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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Keyboards Triangle CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.99 | 15 ratings

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4 stars A big thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the recommend on this. Best $10 CD I've ever bought. This album is a keyboard fanatic's dream. Fans of overblown bombastic keyboard playing must surely get this album. Two Japanese groups, Gerard and Ars Nova tackle, with their rather apparent skills, 7 prog chesnuts. Having seen a couple of timely comments on some 'cover' threads let me address a point or two as to why you should get this. First off, these are incrediblly complex, technically demanding pieces of music. It is a joy and actually quite interesting to hear other musicians take a stab at works done by the 'gods' of prog keyboard. These are not straight up covers either. Each group adds it's own take on the song, without destroying the integrety of the songs.

For example, Toccata right out of the gate will amaze you with the technical prowess of Gerard's Toshio Egawa. While the keyboads are first rate and capture the shear intensity and bombast of the piece... I do miss some of Palmer's killer fills though. Gerard also covers and does alter Banco's La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta but you know, I have to admit I enjoy what they did with it maybe even more than the original. The other two Gerald covers of Rick Wakeman's Catherine Parr and PFM's Four Holes in the Ground are fabulous as well. This album was my first exposure to Gerard but was impressed enough that I've ordered additional albums from them. Highly recommended group to check out.

Next up is Ars Nova whom I had heard, having a copy of the excellent Book of the Dead album. They start up with an excellent Birds melody from Trace, and a stunning performance of Tarkus that while true to the original is Ars Nova's own. Ars Nova really has fun with Il Balletto di Bronzo's massive Ys album closer Epilogo. The 7 note bass figure that is a bit subdued on Ys is just MASSIVE on this version. Sounds great on maximum volume. Being such a fan of the original song and the album. I found Ars Nova's version very impressive and intersting to listen to.

This album is a bit hard to rate. I really want to rate it 5 stars, it think quality-wise it should get no less. However this album hardly rates as an essential masterpiece of prog. It has specialized appeal to fans of the groups and music and to keyboard or symphonic afficionados.

4 stars.. .but consider it worthy of five for the music itself.

Michael (aka micky)

micky | 4/5 |


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