ARTIST:

PENDRAGON

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

PASSION

(2011)
LABEL:

TOFF

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Neo, Symphonic
"A logical sequel to "Pure", "Passion" is a chiseled diamond whose intelligence and depth of composition should win the approval of a varied audience eager for sensations."
PETER HACKETT (13.05.2011)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

It's already three years since the release of "Pure", but this lap of time seems to have become Pendragon's cruising speed. And if this delay may seem long, Barrett's gang knows how to make us wait by releasing live testimonials.

Every announcement of a new Pendragon album fuels speculation, with old fans hoping for a new "Masquerade ..." and younger ones hoping for a new "Pure". While the band's new musical direction may disappoint neo aerial aficionados, it does appeal to a new, younger and more metal-oriented audience. Is this new opus called "Passion" going to unleash them (the passions!) once again? 

It's with "Passion" that the album starts, a composition that starts very smoothly and gets stronger around the second minute without giving in to screaming metal. We find there with pleasure Nick Barrett's rocky voice on a punchy rock, without any solo nor guitar nor keyboards, and which, despite its 5'27, seems devilishly short!

"Empathy" follows and seems to be the perfect continuation of it. This track is one of the two epic pieces of the opus (11'20) and it completely takes over the atmosphere of the introduction until the common lyrics: "Passion? Give me some empathy". Its generous duration allows Barrett to give us a solo of which he has the secret, full of feeling, to which Clive Nolan will answer with a little piano ballad leading to a symphonic flight of synthesizer. The tone is set, Pendragon has lost none of his ardour and lyricism. And, since we're dealing with prog, we find the good old tricks of the conductor: breaks, sound effects, doubled vocals, snoring riffs, ... all that being used here with skillfully balanced dosages and without abuse. The time to evoke the recipe of the good neo which delights the heart of the amateur and here we are at the second long compo : "This Green And Pleasant Land". If the first minutes are calm as a bucolic walk, the level slowly rises towards a break (around 9'10) where the rhythm gets carried away for a finale that is bursting with fire!

There aren't really any weak tracks on the album, and even the last track ("Your Black Heart"), which sounds like a little ditty without much scope, gives Nick the opportunity to send a solo of about 1'30 which could be in the top 10 of the best soli. Musically, we might regret the relative discretion of Clive Nolan's keyboards, but we'll appreciate the efficiency of Peter Gee, the longtime accomplice, imperial on bass and synth-bass. As for Scott Higham, he confirms his perfect integration within the band, his muscular drumming giving a new power to the band's music. Of course, this concert of praise can only end with the evocation of the multiple talents of Mr. Barrett, author, composer, guitarist with an exacerbated sensitivity, but also singer whose hoarse voice is charged with an expressivity which largely compensates a sometimes sensitive lack of technique.

"Passion" is one more stone in Pendragon's musical edifice .... A stone? what do I say a diamond! The powerful interpretation of some tracks may displease a few amateurs of caressing neo-prog, but the intelligence and depth of the compositions should win the approval of an audience more open to the "hard" digressions of a decidedly very progressive rock.


More informations on http://www.pendragon.mu





TRACK LISTING:
01. Passion - 05:27
02. Empathy - 11:20
03. Feeding Frenzy - 05:47
04. This Green And Pleasant Land - 13:13
05. It's Just A Matter Of Not Getting Caught - 04:41
06. Skara Brae - 07:31
07. Your Black Heart - 06:46

LINEUP:
Clive Nolan: Claviers / Choeurs
Nick Barrett: Chant / Guitares
Peter Gee: Basse / Choeurs
Scott Higham: Batterie / Choeurs
   
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READERS
4.2/5 (17 view(s))
STAFF:
4/5 (14 view(s))
MY RATING
 
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