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Pendragon - Passion CD (album) cover





3.74 | 538 ratings

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4 stars It's normal for any almost band to reach a peak and then start to go downhill, some reach this apotheosis too early in their careers and have a shorter life, while others have more resistance, but the feared decline always catches them. In the world of Neo Prog two bands mark that difference, MARILLION, was amazing from the start, but after Fish left, the slow but unstoppable decadence begun, until they turned into a mainstream band with nothing special to place them over the rest (In my opinion of course).

On the other hand PENDRAGON seems immortal, because they keep going for 26 years and even when some albums are better than others, they go on an on and on as the Energizer bunny. I honestly thought that they would always live at the shadow of "The Masquerade Overture", but four years later they surprised with the excellent "Not of this World"

Then, the new century advanced and when everything pointed towards their disappearance, they gave us "Believe" and "Pure" that reinvented the sound of the band and allowed a rebirth. It's clear that PENDRAGON are able to survive, because they evolved without betraying their style or selling out in the search of a new audience.

Now in 2011 they release "Passion", and even when not as revolutionary as "Pure" (Well, there's no need to make dramatic changes after each album), they keep the healthy habit of marking the difference with the previous release but reinforcing the changes they made before.

"Pure" was a giant leap, but still they kept some of the pastoral sound that made the band famous, with "Passion" they have embraced a darker facet of Neo Prog, playing sometimes the border that separates the sub-genre from Heavy Prog.

Something very important is that they have left behind almost every reference from the four men GENESIS to create a new, more modern and vibrant sound adequate for the new century, leaving the keyboards in a secondary (but still important) role in order to give priority to the aggressive guitars and percussion.

It's hard to choose favorite tracks, because "Passion" must be heard as a unity, being that no song can be seen as a single, every song is an integral part of the album. But if I have to select one, I would go with the dramatic "Empathy" where the beautiful piano and Mellotron reminds me a bit of their roots, but on other passages they show this aggressiveness and violence that is best expressed with the spoken vocals (Just in case, this is not Rap, because rappers didn't invented spoken songs). An excellent track that combines the classical sound with a contemporary and harder approach.

As I said before, not as transcendental as "Pure", but I have to give "Passion" the same four stars I gave to it's predecessor, being that the level and quality of both releases is pretty similar.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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