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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover

HERGEST RIDGE

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 397 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Oldfield's second not only retains all positive aspects of Tubular Bells but also manages to stay clear from the beginners faults that flawed Oldfield's debut album.

The album is shorter and doesn't fail to keep the mood going for its entire 40 minutes running time. The music gently flows through various section of Celtic inspired tunes and softly brooding atmospheres. Oldfield plays most instruments and has found a decidedly more appealing guitar sound then the brittle tone that disgraced Tubular Bells. The acoustic guitar and synths have a prominent role again but also other instruments provide highlights. The oboe solo halfway in part 1 for example is a beautiful lyrical moment. It grows into quite a climax complete with bells and swelling guitar sounds. The closing section features some romantic orchestral and chorus arrangements.

The second part is even better and starts with a melancholic pastoral theme; it's gentle and kind but burning with subdued passion. Great acoustic guitars again and a few minutes in, Sally Oldfield makes her appearance and provides a nice vocal. Things start to build up from then on. Halfway in, a big swirling theme played by a whole battery of overdubbed fuzzy guitars violently shatters the calm before the storm. It's a frenzied but uplifting section that never fails to make me smile and get my feet tapping.

Judging from the ratings, this album is overlooked by many but loved by everyone that embraced its spellbinding charm. Highly recommended.

Bonnek | 4/5 |

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