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Big Big Train - Merchants of Light CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.34 | 61 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Jester
4 stars Review # 90. To those who are following the "modern" Progressive Rock scene, the name of Big Big Train should sound very familiar. It is one of those bands that have seen their reputation grow with each passing year. Despite that the band has been active since the early 90's, the truth is that they have become extremely popular among the Prog Rock followers during the last decade; mostly with the release of the albums English Electric Part 1 & Part 2 and Folklore.

Big Big Train is a band that gives live performances not so often. So, the 3 live gigs that they gave last year at Cadogan Hall, London, became sold-out immediately. And those gigs were followed by this live album, that has been recorded during these 3 concerts.

Merchants of Light is available as a double CD, including 16 tracks, and a very detailed and "rich" booklet. You also have the option of the 3-vinyl box set, or simply the digital version.

The 16 track set is pulled from the band's last 5 albums, Grimspound, Folklore, The Underfall Yard and English Electric I & II. (But 9 out of the 16 songs are from Folklore and Grimspound). (Also, I was surprised to see that they didn't include any song from The Second Brighter Star, which came out just a few months after Grimspound).

The album opens with a string overture, before kicking into a rocking version of Folklore. Right after that, it's time for the wonderful 12-minute-long epic Brave Captain, which happens to be one of my favorites. Song after song the band becomes better and better until we reach to Swan Hunter, which is one of the best songs this band ever recorded, and one of the album's highlights.

David Longdon's voice sounds great, and the whole band gives a flawless performance. And when I say "the whole band" I mean 10 people on stage, including a horn session. And despite the difficulties, the mix and the production are simply excellent, and the album sounds perfect! Merchants of Light is not just a live album, it is an experience. It captures one of the world's best modern Progressive Rock bands at their very best.

My Rating would be somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars.

The Jester | 4/5 |


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