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Pendragon - Believe CD (album) cover





3.54 | 383 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Oh, it took me a long time to write this review and it hurts. I had to forget this CD for some time and then hear it again and again to be sure. But the first impression remained: it was not the CD I was expecting from a band of this caliber and after all that time. Mind you, I'm a big fan of Pendragon. I have all their CDs and I like them all. But Pendragon always surpassed everyone's expectations since The World (1991). Ok, maybe I was expecting too much after all. Some people don't even think Not Of This World is such a great record, but to me it is as good as you could wait after the masterpiece Masquerade Overture. It was maybe too bombastic, but it was good. They certainly reached a point where the band could not go much farther in that mold.

So it was supposed that sooner or later they have to make some changes. Still I was surprised how different it turned out. This is the first Pendragon record that does not sound much like Pendragon. We all know that Nick Barrett is the chief songwriter and driving force behind the band. But the others always made it sound like a group efford. That's what gave Pendragon its distinticve mark. Believe on the other hand sounds too much like a Barrett's solo album.

Why do I say that? First it has too much acoustic guitar on it and very few of Barrett's trademark electric guitar licks. The songs are below average (by Pendragon's standards, of course) and the worst of all: Clive Nolan's majestic keyboards are nowhere to be found! In fact I had to go back to the CD booklet credits to be sure if he really even played on the album. It could be anyone on keyboards and the result would be the very same. And it also can be said about bass and drums (sadly, also the last contribution by longtime member and drummer extraordinaire Fudge Smith).

Please don't get me wrong. It's a good album to hear if you don't remeber what those guys have done in the (recent) past. It's different (very!). Maybe a necessary step back before the next release, I don't know. Some songs are even very good. But for a band like Pendragon, very good may be not enough. Two and a half stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |


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