Fireworks

Pendragon - 'Men Who Climb Mountains' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ef/bd/8b/Pendragon-Men-Who-Climb-Mountains-97-1442861434.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2015    
 
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A good album and one which it didn't take me long to get into.

A few years ago Nick Barrett decided to be a little less "nicey, nicey" and started to write material of a darker nature; personally, I think it was a good decision. Whilst it would be fair to say that Pendragon will not reach the heights of Pink Floyd with that shift in direction, they both moved away from, and yet got closer to, PF at the same time.

Although the title would suggest the album is about Chris Bonnington and his like, it really isn't. It is about all of us, the adversities we face, and the effects they have on us. Opening track 'Belle Ame' sets the tone by asking numerous questions about your life and this leads straight into 'Beautiful Soul' which features some excellent Rick Wakeman style keyboard from Clive Nolan. 'Come Home Jack' makes Latin sound cool for the first time ever and Barrett has the honours for the cool solo here.

'In Bardo' may be lyrically sparse but it is musically epic, with a really good synth and guitar solo from Barrett, but is spoilt for me a little by the free form piano and keyboard at the end. 'Faces Of Light' is a track that Camel fans will love, while 'Faces Of Darkness' is probably the most angst ridden and aggressive offering to be found here.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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By this point I had worked out that the songs on here actually work in pairs, the second linked to the first, the fourth to the third etc. However, this is not the case with 'For When The Zombies Come' which is a slow paced, stand alone song that sounds closest to PF whilst also being a little bit Jazz; how weird is that? And obviously "Zombies" is a metaphor, as we all know they don't really exist. There is reverse oration at the end of this as well, so if you wanna play....

'Explorers Of The Infinite' is a bit of a slow burner with a touch of Marc Knopfler in it and is probably the album's most "on one level" track, while album closer 'Netherworld' harkens back to the Pendragon of old but it is a rather surprisingly muted end to the album, as opposed to the big finish I was expecting.

So this is a good album and one which it didn't take me long to get into. It is thought provoking and will please all Pendragon lovers, despite the quiet ending, and as we all know, you are only as good as your last offering and on that score I think "the dragon" will be with us for a few years to come...even if they have mountains to climb.

Andy Brailsford

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