Pendragon - Not Of This World

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Toff Records
Catalog Number: PEND10CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 76:23:00

It's taken Nick Barrett and chums no fewer than five years in order to deliver another brand new album of Pendragon divinities. Maybe the growing success of keyboard player Clive Nolan's very own Arena is part of the explanation, the second being Nick's matrimonial difficulties. Whatever the reason, Pendragon continue where they left off in 1996 with the brilliant The Masquerade Overture, focusing even more on the Pink Floyd influences than ever before.

The album actually consists of five songs, three of which are epics that contain various parts glued together to make a consistant whole. The first pressing also contains two bonus tracks, but more of that later. The opening chords of "If I Were The Wind" already come very close to Floyd's very own "Welcome To The Machine" and then when Nick's Gilmour-like guitar playing blends with the female backing vocals, well, what can one say? Those vocals seem like leftovers from the actual Dark Side Of The Moon sessions. Did the band bribe Alan Parsons? When the powerful rhythms calm down, Clive's solitary piano not only brings back the peace but also illustrates the fragile nature of the lyrics, enabling Nick to approach the singing from a different angle. Here he says goodbye to an important part of his life to continue life with his son "on waters new we set sail"!

Without having heard one second of the song I already liked the title - "Dance Of The Seven Veils" has Clive attack his keyboard as if it was a toybox, whilst Barrett's guitar sound holds some eastern influences and Pete Gee's fretless bass shines in all it's glory. Then the tempo becomes faster resulting in "All Over Now," an almost danceable singalong tune that is once again brought to a rest, almost taking us back to vintage Genesis for a while. "Not Of This World" starts very lively and joyful with some nice synth sounds courtesy of Nolan, whilst Nick repeats exactly the same riff, so you get guitar and synth on top of each other. Then there's the rollercoaster ride of Fudge Smith hitting the drums like he never hit them before. Luckily for him, Clive's classical strings take the steam out of this song whilst the female vocals once again remind us of Liza Strike and friends! And that's not all, because once "Give It To Me" hits your speakers, Nick adds yet another layer of Gilmour delight, backed by yet another superb fretless attack by Pete Gee.

"A Man Of Nomadic Traits" is a "plain" Pendragon track which nevertheless contains some superb moments, but still doesn't shine as much as the other diamonds on this disc. Maybe it's the rare black diamond of the lot? Almost 18' in length, "World's End" once again illustrates the great guitarist Nick Barrett really is. The build up of the first part, "The Lost Children," gets very close to the work of Roger Waters with it's story telling contents backed by a fragile arrangement. But then Clive switches to fast synth playing, whilst the rhythm becomes faster as well, before piano once again slows down the atmosphere in order to create a more solemn result in which Nick once again delivers an outstanding guitarsolo backed by those Floyd-like backings. Breathtaking!

Pendragon fans who already have the Metal Mind Productions album The History 1984-2000 in their collection will already have the bonus tracks delivered here. But hey, who needs those tracks anyway? Both "Paintbox" and "King Of The Castle" come in an acoustic version here, but maybe prog isn't the ideal genre to be given the "unplugged" treatment. Just leave the latter to Mariah Carey and the likes.

On Not Of This World Barrett has taken off his masque and has offered us a trip through his personal diary. Now how more autobiographical can you get?

If I Were The Wind (And You Were The Rain) (9:25) / Dance Of The Seven Veils: 1. Faithless 2. All Over Now (11:42) / Not Of This World: 1. Not Of This World 2. Give It To Me 3. Green Eyed Angel (17:28) / A Man Of Nomadic Traits (11:44) / World's End: 1. The Lost Children 2. And Finally... (17:48) Bonustracks : Paintbox (Acoustic Version) / King Of The Castle (Acoustic Version)

Nick Barrett - guitar, vocals
Fudge Smith - drums
Peter Gee - bass
Clive Nolan - keyboards

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: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: April 10th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 859
Language: english


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