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Clive Nolan - Alchemy CD (album) cover

ALCHEMY

Clive Nolan

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 121 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Making gold

Clive Nolan is a legend in prog circles through his participation in bands such as Pendragon, Arena, Strangers On a Train, etc. So far though he has not released a solo album as such, the closest perhaps being the album he released in South American last year in collaboration with singer/actress Noel Calcaterra.

While "Alchemy" is most certainly not a solo album, it has been released in the name of Clive Nolan, who is the composer and arranger of the project. It should perhaps be said upfront that this is not a neo-prog album of the type released by the aforementioned bands, indeed it is not really a prog album at all. Those who are familiar with the remarkable "She" project released by Nolan under the "Caamora" name will have a much better idea of what to expect. "Alchemy" is in fact the second Caamora Productions project, this album being a fore-runner of some live stage shows and a DVD to come later this year.

In essence, "Alchemy" is a musical for the 2010's, the emphasis being on setting an entertaining story to music through a gathering of noted singers backed by a group of fine musicians. These singers and musicians are predominantly people Nolan has worked with over the years, coming from bands such as IQ, Threshold, Arena, Twelfth Night, etc. Also present once again is the distinctive voice of Agnieszka Świta who is the principal Caamora vocalist.

The "Alchemy" story comes from the same era as that which inspired Arena's "Pepper's Ghost" album. Unlike "She", this is not an adaptation, but an original story written by Nolan, with a really nasty villain, a damsel in distress, plenty of skulduggery and of course a hero. A synopsis of the story can be found at www.alchemythemusical.com/ .Each of the singers performs a role as things roll along at a relentless pace. There are of course moments of melancholy, frivolity, reflection and drama, the music for each being composed with great attention to detail.

With ventures such as this and the preceding "She", Clive Nolan is stepping outside what may be considered his comfort zone. He is to be applauded too for the associated staging of the live shows where his investment is not just financial but emotional too. If there is any justice, both "She" and "Alchemy" will become highly successful West End productions enjoying extended runs. In the meanwhile, we look forward to the DVD of the main presentation of "Alchemy" in Katowice, Poland.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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