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


The Minstrel's Ghost


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 82 ratings

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3 stars As you may have guess from the title, this is a concept album about the myth of King Arthur and his return to save his country should they need him. Mainly the work of Blake Carpenter who plays keyboards and guitar and provides most of the vocals, backed up by Colin Tench of BunChakeze and Zoltan Csorsz of The Flower Kings fame, amongst others.

The CD itself features artwork by Ed Unitsky of The Tangent fame and it is beautifully done, despite the unfortunate mispelling of Camelot in the track listing.

But what of the music, I hear you ask? Well' I guess you could label it as neo-prog. It features a lot of guitar (which it has to be said is very well played) and keyboard solo work, some of which is reminiscent of earlier Pendragon work. Strangely enough, the drums sounds subdued, particularly during part 1 where it seems to consist of just a snare drum over much of it. Things pick up in part 2 with a short drum solo and this noticeably picks things up. The main Avalon "theme" is memorable and catchy and whilst the music is not as complicated as some prog can be, it is very well done, if somewhat naive in places. The production is excellent and clear.

Lyrically however, I'm afraid some of it is sixth form poetry level ("The once and future king has died today, such a wicked tragedy what more can I say?") but it does tell the story as intended, unfortunately this is the kind of concept work that prog has sadly been mocked for in the past.

Overall though this is an enjoyable album. Whilst nothing ground-breaking it should appeal to fans of neo-prog and similar albums such as Rick Wakeman's concept works and The Jabberwocky. As I said, the instrumental work, particularly the guitar, is excellent and I look forward to hearing more from Blake Carpenter.

chopper | 3/5 |


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