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Konchordat - The New Crusade CD (album) cover





3.57 | 55 ratings

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4 stars Before writing this down, of course I had to check my copy of their 'English Ghost' debut from 2009 again. I still find it a good starting shot, however a bit conventional though. Now considering them on 'The New Crusade' with an updated line up there is some obvious improvement to state. Overall this sophomore album comes more professional, the sound is clearer. Musically I find this less pathetic, more lively - visually it diverges from the debut's rather dark mooded appeal, the cover art appears quite typical for genre albums now.

KONCHORDAT's core are Steve Cork and Stuart Martin on this occasion. They have produced this album on their own, supported by Liam Green using Roland V drums, he makes a great job too by the way. The guitar is often focussed on riffs, which are serving a heavier edged backing. Keyboards are lushly deployed, often dramatic so to say, not that virtuoso as known from typical symphonic productions, but definitely a strong element nevertheless. Furthermore Stuart Martin is responsible for the vocals, more expressive and this consequently implies another positive change concerning the whole production.

The title track is an epic with shifting time signatures and moods, definitely entertaining. It all starts with ambient/psychedelic appeal - causing suspense definitely - and then changes to a typical uptempo groove alternating with vocal dominated episodes. 'Through the years we learn to face our fears' - with A Coming Of Age they are obvisiously reflecting their life experience coupled with some wise advices - addressed to the younger, by the look of it. And this song now shows the guitar coming out of hiding with more initiative.

I especially like the swirling organ and acoustic guitar shining through on Heaven's Gate where Panic Room rocks in particular, featuring some heavier Riverside sentiment - and at the very first time I really thought Mariusz Duda is shouting in between. Some reminiscences which are thoroughly legitimate I would say. This also applies to the nice terminating song Time To Go which - excellent sentimental (solo) guitar work inclusively - comes close to IQ in my opinion.

Apart from that 'The New Crusade' is an independent neo prog production for sure which grows with every spin due to the multi-variant compositions and an extra portion of melody. There is every indication that Stuart Martin has a large share here concerning this successfull effort. Although running shorter as the debut, the songs are more essential, well balanced. I've listened to a bunch of stylistically related music in the meanwhile, however this is still enjoyable - keep it up, folks!

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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