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Lyrian The Jester's Quest in the City of Glass album cover
3.74 | 32 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Million Stars (4:55)
2. Ancient Spirals (4:57)
3. The Scented Chamber (5:03)
4. Here Lies A Mermaid (6:34)
5. The Fall Of The Cards (10:13)
6. Flight From The Enchanter (9:39)
7. The Humours Of The Grave (7:56)
8. Mister Silver (10:16)
9. I Trespass In The Kingdom Of The Black Doll (8:28)
10. The Ship Of Jesters (9:12)

Total time 77:13

Line-up / Musicians

- John Blake / guitars, vocals, percussion
- Alison Felstead / bass, vocals, percussion
- Paul W. Nash / guitars, keyboards, woodwinds, programming, vocals
- Edgar Wilde / drums, percussion, vocals, programming

Releases information

Format: CD, Digital
February 28, 2016 (Digital), April 1, 2016 (CD)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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LYRIAN The Jester's Quest in the City of Glass ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LYRIAN The Jester's Quest in the City of Glass reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Lyrian is a dedicated medieval-prog influenced group that certainly carves their own destination, uncaring of any slight and that bodes very well for another mind-blowing adventure, as presented her on their third album, "The Jester's Quest in the City of Glass". I was very impressed with the band's debut album "Nightingale Hall", as there is a definite Tolkien-esque feel to their music, combining modern electronic keyboards with more medieval structures and inspiration. The eccentric guitar musings are heavily reminiscent of vintage Steve Hackett, what with all those glittering sustained notes played by John Blake, who supplies the narratives and at times, shrill, high-pitched lead vocals that owe more to castle troubadours than anything more modern. Tightly allied with a rhythmic tandem that blends in natural sounds as well as programming, there is a constant clash or interweaving of musical eras, harpsichord one moment and synthesizers the next. Whilst not adorned with the most glittering production or seeking to follow the line to success, these musicians are very intent on creating their own little universe, musical story-telling that was once, long ago, the 'raison d'etre' for the court minstrels, the troubadours and the jongleurs. Old world fantasy blended with new world technology.

"The Jester's Quest in the City of Glass" is functionally narrated, as any epic concept should be, a fictional adventure in a fictional world of fragile existence, generally as a spoken introduction to the tune to come. An opener like "A Million Stars" certainly sets the tone with some rather vibrant sonic extravagances, adorned by liquid synthesizer flurries and slippery electric guitar spells, all bundled up in massive melodic swirls that really hit home. Both following tracks, "Ancient Spirals" and "The Scented Chamber" evoke both a grandiose sense of bombast as well as profound lamentation. It's precisely this contrast between hard and soft, old and new that is so beguiling. The middle section gets a wider, more progressive berth, a series of longer pieces that have been lovingly crafted, such as the daring "Here Lies a Mermaid" with its initial acoustic drama that showcases the band's ability to articulate a fine yarn, excruciatingly delicate , sounding like Gabriel in a non-angry mood! Definitely one of the highlight tracks. The colossal "The Fall of the Cards" infuses a Trespass-era organ that haunts adoringly, Blake's oddball and very English vocals busy recounting the tale, part Ian Anderson, part Fish and a dash of insanity. There is a blaring synth blast that really shakes the ramparts, Blake's voice may take getting used to for the uninitiated but it's the correct, squeaky and baying tone one would expect from some unhinged modern minstrel. The sweeping synth is more Ultravox than, say Emerman /Wakeson but it really drills nicely into the storyline. On the equally epic, nearly 10 minute "Flight of the Enchanter", the keyboard maelstrom gets some serious added cavalry from the glassy guitar, the arrangement veering into multi-voiced melodrama, like a gentler Gentle Giant, quite a daring enterprise. And the voyage meanders further with more epic long tracks like "The Humours of the Grave" (7.56) and its woodwind sounds as well as the lengthiest piece here, the masterful "Mister Silver", clocking in at 10.16, welcoming the jester's arrival into the city with a long Hackett-ish guitar foray, arching far and wide into the skies, adding bombastic keyboard and drum structures in a highly medieval context, a very original style indeed. Adding modern accouterments like vocoder and synthesized snippets makes the whole banquet even more palatable. Lots of rhythmic twists and melodic turns, careening in various directions, the voice remaining strident and slightly demented. Another enjoying highlight, "I Trespass in the Kingdom of the Black Doll" is another acoustic ditty, aided by a haunting mellotron choir egging on a clear melody that woos the ear from the get go. The narration appears midway and it's squarely bizarre, fans of the obscure will adore. The recorder plays a massive role here, front and center, in full armor if you will. Great piece of complex music that sets the bar. "The Ship of Jesters" kills this mad dragon off, a fantasy finale in the making, booming drums from Edgar Wilde (a perfect Brit name, no?) and what sounds like an accordion , could 'the city of glass' be perhaps slightly Paris? The high-pitched plea keeps on giving, a sorrowful lament and a sad beat , waving a magical goodbye and hoping for another future adventure with 'wizards, mermaids and moons'.

Definitely a rebellious and idiosyncratic oddity that should please those fans who tire from any kind of formulaic prog. Some will love, some will hate and many will just enjoy. And so it goes in the City of Glass, everything being so utterly fragile.

4 minstrel treks

Latest members reviews

4 stars Pleasant keyboard-led Medieval storytelling, using the musical instrument effectively to create the mood of the period and of the story. Drawn into this by the excellent 'Flight of the Enchanter', I was not to be disappointed by the overall album, which contains much variety within the constrai ... (read more)

Report this review (#1614702) | Posted by sussexbowler | Saturday, September 24, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In a sea of "progressive" rock with autotuned vocals, overproduced and uninspired sounds, Lyrian stands out with a mixture of PG-era Genesis and British folklore with a lot of charme. Many nice keyboards sounds, over-the-top vocals that in my ears fits the production very well and interesting ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1613646) | Posted by dauinghorn | Thursday, September 22, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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