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Saga - House Of Cards CD (album) cover

HOUSE OF CARDS

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.49 | 77 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars That's how we like it!

When considering albums like 1999's Full Circle, the present one from 2001 and 2003's Marathon, that all hark back to the band's earliest days in terms of both style and quality, it is easy to forget what Saga did in between. Don't get me wrong, some of the band's best albums are from this in-between-period including the excellent The Security Of Illusion and the conceptual masterpiece Generation 13. But their discography had up till this point been a very "bumpy ride" with many ups and downs. From Full Circle onwards, however, Saga entered a state of unprecedented stability and managed to release a long series of good albums in the new millennium.

Like the appropriately titled Full Circle, House Of Cards also features the paradigmatic insect on the sleeve and it too features "chapters". For those of you that might not remember, Saga's first four albums in the late 70's and early 80's all included songs that were subtitled 'Chapter #'. After eight chapters spread over these four original albums, the gimmick was abandoned. After nearly 20 years, the idea was resurrected. The present album features two further chapters (the 11th and the 15th). With yet further chapters on the next album, we would eventually be treated with a further eight chapters in total over the course of these three albums and in 2005 a live album was released featuring all 16 chapters (old and new) in their numerical order.

Compared to Full Circle, House Of Cards is perhaps slightly more similar to the famed Worlds Apart and Heads Or Tales albums. This means a slightly more streamlined and pristinely produced sound and strongly melodic tunes and also some occasional cheesy lyrics! In many ways House Of Cards is a paradigmatic Saga album - it simply cannot be more Saga than this! If a reference to another band must be made, I would choose John Payne-era Asia, especially good Asia albums like Aria and Arena. But Saga is more progressive.

In conclusion, House Of Cards is a very worthy follow-up to Full Circle and a pretty solid album in its own right. Recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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