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Haggard - Awaking the Centuries CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.52 | 28 ratings

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4 stars Like their previous work this album is a concept one about Nostradamus' life and prophecies. Not much has changed in the presented music style here which is 16th century music combined with gothic/death metal. Certainly the way Haggard accomplish this blend by using a full classical ensemble comprising of 20 musicians/vocalists has to be called quite unique and actually I'm not aware of any other band that could be compared to them. On the other hand that goes without saying is this high-contrast style using grunt vocals next to beautiful classical tunes of cellos, violins, clarinet, oboe and so on for sure not everybody's "cup of tea". I can imagine that this band cannot offer much enjoyable for people who are mainly into "conventional" Prog and favouring sheer beauty and harmony. But I've to say that I don't have a particular problem with the (admittedly) quite "awful" male vocals which might predominate here a bit more than on their first one since I prefer contrasts in my Prog. If they would be replaced by "normal" ones Haggard would sound quite similar to any other symphonic Prog or Neo-Prog band and then they would certainly lose attraction for me and the rest of their other fans. In addition to the first part of this concept they're making use here of a full classical choir. Lyrics (partly as narrations) are in three languages: Latin, German and English. Thus some people being only familiar with the latter one might have problems to follow them. In my view Haggard managed here very well to reflect life and music of this era garmented with a modern "metallic" sound and therefore I think this work deserves a rating of 4 stars. Not because it should be considered essential in Prog generally but because it should be appreciated as an excellent effort. Recommended to anyone with an open mind who doesn't mind some "hellish" sounding vocals.
hdfisch | 4/5 |


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