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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover

PROLOGUE

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 408 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
4 stars Few albums start as well as this one.You're immediately mind-blowed by the cover art,and as the record starts to spin,we hear a grand piano descending introduction,with highly effectable first cold notes.

It's the start of the brand-new Renaissance,out of the ashes of a completely different band.Prologue is stunning,magical,excellent in a half,and in the other it is a fair grouping of quite similar compositions.Annie Haslam's voice is just another element here,before it became the spotlight in the following album.The magic of the album lies in the arrangements,the instruments as a whole.That's probably why the songs in which the instruments take a step back to become a background support to Haslam's voice are the weakest moments,by far.

The opening title track is amazing.An instrumental tour de force in which vocals only follow the main melody,without any sang words.It geniously mixes classical and rock,and have a powerfull climax near the end.Keyboards obviously play the main role here,but the song is sustained by a killing bass groove.Some may disagree,but for me this is the best track in the album,and one of the top ranking in Renaissance's career.

The second song,Kiev,is also incredible.The secret here lies in the mid-tempo beat,very elegant and pretty.So far,the album is an incredible experience which really draws attention and stay in your head for a long time,but unfortunately things start to get worse after this second song,around 15 minutes after the first piano lines of Prologue.

Sounds of the Sea is a nice tune,with almost a ballad pace.Sometimes it just sounds boring,others it's pretty acceptable and even enjoyable overall,but it simply doesn't matches with the magical first compositions.Follows Spare Some Love,the weakest track in the album and a bit of a commercial cheap shot,this time wtih clear ballad shape.Maybe what makes this song very weak is a bad vocal performance by Annie Haslam,too high-pitched and repetitive.

Bound For Infinity is a bit better,but follows the mood of the two previous songs,with easy verse/chorus structures.At least the instruments are brought more up-front again,regaining some of the feel from the fist part.

Thankfully,we're presented with Raja Khan as a closing piece.This is a long journey through mid-eastern influenced music,with dark and threatning guitars and again the wordless vocals sang excelently by Haslam.

Well,this album is a half-masterpiece.The remaining songs which can't be tagged that way are listenable but really nothing special.Fortunately,the great half is just magical,genious music.However,it doesn't hold many resemblances to the equally stunning compositions of Ashes Are Burning,the direct follower to this album and a genuine masterpiece.

Gustavo Froes | 4/5 |

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