This album is an absolute TRIUMPH! Passion? Hell - YEAH!
Let's be honest here; the rumours and suggestions of changes to the Pendragon template did not fill me with joy in the months leading up to the release of 'Passion'. That said, I would always, always, ALWAYS buy ANY Pendragon release because they are such a strong unit in terms of musicianship, song-writing, melody and sheer class that Pendragon running at 50% capacity beats the hell out of 99% of the competition!
But not only did the first listen pleasantly surprise me, subsequent spins of the disc blow me away more and more; this record is a real GROWER and stands a great chance of being their finest release ever. I know what you're thinking - that's one hell of a bold statement. However, I said I would be honest folks and I'm being true to my word here. I have listened ten times in all now and I am still finding more intricacies and subtle beauty each and every time I hear the album.
From start to finish there is much that takes the breath away. There is a real diverse spread of styles across the album; delivered with aplomb and the trademark Pendragon sound. Sampling? Yes - it works! Rap? Yes - it works? There's more power in many of the tracks - awesome metal riffs (Passion), amazing discordant keyboard solos (Skara Brae) and drumming to take your breath away! Scott Higham really shines throughout!
But there's old classic Pendragon too. 'Your Black Heart' delivers a closing track akin to the impact made by 'Am I really Losing You?' from 'Window of Life' and in 'This Green and Pleasant Land' we are presented with an epic track right up with the very best of their previous work ('Voyager', 'Man of Nomadic Traits', 'Indigo', etc). In fact, 'This Green and Plasant Land' had such an impact on me from the first listen that the main hook the song builds too and eventually delivers in sufficient volume to satisfy, has been like an ear worm in my head for days now - I love it, I keep singing it, I keep hearing it in my head when I'm not even listening to it or singing it. It is totally infectious - like the record as a whole; once you 'get it' or 'get into it' (and that won't take long - trust me), you will discover one of the best, or indeed THE BEST Pendragon release EVER!
Thanks guys. Thanks Nick, Clive, Pete and Scott for delivering yet another cracking album. It is a scorcher and yet again you have made my world a far, far brighter and happier place!
5 Stars - no hesitation.
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