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Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture CD (album) cover





3.98 | 599 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
3 stars Neo-Prog has been sort of an unapproachable genre for me with Marillion being the large exception to this rule. I thought Neo-Prog was simply pop masquerading as something much larger by extending song lengths and adding keyboards. However, out of pure dumb luck I bought this album, and many of my preconceptions of Neo-Prog melted away as this album entered my regular rotation.

From the album's operatic opening, I was greatly impressed by the strong symphonic atmosphere of the album. Instantly I was reminded of Tony Banks, but in a healthy way, not to the point of a copycat imitation. Nick Barret's vocals are the only thing on the album that could possibly be construed as anything but prog. They have a sort of friendly appearance to them that somewhat takes away from the album being as they don't really offer much besides a suitable voice to deliver the lyrics. However, what he lacks in vocal talents he makes up for in his guitar playing.

He has all the sentiment as Gilmour with the atmospheric qualities of Hackett. I fell in love with his playing at once, and the chemistry between him and Nolan on the keyboards is really the force that propels this album. I'm still quite in awe at how symphonic the music here is, and how much it retains the feel and quality of 70s prog.

Besides Barret's vocals my only complain with the album is its rather stereotypical 80s like production. The whole thing seems to glossy and perfect, like a very contrived effort. It really takes away from the emotion of the songs held within. However, the music itself is amazing, and if anyone like me thought the extent of listenable Neo was Marillion should make this the next stop on their musical journey. To add another perspective after an additional twenty listens, some of the songs really do lose their grander and impact after many listens. The album is still very good, but does tend to wear on your a bit.

Equality 7-2521 | 3/5 |


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