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The Minstrel's Ghost - The Road To Avalon CD (album) cover

THE ROAD TO AVALON

The Minstrel's Ghost

 

Crossover Prog

3.73 | 76 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars THE MINSTREL'S GHOST is the project of American Blake Carpenter. He is a multi- instrumentalist and also does the vocals here. Some might know him from singing on the CORVUS STONE album. And speaking of that band, guitarist Colin Tench is on board here as well. We also get THE FLOWER KINGS former drummer Zoltan Czorsz helping out. This is a concept album about King Arthur. And i'm not going to lie, before I listened to this I flipped through the liner notes rolling my eyes somewhat at the pictures and song titles but hey i've always made it clear that i'm just not into concept albums. The album is divided into two parts of six songs each, plus an almost 16 minute bonus track called "The Road To Avalon" which apparently was composed many years previous by Blake.

"The Journey Begins (The Avalon Overture)" is for me the best track on the album. It's an instrumental that really got my hopes up when I first heard it. I really like the spacey synths early on and the guitar that arrives a minute in followed by piano. The guitar is back leading but then the synths take that role around 3 minutes in. Nice. It settles down some then the guitar is back around 5 minutes in. I like the ending to this one as well. It blends into "Avalon Part 1" and we get vocals for the first time just before a minute. I like the intsrumental breaks alot but i'm not big on the vocal sections here. It blends into "Merlin" where we get some atmosphere. Reserved vocals after a minute. A change just before 2 minutes as it picks up some with vocals. It's okay. It blends into "Lady Of The Lake" where we hear spoken words in the background along with some atmosphere. Relaxed guitar then takes over. Reserved vocals join in before 2 minutes. The tempo picks up as synths come to the fore and the vocals stop. They're back after 3 minutes. Lots of atmosphere to end it. "Excalibur" is a vocal-led mid paced tune that's quite good. "Avalon Part 2" ends the first half of the album. It's a feel good instrumental early on that is quite relaxed. The vocals before 1 1/2 minutes are reserved.

"Camelot" reveals an active Zoltan on the kit after we listened to a sample of goings on in the streets back then. The guitar joins in then vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. Man I have a hard time with this track. Just not digging the vocals and sound here. "A Love Betrayed" opens with atmosphere and spoken words. The words stop as the guitar comes in while the atmosphere continues. Reserved vocals before 2 1/2 minutes. I like the instrumental break around 4 1/2 minutes. Vocals are back after 5 minutes. "The Son" is an uptempo track with some good prominant guitar. Vocals join in and they more passionate than usual. "Avalon Part 3" opens with swords clashing as the guitar comes in and takes over. I like this one. Vocals 3 minutes in. "Le Morte d'Arthur" is fairly melancholic including the vocals. This is good. It blends into "The End" where drums pound and vocals soar. Now the guitar is soaring in this uplifting closer.

Without question this is a good album but it's not a 4 star album in my world.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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