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Pendragon - Masquerade 20 CD (album) cover




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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Chuckle Brothers

Pendragon have visited Poland on a regular basis over years, and their performances there have been superbly captured in a series of DVD releases. 'Masquerade 20' is the latest of these, recorded at the Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice in May 2016.

As the title suggests, the DVD celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of the mighty 'The Masquerade Overture' album. I must admit, I had to check this for myself, as that album seems to have been around for much longer, and has slipped neatly into my 'classic albums' selection.

The first half of the performance consists of the entire album, played in its original order, and including the two bonus tracks ('Schizo' and 'King of the castle') on the second CD that were not simply edited versions of album tracks. The renditions are faithful to the original versions, the band clearly enjoying the opportunity to restore those that have slipped out of the regular playlist alongside perennial favourites such as 'The shadow'. Three quarters of the line up that recorded that album is still present, the only change being on drums where even Pendragon are not immune from the ubiquitous exploding drummer syndrome.

The latter part of the album focuses on the band's latest studio album 'Men who climb mountains' released in 2014, plus a couple of tracks from the classic 'Window of life' and one each from the more recent 'Passion' and 'Pure'.

The unique chemistry between chuckle brothers Clive Nolan and Nick Barrett is as apparent as ever, Nolan enjoying the additional flexibility his revolving keyboard offers in terms of audience interaction.

The whole things is captured suberbly as usual by the Metal Mind Productions team, the camera work and sound reproduction (2.0 or 5.1) being as reliable as ever. The interviews this time are with bassist Peter Gee and drummer Jan-Vincent Velazco, the presentation being rounded off with the usual discography, photos etc.

Overall, an excellent presentation that offers a unique opportunity to enjoy what is arguably the band's finest album live and in all its glory.

Report this review (#1718081)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2017 | Review Permalink
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars For the 20th anniversary of the "Masquerade Overture" album, the band recorded this show in their familiar venue in Poland. But you wouldn't know it is filmed at the same place because the lighting is very different using not as much various colors. The picture quality is ok as the sound and camera work. The band has a new drummer, Jan Vincent Velazco who has played in various styles of music and his now working with the band in London. He does a good job replacing Scott Higham. The band played the complete "Masquerade" album in the first part and some new songs in the second part. It seems to me that they didn't choose the best songs they could on those new songs, I might have to listen to those again to make sure. I don't think this DVD is better than the previous ones, so I don't think it will appeal to the old fans, but a new fan can't go wrong buying this because the band is constant as the stars shining at night. Their music still shows some Pink Floyd influence with a little modern approach in their later material. Pendragon as never been to me my favorite Neo-Prog band, probably because their music doesn't have enough of that darker style of IQ and that I will always prefer Genesis to Pink Floyd...
Report this review (#1723433)
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017 | Review Permalink

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