Pendragon, Passion, 2011
Recent years has seen Pendragon release albums in a regular time frame. As it has seen them do that with albums that could, or better, should, be considered progressive. 2011 release Passion is an example for this development.
If Pendragon in your mind is still that promising band with a neo-prog touch and some beautiful lyrical solos, you only see part of the picture. The title track for instance has some more modern touches to it. Both in riffage and vocals (sometimes those are processed to the extend you don´t even recognize Nick Barrett´s voice) and the keyboards (giving it a more Porcupine Tree like ambient feel). First epic Empathy also adds more modern almost emo like sounds to it. And I must say, as it turns out I think it works just great. Of course the more traditional parts are present as well. So in a way it is not progressive in the sense that something totally new is created. But more in the sense of adding new influences and make them work well with the sound of the band. And a lot of good things are still in place. Beautiful guitar solos, strong choruses (just check second epic This Green And Pleasant Land), dynamic songs and plenty of variety.
So another damn solid release of a band that refuses to stand still. In fact, I am inspired to go pick up the few releases I have missed over time (of which some are considered classics in the genre…). Great album.