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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

3.71 | 83 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Road To Avalon" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive rock act The Minstrel's Ghost. The album was released through Melodic Revolution Records in December 2012. The Minstrel's Ghost is the brainchild of Blake Carpenter, who has written and produced "The Road To Avalon" in addition to singing lead and backing vocals and playing keyboards and guitar. He has enlisted some seasoned prog musicians for the recording of this album, among others Colin Tench (Corvus Stone and Bunchakeze) on guitar and Zoltan Cs'rsz Jr. (The Flower Kings and Karmakanic) on drums.

"The Road To Avalon" is an over 70 minutes long concept album telling the story of King Arthur. It's not a theme that's completely strange to progressive rock as Rick Wakeman's 1975 album "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table" also features the same theme. But I guess a legend can never be told too many times.

The music on the album is progressive rock with influences from as different acts as Genesis, Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden. The influence from the latter mentioned is not because "The Road To Avalon" features much that can be called heavy metal, but some of the guitar solos on the album are very similar in style to the guitar solos on "Somewhere in Time (1986)" by Iron Maiden. The music is generally calm and pleasant to listen to, but there are more energetic parts on the album too. "Camelot", with it's drum solo intro, is an example of that.

The musicianship is overall strong. The keyboard work is intriguing and the guitar leads are really well played, but I have a few issues with the vocals and the drums. Blake Carpenter is skilled enough but he has a rather unremarkable voice. His singing is a bit one-dimensional too, usually singing in a mellow tone. The few times he sings a bit louder are refreshing. The backing vocals are decent and suit the music well. Regarding the drumming I'm honestly a bit disappointed. Considering who's playing the drums, they are generally played in a rather simplistic fashion, that's sometimes a bit dull. The music could have prospered from a more busy and adventurous drumming style IMO.

The sound production is decent, but maybe lacking a bit of power to really push the music forward.

"The Road To Avalon" is an album that features many good qualities and while I wasn't completely blown away upon my initial listen, the album has grown on me considerably after I have spun it more times. The tracks begin to reveal themselves and so do the vocal melodies, that I initially didn't find that catchy. So while there are a few issues with the album that keep me from rating it really high, I still think a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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