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Pendragon - Pure CD (album) cover





3.89 | 620 ratings

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2 stars After not being all that impressed by The Masquerade Overture it took me a while until I would give Pendragon another chance. I met the first signs of praise towards Pure with high skepticism, but after seeing that the admiration didn't seem to slow down there was just no way for me to ignore its status as one of 2008 best albums. I almost felt obliged to check out Pure and finally did so in the beginning of 2009. My verdict --- below average.

The first few spins of the record really shocked me due to the complete change of direction from the sound that I experienced on The Masquerade Overture. Eventually I began to recognize many of Pendragon's trademarked hooks which didn't actually deviated too much from the Neo-Prog formula. As for the modern styled sound, it did impress me at first but let's face it, there isn't much here that we haven't heard before. Despite a few interesting moments non of these compositions are that well executed. In my opinion Pendragon tried way too hard to sound like younger progressive bands i.e. Porcupine Tree and lost their own unique identity in the process. Even if I clearly signaled that I didn't really like Pendragon's style on The Masquerade Overture, I'm sure that they would eventually succeed to win me over if they continued to sound more like themselves.

The album-opening track Indigo does have the potential of becoming a truly great composition but the themes incorporated into it drag on for way too long and end up loosing their momentum halfway through the track Comatose is a typical example of adding three completely unrelated pieces of music under a conceptual banner piece. Part I, View From The Seashore, is the longest and most engaging part of the trilogy while the other two have almost no appeal on me whatsoever. There is some type of a dramatic ending added to Home And Dry which, I guess, is suppose to sound more epic. Personally I just can't hear past all the different artist references featured on this 6 minute tune.

The Freak Show feels almost like a breath of fresh air after the very slow-moving Comatose, the more direct lyrical approach works much better and so does the shorter song format which could have added more sense to songs like Indigo. The album closing It's Only Me is another one of those slow, almost atmospheric, rock tune that could easily make sense when heard on your local rock radio station, but I lack that tight approach to this style which has already been perfected by Pink Floyd.

No, Pure is definitely not an album for me. All the different approaches that Pendragon goes through on this record don't make them sound modern nor atmospheric and only makes me want to question their intentions. I'm sure there are enough moments here to make the fans feel excited about their favorite band finally expanding their horizons to appeal to a wider audience, but I really hope that this new audience is able to see that it's only smoke and mirrors.

**** star songs: Indigo (13:44) Comatose (I View From The Seashore) (7:41) The Freak Show (4:26)

*** star songs: Eraserhead (9:05) Comatose (II Space Cadet) (4:02) Comatose (III Home And Dry) (5:55) It's Only Me (8:16)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |


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