Sunday 31 March 2013

Minstrel's Ghost - The Road To Avalon (2012)

The second album from this Blake Carpenter lead project. He has got some help from some other musicians too on this album. My version of this album includes two long songs + a bonus track (the title track). I believe this is the CD version. Just to mention this first in this review.

I remember a Dutch band, still very much alive, named Us which I have reviewed all their nine albums for. If I had not been sent this album from Messr Carpenter, I would have wondered if this was Us tenth album. An album they have announced through their Bandcamp page. That is after the first twenty minutes of the Minstrel's Ghost album.

The Road To Avalon is about King Arthur and his adventures. A certain Rick Wakeman released a multi million selling album about the same theme back in the 1970s. It is a good theme, in other words. I am not one of the millions who bought that Rick Wakeman album so I am a bit blank here when it comes to comparissons. Minstrel's Ghosts music is also down the neo prog street with some symphonic prog connotations. The Road To Avalon is also very much a concept album. Blake Carpenters and his knights is running through the King Arthur saga throughout the seventy seven minutes it lasts.

The music is dominated by a mix of keyboards and guitars. I feared this album was about a man & his machine. I am glad to report that my fears was unfounded. The vocals is perhaps the weakest point of the whole album. Some female vocals would had done this material a lot of good. Not to mention the bank balance. The rest is great. That also goes for most of the songs too. OK, we are not talking a masterpiece here. This is still a great album with a lot of great melody lines. Blake has taken a huge artistic risk on this album and I am glad to report that it has paid off. The great Ed Unitsky artwork is also a vital part of this album too.

In short; this is not a masterpiece. It is still a, under some doubts, great album. The vocals bit needs some rethink next time around though. That is another day, another worry though. The Road To Avalon is a great album.

4 points

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