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Legend - Cardinal Points CD (album) cover

CARDINAL POINTS

Legend

 

Neo-Prog

3.76 | 111 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The-time-is-now
4 stars A carved-in-stone symphonic journey

Carved in Stone - The album begins with a didgeridoo intro and some natural sounds. The female voice comes in shortly after. It sounds like an incantation. Very thrilling ! "Carved in stone / It's carved in stone"? A short silky keyboards cloth announces the upcoming symphonic color. Drums strengthen the 'mystery' impression while the singer goes on. Excellent introduction. Bass and guitar come in to create a first open space where some beautiful flute repeats the guitar melody, or to be more accurate answers to it. The composition is clever, solid. Amazing. Incantation, again. The didgeridoo is very efficient. This leads to a second tray where the keys add a new profound note. They sound a little bit like Deccan's work on Au-delà du délire. Yeah, really, THIS is symphonic music.

Singer continues to deliver her message ; pretty voice, no exaggeration. Drums are very well executed. The guitar lucks into a more powerful riff while the keyboardist embroiders a sweet background fresh covers, maybe a bit too 'modern synthetic' but never mind, the story goes on : third climax. Masterpiece. The drums could be more driving, but ok.

Symphony is driven by the singer. The singing is not annoying, nor repetitive. On the contrary, it reinforces the majestic impression. Quieter moments seem to be a sort of incantation too ; and indeed, the main theme is now on the foreground. Drums wake up. Instruments elapse, particularly guitars (a good solo) and keys. Bass makes a good job and outweighs the drums. The track concludes on small cuts from that excellent composition. We remain unsatisfied, but this is what makes "Carved To Stone" so attractive : its implicit energy. Astounding.

Whisper on the wind - Natural sounds and a more rocky bass give very quickly birth to a guitar and keyboards-driven piece. Keys are almost 'festive', it's quite strange but it actually fits the music. Singer deals with a higher sing than on the previous track. The music is stronger and more ungoverned. Drums are too cagey. A momentary lapse of easygoing gives us some rest while a little acoustic piece jazzes the keys up. A new tempo seems to be worked out.

Mysterious. Spanish. Deep atmosphere. Smart arranging. Electric guitar is back in a frank solo, supported by the bass which seems to live his own live, waiting for good moments to come. And the drums eventually quickens ! Better late than never. Welcome. Guitar solo is now astounding and intricate. Drums rock ! Keys too. Very complex musical piece. It fades.

Bass introduces the second half of the track. Vocals come back. Lyrics are sung in a very harmonious way, and the music is still powerful. Instruments never 'overdo', they just fit the atmosphere, bringing their personal touch. Deceleration.

Focus on a brilliant bass piece. The track is slower than Carved To Stone, but delivers all its energy in the complex parts. Wait, there's a new one arriving either, once again dominated by a devastating guitar riff and by the keys ; bass besides is perfect. Drums are too shy (but correct) ; it's good for the keyboardist who explores a new synthetic world till the end. Natural sounds and thunder.

Spark To a Flame - Lyrics are at the center of the composition as soon as the first seconds of the track. The music gets mighty without a warning. Drums are present. Musical journey is here and there cut by the refrain, and then support it in a symphonic way. The singer bets on a classic gothic-like interpretation of the lyrics. Gamble won. Keys and guitars are once again on the foreground, but on two different stages. It's refreshing and very appreciable. We even hear some 80's Yes-like synthesizer sounds. Interesting. Refrain is rehearsed again and again to complete the growth of the piece.

Keyboards alone now make the transition to the second track part, with steadier vocals acting a pretty gentleness moment. Electronic gothic chorus sound. Change in the singing. Drums back. Be ready for the clash. Bells. Refrain. We hoped a guitar solo, but this track is the singer's arena. Only the keyboards can endeavor some lapses. Good stuff. Ah! The guitar solo we were waiting for ! Brilliant. Faultless. Electric (? what were you expecting ?). Drums more satisfying. Natural sounds, the track is over. Already ?

Drop in the Ocean - Low sounds introduce the singer who delivers her second smoothness awhile. The bass is the most constant instrument in quality on this album. It's always there, in foreground, in background, pondering the music like in the riff we're currently listening to. Pretty piano. Bass and keys-driven music. Guitar nearly absent. We slide from smoothness to drastic flavors, nursed by the bass. Amazing journey. There's a Yes color in this track, in the way emotions are communicated but never displayed till their complete explanation. Can't explain. A more 'blue-bright red' sense of music. Never mind. On the first track there was a Camel note with some keys, to me.

The middle of the track. Acoustic guitar with a peaceful flute behind. More folk. Lovely. It stops to let the singer officiate to rise the music to a little symphonic gem.

And the guitar is back for a riff. It's been a long time. All instruments join with the voice to create a climax in the classic symphonic manner. Neo Prog. Correct. Symphonic Prog. Better.

This album is very moving. The music is clever and fresh. Let's have a more precise look now.

Visual aspect : Compass-based artwork. Each quarter has its color : blue, green, red and then a smoother blue. The center is an Earth, it seems. It's got an ancient flavor, though colors are very strong. Interesting. Old and new. A little bit hypnotizing. > 3/4

Lyrics : Didn't find them on the web. It's difficult for me to review the lyrics, since English is not my native language. Don't hesitate if you got them, I'd be glad to complete this review with an analysis > ?/5

Length : nearly one hour of music. Ok > 1/1

Compositions quality : Brilliant with a few poorer moments. Repetitions are not excessive, they're incorporated on the album like an incantation that runs from the beginning till the end. > 8/10

Instruments diversity : 5/5

Tracks personal appreciation : 1/ Carved to Stone : 5/5 2/ Whisper on the Wind : 4/5 3/ Spark to a Flame : 5/5 4/ Drop in the Ocean 5/5

Bass contribution : 3/3 > excellent play, constant quality. Delightful.

Drums contribution : 1/3 > correct. No more.

Guitar(s) contribution : 2/3 > excellent solos, good accompanying riffs. Could be more effective.

Keyboards contribution : 2/3 > brilliant job. Sometimes too predictable. Could be more enthusiastic in the climax points.

Voice contribution : 2/3 > Excellent. Sometimes predictable, too, but it's logical, when you're singing an incantation?

"Prog" level : 10/10

TOTAL : 57/65 TOTAL ON TWENTY : 17,538/20

NUMBER OF STARS : 4,5/5

The-time-is-now | 4/5 |

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