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Kayak - In Concert - Merlin, Bard Of The Unseen CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.76 | 28 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars No review yet?! I love the Merlin Bard of the Unseen cd so I was very interested in this good packaged live dvd of KAYAK. I knew all the songs by heart en was exited about how the songs would sounds live. Who are they, what do these guys look like?

First of all some technical information. The stage is beautifully built. It has the feel of a real mideavel period-like style. Some modern ballet dancers are invited to help building up the extravaganza. The concert is recorded in very good sharp quality. The sound quality is very good, all instruments are amplified very good and the total mix is perfect to. A bit strange is the fact that Kayak plays click track (on a metronome) because of the symphony parts that due to financial impossibility couldn't be played live. This is a bit of a pitty, but considering Kayak-members have never seen a penny for their hard work this is acceptable. This is what you could call a 'hobby', they all have fulltime jobs.

For information about how Kayak sound on the Merlin, bard of the unseen album check my review (or those of others) of the cd version of the music. In summary: it has a lot of magical and medieval themes accompanied by an orchestra and more vocalist playing different roles in the story. Sometimes very emotional driven, sometimes technically very interesting, most of the time both.

This release has two dvd's. The first one is the live theatre version of Merlin - Bard of the Unseen with some additional storytelling with some graphic assistence. DVD two contains a second set with some hits of Kayak's past. Well... to be honest... I have never completely finished dvd 2. It so much less interesting then dvd 1. Besides that, Bert Heerink hasn't got a voice like the '70 Kayak vocalist had, so the songs sound a bit out of place here. His vocals are better on the live cd Change for a livetime (concerning old Kayak songs). His vocals for dvd 1 are great. But my point here is that DVD 1 is of our progressive main concern.

DVD 1 proofs to be the best Kayak recording ever made. All vocalist shine in their roles. Also a lot of effort was taken to make the acts and plays look real. The actings therefore is much better then I had expected. At the time Cindy Oudshoorn was still a guest in Kayak, now she is an bandmember. This dvd made fans of Kayak cry for more of her! She sings good on the cd, but live she's even better! Here acting is good, her vocals perfectly in tune with the expressed emotions in the lyrics. Also Rob Vunderink plays a great role in the piece. His role as the basterd sun is greatly performed, he truly is a basterd rocker of a sun. He shines in the last battle more then ever. Joost Vergoossen hasn't played long with Kayak but proofs to be a great guitarist. His live performance is flawless and his solo's even sound better and more alive then on the cd. Hardcoremembers and composers Ton Scherpenzeel en Pim Koopmans also play very good, as always. The one-handed-keyboard solo's of Ton scherpeen still amaze me. Pim Koopmans plays very functional here.

The story of this dvd makes everyone who sees it silent till the end. From the great Merlin to the ending song Avalon the positive tension is kept alive. This is a true masterpiece of a live recording. It is a dvd you must watch with complete attention though, it's not suited for a background kind of setting.

This is a true highlight in Kayak's long career. I give DVD 1 five stars, DVD 2 is more of a bonus wich I'm not going to discuss. So... five stars for this great muscial like concept album played live perfectly!

friso | 5/5 |


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