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The Minstrel's Ghost - The Road To Avalon CD (album) cover


The Minstrel's Ghost


Crossover Prog

3.74 | 83 ratings

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3 stars First of all, I am sorry for taking too long for writing this review, and thanks for the patience. Well, The Minstrel's Ghost offers here in The Road to Avalon" a 76-minute album divided in two parts, which at the same time are divided in mini-passages, songs that are telling a story, jigsaw pieces that have to be together if one want to complete the puzzle; songs that are full of symphonic textures and images created by its sounds.

So "The Journey Begins" with an intense and challenging passage, a 7-minute track that gathers different nuances and shadows over a pillow of keyboards and a nice mixture of symphonic sounds with some spacey atmospheres that produce a delicious sound, overall the mood is mellow and calm, but it changes when "Avalon Part I" begins, because here the guitar adds power and a sense of vertigo or worry. Here the voice enters for the first time and begins to tell the story. "Merlin" is softer and mellow, here the guitars (electric and acoustic) make an excellent communion and create a very nice atmosphere. After a couple of minutes drums enter and the music becomes friendlier. Here I found some reminiscences of Mike Oldfield and Mostly Autumn.

"Lady of the Lake" is a nice instrumental journey that let our minds fly and imagine the scenario, when that kind of thing happens, it means the music has succeeded. Then all of a sudden "Excalibur" begins and the story continues. I must say the voice is not the best I've ever heard, but it is nice to tell the story in this album. In moments the music becomes a bit catchy and easy to dig, belonging in that crossover prog label. "Avalon Part II" starts beautifully, with an instrumental passage that shares tranquility and relaxation, not far from the new age realm, but always within the symphonic one. Later vocals enter and complete the piece. The music may not be the most complex ever, but it is not necessary, its charm lies on it.

The second part of the album starts with "Camelot", here the band put some "live" sounds of the arrival of Camelot, some voices and joy can be heard until drums appear making a cool solo that a minute later is accompanied by keyboards, little by little the instruments join and create a cool and more vivid piece. "A Love Betrayed" begins with a chat between two people, the atmosphere shares uncertainty and even some tension, after two minutes (its two best minutes, actually) the vocals enter and produce that catchy sound near to classic soft rock. "The Son" has come with a rockier style and more energy. After 2 minutes a battle can be heard, swords everywhere, horses and people screaming; and after 30 seconds keyboards enter with the same energy and make a victorious solo. The same energy and vertiginous sound appears in "Avalon Part III", an almost instrumental piece that once again produces images in our head, a very nice one.

"Le Morte d'Arthur" has a softer sound, melancholy dropped here, memories and sighs. It is linked with "The End" but one can easily appreciated the song change with the rhythm, this one is faster and more explosive, with nice guitars and a repetitive but cool rhythm that effectively has the sound of goodbye. But after the end there is another story, a 15-minute song called "The Road to Avalon" which is good, but honestly unnecessary, it is like a big reprise and a summary of what the album is about, nothing more. This is a very good album, and I've listened to it some 5 times so far, however, it lacks of an element that make you love it, because now I feel I will not listen to it soon again, but who knows. Final grade, 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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