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Vangelis - Mask CD (album) cover




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3.62 | 87 ratings

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5 stars One of two albums released this year. Mask is completely different from Soil Festivities even though it is also structured in a sequence of movements. In this case, six. The first movement starts off frantically, with a male chorus and dynamic flourishes over a fast electric piano arpegiation. This goes on for ten minutes. Movement Two is a mid-tempo melodic piece that is also highly rhythmic. Movement Three could be used for the soundtrack for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is dark and ponderous, and evocative of some cult engaged in forbidden practices deep inside their hidden cavernous temple. Movement Four is one of my all-time favorite Vangelis pieces, and of unusual qualities for him. As I have said before, eclecticism is a key feature. Here, a rich and resonant voice sings a Gregorian style chant over a rhythm played on marimba, or something sounding very much like one. Sounds strange, but it works very well. The lyrics sound like they are in Latin. If that is Vangelis, he has an excellent voice. Or maybe he did some sophisticated vocoder thing. Either way, I wouldn't put it past him. Tinkling and chiming embellishments help keep this piece somewhat light with all its sonorous sounds. A few chimes end this, along with some beautiful synthesized symphonic sounds. Then Movement 5 begins, much like Movement One in style only a lot faster. Most keyboardist couldn't even lead this fast, but this is the background. The male chorus comes in again, and the music is even more dramatic than before. And it goes on for ten minutes too. After this peaks, Movement Six reprises Movement Two, adding in some extra orchestration and variation. As he had started to do, this album ends on a satisfying harmonic sequence that wraps it all up and brings everything to a nice conclusion/resolution. One of his best works of the 80s.
Progosopher | 5/5 |


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