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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Excalibur II: The Celtic Ring CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.47 | 23 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Moody Barclay Yes Parsons Project Convention

Not content to make just one album celebrating the notorious (in a Rock context, at least) King Arthur legend, French multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Alan Simon has made three of them (the third installment of Excalibur has just been released at the time of writing). As the title implies this is the second in the trilogy, subtitled The Celtic Ring (or L'Anneau Des Celtes in French). This time around Simon enlisted the talents of Alan Parsons from the Alan Parsons Project, John Wetton of King Crimson and Asia fame, Jon Anderson of Yes, Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, Les Holroyd of Barclay James Harvest, John Heliwell of Supertramp, Jacqui McShee of The Pentangle, multiple members of Fairport Convention, and several others. Andreas Vollenweider lends his distinctive harp sound to one track.

The music is once again a mixture of Celtic Folk, Rock, and New-Age, performed on a plethora of Folk and Rock instruments. The Fairport Convention album Fame & Glory is based on material from the same project and features some of the same songs that appear here. I normally don't like these kinds of multi-artist Rock musical projects, but this one is decent. Though, personally, I prefer both the aforementioned Fairport album Fame & Glory and the somewhat rockier Excalibur III. Still, there is much for both Folk Rock fans and Prog fans to enjoy here.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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