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Renaissance - Scheherazade And Other Stories CD (album) cover

SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.31 | 802 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Stories told and forgotten

Considered one of the best progressive albums to be released, this one is something of a let down. While the album still has some very impressive moment and is very 'good' overall it simply doesn't live up to the rest of the material being released in its day. What we have is a very low-energy couple of tunes and a couple of over-the-top songs that come at you from all angles, but still somehow fails to impress. Even though the album only has four tracks and one of them is a side-long epic it's hard to recall any of them to mind, even after repeated listens. While the female vocals of Annie Haslam are quite refreshing it's not quite enough to turn this effort from a good one to an astounding one.

One of the biggest problems is that this album really doesn't have an identity. Any progressive band at the time could have released an album with these sounds, with the exception of maybe the vocals. It all sounds like a sort of proto-Nightwish when the band actually gets a little more energetic and on the down times they just sound like musicians with no distinct style. A Trip To The Fair is a slow moving piece that outstays its welcome by a good number of minutes. Good vocal melodies don't really save the track, and the instrumental playing simply exists without demanding too much of the audience. Ocean Gypsy is the other slower track and while this one is a little more emotional it still fails to really grab with some sort of flair.

Luckily there are some better parts. The Vultures Fly High is an amazing track where the band actually sounds like they have their own sound and Annie's vocals are very well used during the shouting sections. The side-long Song Of Scheherazade comes at a bit of a disappointment, although it does still have its moments. The sections of instrumental bombast and orchestral elegance are highly impressive, although between each song segment the sound goes all the way down to nil making you think that the song has ended and throwing off the momentum of the piece entirely.

A short review for an album that has been reviewed pretty much to death already. Renaissance fans clearly find something more to this album, but fans of lush symphonic rock may be a little let down by the album. 2-stars for an album that gets a lot of positive hype but ultimately falls flat when compared to the other major acts of the day.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |

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