Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Minstrel's Ghost - The Road To Avalon CD (album) cover


The Minstrel's Ghost


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 82 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I got this CD several weeks ago and Iīve been listening to its music since. I had a hard time to write this review, for the music here is quite deceiving (in a good way). As you might have guessed by its title, itīs another concept album about the myth of king Arthur. Itīs interesting of how many artists have done concept albums about the most famous version of arthurīs story that came during the medieval era (Rick Wakeman, The Kinks and Gary Hughes are the ones that spring in mind now). This time this is done by american writer, singer and multi instrumentalist Blake Carpenter, helped out by excellent musicians like Corvus Stoneīs Colin Trench on lead guitar and ex Flower Kings drummer extraordinaire Zoltan Czorsz. Unlike such ambitious projects, this one has the band (Carpenter, Trench and Czorsz plus keyboards player Marco Chiappini and bassist Troy James Martin) playing on all tracks and, quite surprisingly, there are no guests at all.

Upon listening to this CD I was struck by the fine melodies and the overall mellow sound of it all, instead of the expected bombastic epic. In fact during some time I thought the whole work sounded bland and too low key for my taste. However, after a few spins it dawned to me those several subleties that won me over in the end. The Road To Avalon reminds me of those records made around the mid 70īs where several acts used their virtuosity for the musicīs sake, rather than to just showing off their technique. So if youīre looking for long solos, spaced out jams,or anything zany for that matter, I suggest you look somewhere else. However, if you like well crafted songs with terrific, but discreet perfomances and elegant arrangements, this is something you should not miss at all. Itīs really amazing how Blake & co made such a tapestry pf sounds that really needs atention to get some excellent guitar and keyboards lines all over the tracks. I know that progressive music is no easy listening stuff, but this CD can be taken for granted beecause it sounds deceptively simple at first. I especially liked Tenchīs tasteful and melodic solos: short, very well done and using great timbres. A true mark of a great musician. There are no fillers to be found on the whole disc and I always find the flow of the songs very well done. There are no lows either, with all the tracks showing high quality. Itīs hard to point a highlight since the quality is so even. I can only mention the instrumental opener, The Journey Begins..., as a personal favorite of mine.

My only gripe with this record are the vocals: Blake Carpenter has a nice, warm voice that is alright, but nothing special and nowhere near the instrumental competence of all involved. It was expected at least to have more than one singer for the colorful set of characters that appear through the story of Arthurīs rise and fall. And, at 76 minutes of running time, his voice gets a little boring after a while. Nothing that spoils the work, of course. He sings with passion and conviction on several ocasions, which compensantes for his lack of range. I still think this epic would have benefited a lot with the help of some strong and varied voices, but thatīs just my opinion.

With the help of a crystal clear production, a superb artwork and fine songwriting, this is surely one of the best surprises I got from the year of 2012. Highly recommend for the ones (like me) who still think that good melodies in prog music are not only compatible but also a must!

Final rating: 4 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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 THE MINSTREL'S GHOST 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