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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 597 ratings

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5 stars Here we have a great album by Pendragon. Reminiscent of some of Marillion's early albums (especially Script), this is an album that grabbed me by the throat even on the first listen. A concept album, but not so heavily that the tracks do not stand up well on their own - far from it, you could pick out any single track and it would make sense here.

1. The Masquerade Overture (3:03) - A short intro track, just to bring the album slowly upwards. It's not particularly striking, you may even want to skip it (if brief opera-esque moments aren't your thing), but it leads nicely into...

2. As Good As Gold (7:15) - The leading single - the chorus will grab you first time, as well as the drums on this track. The height of the action here sets a great pace, much like that of Guardian Of My Soul and Masters Of Illusion. Guitars are excellent too. It kinda fades out towards the end, finishing the energy section and mellowing down into a slower keyboard section, before

3. Paintbox (8:39) - A slow intro to an excellent instrumental section, with a great finale too. Some keyboard parts here are also great, one particularly good riff/solo really standing out. Bass and drums are also very prominent.

4. The Pursuit Of Excellence (2:37) - A short track, vocals based, quite good. Not too much impact on the rest of the album, due to it's length, but still a good song in its own right.

5. Guardian Of My Soul (12:41) - The first 'epic' track, with very good instrumental sections, mixed up with great vocals. This track does lack something, though, as the parts are good yet their placing is not brilliant - the ending is only short, too. However, that does not invade into the song very much and it's still something of an early Marillion standard.

6. The Shadow (9:55) - A slower piece, with excellent and truly monumental build-ups in parts, particularly the ending. The middle is also very good. Great vocals, piano and drums.

7. Masters Of Illusion (12:51) - A fantastic finish, with two almost separate sections. The start has a great keyboard riff and vocal parts which instantly hook. The second part builds up with a great guitar riff, developing into a full swung solo as the album finale, after a brilliant vocal bit.

I cannot emphasize the excellence of this album. I cannot comment on the bonus tracks listed, but the album is worth buying itself, even for non-Pendragon fans - I started my Pendragon collection here, in fact, which I believe was the right move. Don't pass this album up.

Staker | 5/5 |


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