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

ONCE AND FUTURE KING - PART II

Gary Hughes

 

Progressive Metal

3.98 | 14 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The second part of the King Arthur concept album by genius artist Gary Hughes is even better than the first one. It is more epic, heavy and progressive, with some stunning performance by both musicians and singers involved. But, with such a team work, how could he go wrong? Certainly he was very fortunate to have all these people around to enhance his great skills as songwriter and producer (and he is also a fine singer!). The tracks are superbly arranged and played (great guitar and keyboards parts, always, very tasteful). The first ever AOR/Melodic Rock opera is something of a masterpiece in all aspects (even if the prog influences are maybe too subtle for most progheads).

Highlights are many, but I should pick up some favorites: the powerful drive of There By The Grace Of God, the poignant Believe Enough To Fight, with the very beautiful voice of Edenbridge´s singer Sabine Edelsbacher (as Nimue) and, in the end, a great duet with Bob Catley (as Merlin) and the grand finale with the epic title track (fine vocals by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem and an emotinal guitar solo by Chris Francis of Ten). But, again, as the first album, all tracks work very well together and there are no fillers. The artwork and booklet is quite good too, telling the whole story beside the lyrics. The only down side is that maybe the opener was not really suited to D.C. Cooper´s powerful voice (he sounds a little restrained here). Still a fine song, though.

Those two records make a highly successful work. A great showcase of Gary Hughes´s skills as songwriter/singer/producer. This CD defies definition. I can only say it´s great music.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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