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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 441 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars So here is the album that introduced Annie Haslam to the prog world, and I have to say that this is personally my favorite Renaissance album. Unlike their next few highly praised albums (which are certainly worthy of praise), here we have the band playing as an actual prog rock group without the added orchestral instrumentation, and as a result there is a sense of exhilaration and young vibrancy within these songs that display a band doing as much as they can with what they have, especially concerning the opening title track.

The song Prologue is quite a thrill ride, with some fantastic bass rhythms, Annie hitting some glass-shattering high notes and that groovy acid rock guitar that kicks in at times. Some complain that the guitar gives the overall sound a dated feel, but since I'm quite a fan of those fuzzy guitar tones I have no problem with this. If it sounds like a product of its time, well, it was a hell of a good time for music, don't you think?

The album has a nice variation of styles and even a bit of adventurous experimentation to boot. There are a couple of gorgeous ballads, including Sounds Of The Sea with its gorgeous chorus (another prime Annie moment). Spare Some Love is a groovy acid-tinged prog-pop number with a catchy hook and that 60s guitar during the chorus. Kiev and Rajah Khan definately fit the definition of "progressive", with Kiev's fantastic instrumental break during the middle portion of the song, and Rajah Khan's trippy eastern vibe with strong musicianship.

Although there are those who say Renaissance's golden age started with Ashes Are Burning, I personally consider this a worthy part of their classic era, a prologue yes, but definately every bit as vital as the next few releases. And yeah, I dig the fact that they still had some cool 'rock' to go with their 'prog' on this album. Great stuff and absolutely essential.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |


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