Pendragon - The Masquerade Overture

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Toff Records
Catalog Number: PEND7CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:58:00

While Pendragon are not exploring any new territory here with The Masquerade Overture they have crafted a very good album. Much of the music here has a certainly familiarity - at times reminding of latter period Pink Floyd, for one. Certainly, there are similarities with their neo-prog brethren like IQ, Marillion, and any band who've come in their wake, but there is enough here that still retain the individual character that Pendragon have.

Some of that has to do with Nick Barrett's vocal delivery, which is more natural than most other neo-prog vocalists who try too hard to sound like Peter Gabriel or, latterly, Fish.

The arrangements are rich and lush, reaching a certain loftiness in their composition (as is characteristic of most neo-prog), all driven by Nick Barrett's guitar and vocals, and Clive Nolan's keys.

The production here is also great, bringing out a certain vibrance to all the of tracks - even the subtlest of instrumentation is clearly heard (although not necessarily on the first listening - and this one bears repeated listenings).

The standout tracks are "As Good As Gold," "Guardian of My Soul" and the closer "Masters Of Illusion."

This album is strongly recommended not only to anyone who is a fan of progressive rock, but to fans of music in general.

[Although unreviewed, some editions of this album came with a second disc, featuring "single" versions of "As Good As Gold," and "Masters of Illusion" as well as three additional tracks -ed.]

The Masquerade Overture (3:03) / As Good As Gold (7:15) / Paintbox (8:38) / The Pursuit Of Excellence (2:36) / Guardian Of My Soul (12:41) / The Shadow (9:55) / Masters Of Illusion (12:50)

Nick Barrett - guitars and vocals
Clive Nolan - keyboards
Fudge Smith - drums
Peter Gee - bass
Tracy Hitchings, Tina Riley, Anthony Plowman, Gwen Ross, and Simon Clew - backing vocals

Fly High Fall Far (ep) (1984) (OOP)
The Jewel (1985)
9:15 Live (1986)
Kowtow (1989)
The R(B)est Of Pendragon (1991) (incl. Fly High... ep)
The World (1991)
The Very, Very Bootleg - Live In Lille, France 1992 (1993)
The Window Of Life (1993)
Fallen Dreams and Angels (ep) (1994)
Utrecht... The Final Frontier (1995)
The Masquerade Overture (1996)
As Good As Gold ep (1996)
Live In Krakow 96 (1997)
The Masquerade Overture (digi-pack w/bonus trk) (1999)
Once Upon A Time In England Vol 1 (1999)
Once Upon A Time In England Vol 2 (1999)
The Round Table (1985-1998) (1999) (Sth Am. mkt)
The History: 1984-2000 (2000) (Polish mkt)
Not Of This World (2001)
Acoustically Challenged (2002)
The Jewel (remastered) (2005)
Believe (2005)
Pure (2008)
Concerto Maximo (2009)
Passion (2011)
Out Of Order Comes Chaos (2013)
Men Who Climb Mountains (2014)
Masquerade 20 (2017)

Live... At Last! (VID) (1997)
Live...At Last And More (DVD) (2002)
And Now Everybody To The Stage (DVD) (2005)
Past And Presence (DVD) (2007)
Concerto Maximo (DVD) (2009)
Out Of Order Comes Chaos (DVD) (2012)
Masquerade 20 (DVD) (2017)

Genre: Neo Prog

Origin UK

Added: May 1st 1998
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 2238
Language: english


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