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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 597 ratings

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4 stars Pendragon's fate was really on track in 1994.A deal with the Japanese Pony Canyon label in 1994 resulted in the reissue of the entire back catalog and the next year they appeared for the first time at the US Progfest.Another live album and a great example of Pendragon's energy came out in 1995: ''Utrecht...The Final Frontier''.All these positive affairs were mirrored on the band's upcoming release.The classic Barrett/Smith/Gee/Nolan line-up recorded ''The Masquerade Overture'' in 1996 and the album was issued in two different version by Toff Records, the second one containing some nice bonus material.

Here Pendragon offer some of their longest and most elaborate compositions, developing from deeply emotional moments to dramatic instrumental passages with both Nolan and Barrett being in a fantastic shape.The ability of the band to create pure progressive soundscapes with a very rich sound and blend them with softer and warm atmospheres, highlighted by piano and Barrett's vocals, remain the absolute trademark of the band.Pendragon continue to mix the fantastic keyboard/synth instrumentals of IQ and MARILLION with the soaring guitar solos of PINK FLOYD and the result is pure delight.Symphonic grandieur with organs and synths on the forefront, catchy and thrilling choruses, dreamy music pieces and a very steady rhythm section along with a crystal-clear production guarantee a fantastic listening.Not to mention that the composing skills of Pendragon might have reached their peak with this album, a great balance between atmosphere, melody and demanding instrumental music.

The bonus tracks feature different versions of known tracks or unreleased material, again this has no less better quality than the original album, containing all of Pendragon's trademark ingredients.

The album has seen several reissues through the years with different or even no bonus material, but be sure to get one of these issues, as the 7 original tracks are sure to leave you more than satisfied.Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of PINK FLOYD and Neo/Symphonic Progressive Rock.Definitely a classic of its time...4.5 stars.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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