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Mandalaband - Mandalaband IV - AD: Sangreal CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.30 | 36 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
4 stars Many years back I managed to lay my hands on the second album by the Mandalaband. I was interested mainly because all members of Barclay James Harvest took part in tha project. The music turned out realy nice, in a way very much different from BJH but also reminiscent of the pastoral atmosphere that BJH used to come up with.

Last week I encountered this album in our local record store and since the album is dedicated to the memory of Woolly Wolstenholme I bought it immediately. I can surely recommend many of you to do the same if you like beautifully crafted, symphonic music with lots of intricate arrangements for flute, oboe, complete orchestras, brass sections, Indian instruments and, last but not least, electric guitar. The melodies are deceivingly simple, the lyrics are rather good telling the story of a holy Sangreal, a cup that could have been the Holy Grail but isn't, the vocals sung by different members of the project are not great but certainly very satisfactory and the overall feeling is just great. There are no stand-out tracks for me, although I like 'A bloodline born' and, of course, 'Galadriel' more than the other songs. I find this a really beautiful album, absolutely stronger than their first two albums (a far better production) because of the richer variety in songs and arrangements. And for those who really like BJH (like me) the fully new arrangement of Galadriel that is added as a bonus track is a absolute must: sung by Woolly, lushly arranged with orchestra, a different tempo yet very recognizable.

The art work is simply stunning, with all lyrics and the players in each song, accompanied by photos of all the people that contributed to the album musically. A very tasteful booklet is the result, a nice gem to look into.

For those who like BJH, Moody Blues, Renaissance or, maybe, the recent albums by Big Big Train, this is an album you won't regret to buy.

Theo Verstrael | 4/5 |


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