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Gerard - The Pendulum CD (album) cover





3.67 | 44 ratings

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4 stars I don't know whether it happened accidentally or not but for sure the music of Gerard - if I can tell you in a nutshell - is very similar with its counterpart from Japan: Ars Nova. Influence-wise both are similarly influenced by ELP and Triumvirat. While Ars Nova is very focus on Keith Emerson center of ELP music, Gerard is more towards emphasizing the symphonic side of ELP / Triumvirat. Gerard has more sense for melody as opposed to rapid-fire keyboard solo. However, you may hear segments with multi-layered keyboard textures combined with simple solo. Awesome. That's the overall picture about Gerard. But, talking about this album - when you listen to it at first spin, the music will ring you a bell on something you may have heard before: it's like a combination of Pendragon, Marillion, and ELP / Triumvirat. With the voice line by western vocalist Robin G. Suchy, the band can remove the Japanese- English dialect. Now, I think you have a complete picture about the music of Gerard.

The album opener "Empty Lie, Empty Dream" starts off with a music loop representing a clock that in a way reminds me to the opening of Pink Floyd's "Time" in style - but this is completely not a rip-off at all. The music comprises multilayered and beautiful keyboard works in symphonic style, upbeat tempo, accentuated with dazzling drum works. The voice line merges beautifully with the music, producing nice harmonies. It moves to the next uplifting track "Killing Our Mother, Condemning Our Children" (oh, what a title!) with another richer keyboard outfit. This track offers wider combination of high and low points with some breaks with quieter passages when vocal sings. Oh man . if you really love intertwining keyboard sounds, this track is really for you. Bass lines are really good, combined with dynamic drumming. I do enjoy the ending part with powerful keyboard. The next track "Orpheus" starts off with keyboard-drenched music heavily influence with classical music. The structure is much complex than the other first two tracks. Listeners are bombarded with multi-layered keyboard sounds.

"Ascending to Heaven" is a short instrumental track with piano and keyboard solo performed mellow. "Crime of the Future" starts with keyboard effects followed with symphonic style music accentuated by great drumming. Soaring keyboard and organ solo characterize this track. It's an excellent instrumental track. I like the feature on drum solo during interlude part. As album title track, "The Pendulum parts 1 to 3" concludes the album with the kind of encore that offers listeners with richer musical arrangements. This time keyboard is much more inventive augmented with solid bass lines and dazzling drum work. You can hear the heavy influence of ELP even thouh Gerard puts more emphasize on the exploration of keyboard and rarely use organ as rhythm or solo. This what differentiates Gerard from ELP / Triumvirat; they push the music forward the envelope of classic symphonic prog. Some lyrical parts of this track were sung with piano as rhythm section, giving more variations to the music. This track is truly enjoyable and I'm almost sure that it will please many Karn Evil Niners ..

Overall, this is a modern prog album that those who love keyboard based music in the vein of ELP should not miss. Another similar band of Gerard beside Ars Nova is probably Cairo. With no intention to slash the richness of this album's music composition, I have a personal opinion that this album has too much bombard me with keyboard sounds that sometime are too complex and a bit of reducing the overall music harmonies. And I don't think this album falls into neo prog box as the music is relatively complex and less-melodic. Nevertheless, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,


Gatot | 4/5 |


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