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Pendragon - Concerto Maximo CD (album) cover

CONCERTO MAXIMO

Pendragon

 

Neo-Prog

4.08 | 74 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Like the good wine....They get better with age

Normally Prog bands have a long live (If they don't split because of their own ego), but usually they reach the peak soon and live of past glories, presenting excellent concerts with several changes in the lineup because clue members leave in pursue of a solo career.

This is not the case of PENGRAGON, since their second album they had a stable lineup, in 1996 (Something unusual with Clive Nolan working in so many bands and personal projects) they reach their peak with "Masquerade Overture" and when I believed everything was downhill, they kept the quality for 18 years more. In 2006 they release the good but uneven "Believe" and the next year their iconic drummer "Fudge Smith" leaves.

Again I thought the story was over, but they surprised in 2008 with the outstanding "Pure" and in 2009 with their definitive live album "Concerto Maximo", recorded in Poland for their 30 Anniversary.

Won't talk about the DVD, because it deserves a separate review, I'm here to write about the double CD. So let's start with the quality saying it's flawless, the selection of tracks has been done with care, presenting a balanced set with no weeks moments and representing their long and fertile career.

But the most important issue on a live album is the performance, incredibly this guys sound better as the years go by, Nick's voice is as peculiar as always, (you like it or not), but his guitar is simply impeccable, he has gained strength and accuracy, the best example of this can be found at "Masters of Illusion".

Clive Nolan makes one of his usual displays of quality with incredible solos and team work, being his best moments in the frenetic solo of "A Man with Nomadic Train", in which he plays in the best style of Rick Wakeman but with a modern sound, and of course the delicate Mellotron "A la Genesis" in the sweet and delightful "The King of the Castle".

Peter Gee, is strong and accurate, his best moment is in the closer "Queen of Hearts", but more important than his personal achievements is the interplay with the surprising "Scott Higham", who doesn't sound like the new kid in a band that has played for 3 decades, the guy is precise and extremely loud, what enhances the listening experience, the rhythm section works as if they had been together for decades and not only for a couple of years.

Not much more to say aboutt he tracks, because all are well known and reviewed repeatedly on the studio albums, so will go directly with the rating that has to be not lower than 4 stars.

If PENDRAGON keeps in this level, I'm sure we will listen from them for a long time, and this are good news.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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