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Gary Hughes - Once And Future King - Part I CD (album) cover


Gary Hughes


Progressive Metal

3.51 | 14 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I Love This Album!!! Once and Future King, Pt. 1 - Gary Hughes

Yes, I love this album. I've had it about three weeks now and I listen to it at least once a day. Even my teenage daughter sorta likes it. Shes says it's not as weird as the other music I have and sometimes force her to listen to in the car. The music actually varies from song to song with most of the songs falling in the melodic progressive rock category.

Once and Future King is a Rock Opera, loosely based upon T.H.White's classic King Arthur novel of the same name. This rock opera is the creation of Gary Hughes, the lead vocalist of the British AOR group TEN. O.F.K.,however, is strictly Hughes' baby, consisting of two separate and separately sold CDs, Part 1 and Part 2. I have Part 2 as well and it is also good but I prefer Part 1.

After composing this masterpiece, Hughes, who has been a guest vocalist on at least one Arjen Anthony Lucassen's* own rock opera's, borrowed a page from the master and enlisted Arjen and several other very talented guest musicians for his own rock opera.

*For those not familiar with Lucassen, he is the creator and genius behind numerous concept albums including Ambeon, Ayreon and Star One. Additionally, he has been a valued guest musician on numerous projects in addition to this album, having worked with Lana Lane, Erik Norlander, Rocket Scientists, Within Temptation and Glass Hammer.


Gary Hughes.............King Arthur Lana Lane...............Queen Guinevere Danny Vaughn............Lancelot Bob Catley..............Merlin Irene Jansen............Morgana Sean Harris.............Sir Galahad Damien Wilson, sings "Excalibur" (The Prologue)


"Excalibur", "Upon a pagan land in darkness came, A black and heartless spawn of seed, A cruel and wretched plague, For the mists of time a king lay slain ",

Basically an intro, starting out with a piano and bell solo with background thunder and choir reminiscent of a sound track, leading into a very accessible medium fast paced, melodic prog rock number with very catchy chorus. Excellent singing by Damien Wilson.

"Shapeshifter", "The perfect spell you could not resist, I cast it well, beguiled and bewitched, The evening fell and knocked like before, But this time Hell had come to your door,"

This is a great, great song in a mainstream rock vein, reminiscent of Garbage a bluesy number with just excellent vampy, singing by Irene Jansen and great backing vocals by the cast. Who is this chick? Well, I checked and she is the sister of Floor Jansen (After Forever). No wonder she's so good, Floor's arguably the best singer in the Galaxy.

"King for a Day" "True Gods, they sleep, Locked in their mountain of dreams, They wait for the call, for the hunger, Thry must be freed,"

This is slow rock song, almost a ballad, almost a waltz, a truly wonderful composition, beautifully sung by Bob Catley of Magnum. My respect for Gary Hughes is growing and growing.

"In Flames" "The time has come, There's no other way now, This Crime is done, It tore what remained of our reason, "

Another marvelous song, a medium paced, somewhat anthemic, ordered, marching style, rock number, with Bob Catley again lending his superlative style on the vocals. Great percussion and guitar.


Conclusion, there's only one conclusion. The music is wonderful and easy to listen to, the musicians are top notch and the singers are emotional and captivating so, buy, buy, buy, buy. And this one's not that hard to find for a change, so buy, buy, buy, buy!!!

semismart | 5/5 |


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