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BarroQuejon - Concerning the Quest, the Bearer and the Ring CD (album) cover

CONCERNING THE QUEST, THE BEARER AND THE RING

BarroQuejon

 

Crossover Prog

3.08 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Chile born David Hanus is no longer with us but has left behind an innovative album with "Concerning the Quest, The Bearer and the Ring" that will likely appeal to Tolkien fans. The influences of "Lord of the Rings" are so prevalent that it often feels like a soundtrack to the Tolkien classic. The medieval musicianship is as whimsical as Gentle Giant in their most pastoral mood with Elizabethan pipes and time signatures playing a dominant role.

Each track offers a medieval soundscape and is a genuine treat. Where the album falls short of the mark however is in the overlaid vocals which are often strained and too heavy for the music. The grandiose interplay of twittering woodwind and orchestrated keys are definitely bombastic and work well throughout the first three tracks. Highlights include the grandeur of 'The Breaking of the Fellowship', and the upbeat perky 'The Awakening of Fangorn'. The vocals are again are oddly placed though more like Queen with the overlaid harmonies, that feel a bit overkill. There is so much happening on the album it becomes slightly over-exaggerated, whereas when the music peels back and allows a more subtle approach, particularly with the wonderful piccolo, the music is a sheer delight.

'With Faramir' is replete with the tension and release of dancing pipes and staccato keyboards with more overlaid vocals. Each track kind of sounds the same and perhaps this is intentional as it is such a pronounced sound throughout. The quirky time sigs change often and keep the listener on their toes as it shifts without warning or logic on 'The Battle of Pelenor'.

The darker tones on 'Kirith Ungol' are very welcome after all the bombastic jumpy music previous. The piano is a perfect embellishment with some beautiful synth pads as a foundation. It breaks into a flute passage and then some staccato orchestrated flourishes. The instrumental is a highlight for my ears without the vocals overtaking the melodies. This one reminds me of the cinematic work of The Enid and is absolutely brilliant.

'Until The Slopes of Orodruin' also focuses on piano at first, and again has a darker feel though the vocals return and again are multi layered. There is a passage of uptempo keyboards and a steady percussion but this is overdone with the vocals and constant tempo breaks. 'Towards You' is a melancholy symphonic song with very good soft singing, some of the best on the album and one of the most beautiful songs on offer from Barroquejon.

'In Mount Doom' returns to the heavy handed orchestrated soundscape and breaks the peaceful atmosphere. There are a ton of vocals and loud blasts before the flute and piano solo comes in and this is a fantastic component of the track. It is soon joined by layered vocals that spoil it for me. The epic feel is unmistakeable but it is not easy listening. 'The Final Battle' begins quietly with nice harmonies but it soon builds into a cacophony of sound with huge outbreaks of synthesizer and booming bass and drums. Again the sound is akin to Queen in their early incarnation. The tale is coming to a close and it moves to the ultimate 'The Quest: There and Back Again'. The final track has some pleasant synth atmospherics, and is dominated by flute breaks and synth solos. It is an instrumental bookending the album well. Overall I liked the music of Barroquejon; a fitting tribute to a man with a very ambitious vision.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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