Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Kayak - Merlin CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.34 | 96 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

the philosopher
3 stars Merlin can be seen as a stolen idea from Rick Wakeman's "The myths and legends of King Arthur..." because of the use of the same legend and even the use of the same songtitle 'Lady of the Lake". Well, it's true, but IMO we deal here with far superior material. Whereby the vocal department of Wakeman's record was at best mediocre, Kayak always had great vocalists. Also the songwriting is far better, although the Merlin concept only takes one side; the other side contains weak pop material. The first side of the record is actually of such high quality that Kayak picked it up again in the 00's and wrote more material besides it to fill a whole record about this legend. The succesfull theatre tour that followed in 2003 was recorded and is highly worthy video material of these Dutch prog veterans.

The concept of "Merlin" begins with the mysterious titletrack which has a very good memorable guitar melodie which introduces the heavy - even bombastic - rockin' part of this song. Later on in this song it turns back to the mystical theme. The earlier catchy guitar melodie is now replaced by a multivocal session, which is quiet intriguing. Then the guitar takes over this melodie and there is some time for a great keyboard solo (the only hardrock solo Scherpenzeel ever recorded?). The keyboard solo flows fluidly over in the guitarsolo which builds up to the climax. This is what I call a good start: this may be the most rockin' composition of Kayak's whole career.

The next songs contain sympho prog ballads ("Tintagel" and "Lady of the Lake") and a medieval influenced rock song ("The King's Enchanter"). The song "The Sword in the Stone" has the same feeling as the opening track, but cannot match that quality. Still a good song. The last track "Lady of the Lake" ends perfectly with great high guitar tunes.

A reason for getting this 80's record aboth the '00 is that this record is more up-tempo/rockin'. In my opinion this semi conceptual record only has one good side, but this side is somewhat better then the average quality of the '00 record. If you can get this one on vinyl you will find a really good quality side. Side one: 4 stars/ Side two: 1 star.

the philosopher | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this KAYAK review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives