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The Samurai Of Prog - Marco Bernard: The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up CD (album) cover


The Samurai Of Prog


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 21 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yes, this is practically 100% The Samurai Of Prog album, despite what's reading on the cover. The TSOP moniker was originally founded by the bassist and producer Marco Bernard, so it's not a big deal anyway. That said, this is a pretty strong TSOP album, although also very typical and thoroughly familiar in style. Almost all collaborators -- as before, the compositions are by an international cast of prog keyboardists -- are familiar from earlier albums, and the fairy tale based concept continues the recent TSOP tradition which has, just within 2-3 years, seen interpretations of e.g. Gulliver's Travels, Grimms' tales and Robinson Crusoe. Sir James Barrie wrote his play Peter Pan in 1902, and the adventurous story has become a household classic of children's literature and the whole popular culture. The liner notes (both the foreword and track-by-track) emphasize the message of keeping alive the child within us all.

What's on offer musically is the usual TSOP stuff: excellently produced, 70's rooted symphonic prog, Foxtrot era Genesis being the most obvious influence. Vintage keyboard sounds, Gabriel-ish vocals and plenty of additional classical instruments. 'Overture' (Octavio Stampalia) is a great instrumental opener in which Steve Unruh shines on flute and violin, Marc Papeghin on French horn and trumpet. 'Never Never Land' (Alessandro Di Benedetti) features the vocals of John Wilkinson. Very fine, roughly 11-minute prog piece, as is Mimmo Ferri's 'The Lost Boys' too. The theatrical dialogue parts (between the characters of Peter Pan, Wendy and the lost boys) on 'The Home Under the Ground' are a bit irritating, but at least this approach is not over-used on this album as it was in the first Grimm-based album.

'The Pirate Ship' (Marco Grieco) is sung by the Peter Hammill -reminding Discipline frontman Matthew Parmenter. Oliviero Lacagnina's 'The Return Home' is the other instrumental and has a charmingly rich arrangement. The final song 'Lunar Boy' (Marco Grieco) is sung by Bo-Anders Sandström from the Finnish Genesis tribute band Rock Theatre. Summa summarum, as I said above, the vocal department is this time very Gabriel styled throughout the album, and for me it's a minus. Several other TSOP albums have a wider and fresher spectre, hence this album won't become a favourite of mine. Nevertheless, as an individual work this deserves four stars, even if the listener has for some time had a feeling that TSOP keeps doing similar albums at too fast pace.

Matti | 4/5 |


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