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The Minstrel's Ghost - Jack: A Different Tale CD (album) cover


The Minstrel's Ghost


Crossover Prog

2.17 | 9 ratings

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2 stars "The Minstrel's Ghost" is a Crossover Prog band from the US, that was formed in 2011 by multi-instrumentalist Blake Carpenter. Since 2011, he has released 3 albums. The album "Jack: A Different Tale" is the 3rd album and was released in April of 2019. Blake performs on keyboards, rhythm guitar, and does most of the lead vocals. Other musicians on this album include Jartse Tuominen on lead guitar; Tony James Martin on bass and lead and background vocals; and Mark Troupe on drums and lead and background vocals.

The album is made up of 12 tracks that stay between 3 and 6 minutes each. The album has a run times of over 53 minutes. The album tells the story in song about a boy growing up around dark influences that lead to murder and finally suicide.

"Alone" is an introductory track led mostly by guitar and a moderate rhythm. The sound is a definite David Gilmour style. "Born" features the first vocals on the album, but the lead vocals are done by Mike Troupe on this track. The music is slow and atmospheric, mostly led by a piano and the thoughtful, sad vocals. The band comes in half way through the track. "Growing Pains" keeps the tempo moderate, but the guitar at the beginning is brighter. Carpenter's vocals are introduced here and are a bit tinny and they sound like there is some processing done to his vocal tone. This track has a nice, driving bass line. There is a synth solo followed by a guitar solo here. "A New Day" is definitely more upbeat, but Carpenter's vocals are a little better on this track, but they still have that strange tinny sound that can be a little annoying. The music to this point is pretty straightforward and accessible, but could use some challenging elements.

As the album continues, "New Scars" continues with an upbeat sound, but the vocals eem to worsen here. He tends to have a Peter Gabriel sound, or least attempts to, except that his tone is off enough to be noticeable, and slightly off key. The track itself is not at all interesting. Things slow down for "Goodbye" as the album turns to a dark tone. Subdued synts back up a slow guitar solo until the piano comes in with more vocals, which still haven't improved. "Darkness Falls" is an atmospheric instrumental led by guitar. This same sound continues in "It Begins" except with bad vocals.

"The News" features lead vocals from Troy James Martin, but his vocals aren't much better and the interest in the music continues to wane as it is all quite straightforward and light on the progressive side, with the usual guitar solo stuck in there. Things don't get any better as the album goes on, in fact it even gets embarrassingly bad at times.

The music just stays quite uninteresting without any real ear-catching material and the story behind the concept is not that great. I can't really come up with any real positives on this album, except for maybe some of the guitar solos, but the music is very predictable, the vocals are mostly unemotional and off key. This is one that can be avoided.

TCat | 2/5 |


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