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Gary Hughes - Once And Future King - Part II CD (album) cover


Gary Hughes


Progressive Metal

3.98 | 14 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Once and twice king

The second part of Gary Hughes' Rock Opera Once And Future King continues right where the first part left off. Once again we get a strong set of tunes performed by a wide range of guests (some of which are new and some of which return from part one). If there is a difference between the two albums, I would say that this one is more eclectic. Like the first album, this is a mix of AOR, Power Metal, and Magnum-esque Pomp Rock with some folky and classical touches. But, in addition, this second album also contains more genuine Prog Metal, and at the same time also more straight-ahead bluesy Hard Rock and even some Pop! Both albums have some very good songs, and a few not so good songs. Overall, I slightly prefer part one (but they deserve the same rating).

Among the returning performers we find the wonderful Lana Lane as Guinevere, Magnum's distinctive Bob Catley as Merlin, and Sean Harris from Diamond Head as Galahad. New additions include DC Cooper and Dougie White. Sean Harris really surprised me here with a superb vocal on the ballad Without You.

There is no doubt that Gary Hughes is a talented songsmith and a good vocalist. The production values are high and the cast is highly professional. Again, like on the first album, I don't think that anything here is in any way ground breaking or particularly unique. But it does live up the expectations set by the first part, clichés and all. Taken for what they are, both albums are good.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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