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Pendragon - Pure CD (album) cover





3.89 | 604 ratings

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4 stars Pendragon's first album came out in 1985. They recorded their most significant album, The Masquerade Overture, in 1996. You would think that Pendragon's leader/writer/vocalist/guitarist Nick Barrett would no longer have anything new to offer. That would be a mistake.

With this album, Barrett takes the band into heavier and darker territory. His guitar work has always sounded like Steve Hackett (Genesis) and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), but now it also reminds me a lot of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).

The trademark Pendragon melodies are still there, Clive Nolan's great keyboards are still there, but it is all done with a much more modern rock sound. Opening track "Indigo" offers a 13-minute epic; Barret's vocal work reminds me of Pink Floyd's harmonies (maybe that's because I hear dogs barking in the background, but it's more than that!), and his gravelly guitar ventures close to metal without crossing that line.

The three-part epic "Comatose" is an expansive musical gem, starting out with piano and moody guitar, then explodes into a hard rock section, then a string quartet kicks in to set the beat for part 2, featuring a great guitar loop and soundscapes from Clive Nolan. Part 3 sounds very Roger Waters-ish, introspective and haunting.

A fine album from one of the giants of Prog Rock.

BobVanguard | 4/5 |


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