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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 597 ratings

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5 stars As we speak (2004), PENDRAGON have already graced us with many wonderful albums but never have they attained such heights of musicality, inspiration and versatility as on "The Masquerade Overture". There is not a single track on it you could dispense with: every one is pure candy for the ears.

This is the album that probably best illustrates the concept of 'neo-prog': easy-listening prog characterized by often bombastic, spacious arrangements, ultra-catchy melodies, uncomplicated but timely tempo changes, lots of bluesy crescendos with plenty of biting guitar and buckets of soaring keyboards, ending in resounding grand finales. For example, you can't get any poppier than the almost radio-friendly "As Good as Gold", the romantic "Paintbox", the ethereal "King of the Castle" or the anthemic "Masters of Illusion"; yet all of these feature spine-tingling musical phrases, multi-layred choruses, superb guitar play and a variety of themes you'll only find in prog. Speaking of variety of themes, I dare you to count how many you'll find on the amazing "The Shadow"- and notice how naturally they all flow into one another. This particular track is a jewel of neo-prog, a real tour de force and a veritable rock operatta in a nutshell. In addition, the album also contains "Guardian of my Soul" and 'Schizo, two superb tracks with floydian guitar play that still bear the purest PENDRAGON signature.

Alongwith ARENA's classic "The Visitor", "The Masquerade Overture" offers the ultimate musical rollercoaster ride for anyone into neo-prog. It is, in my opinion, the definitive PENDRAGON classic and fully deserves its 5 stars.

Hibou | 5/5 |


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