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Merlin - Vanish to the Moon  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.02 | 7 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Merlin's sophomore effort is skewed to the light symphonic style, which is fortunate because this is where their strength lies. For those who insist on complexity or at least heaviness, please look elsewhere. But those who enjoy German flavoured simple yet strong melodies augmented by excellent almost folky vocals and crystal clear arrangements will be pleased, even if this is admittedly not a major work or a masterpiece. It is hard to find close parallels but perhaps some of the more mainstream efforts of Renaissance, Illusion, or Epidaurus might qualify, with a bit of Alan Parsons thrown in.

Every note and indeed every word can be heard, and even the English lyrics are not embarrassing. Guitars and keyboards share the spotlight and are complimented by flute, cello and sax. "On the Shore Today" is basically a soft rock song but is so affectionately sung and accompanied by appealingly hammered piano and tuneful guitar that it emerges victorious. Some of the songs show a certain penchant for blues and/or swing, which sometimes works ("Nothing at all" and "Coming Home") and sometimes sounds forced and out of place (title cut). One of the male members takes over vocals from Christine Hasse a few times which also helps vary the proceedings, on "Under Your Wings" and "Just Another Lie".

"Vanish to the Moon" has the hallmarks of a band having fun, which probably explains why it is so pleasant to listen to and manages to stay interesting even without much edge. Then again, maybe it is just magic.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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