a really powerful bass sound. There is no doubt that these musicians are very talented and, in my opinion, the present album is their best effort. It has grown on me a lot since I first heard it, I used to think that this music is a bit too "classy" and too Classical for my taste and not enough Rock.

Annie Haslam is undeniably a very talented vocalist but her style of singing does not always quite fit into a Rock context in my opinion. The Rock credibility of the group is not exactly helped by the fact that the main keyboard instrument is classical grand piano and the almost total absence of electric guitars. However, the Rock aspect is kept alive by a strong presence of Chris Squire-like electric bass guitar and Rock drums as well as a short guest performance of Andy Powell from Wishbone Ash on some lead guitar at the end of the title track.

The music of this era of Renaissance can perhaps be described as a crossover between Classical music and Folk music with some slight Pop and Rock leanings and some progressive song structures. The two most progressive songs are the opener and the closer. The four slightly shorter tracks in the middle are not much less good with simply gorgeous melodies. Too bad about the boring cover art though!

Renaissance best album and an excellent addition to any Prog collection

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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