Exposé Online banner

Pendragon — Passion
(Snapper Music SMACD971, 2011, CD+DVD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01

Passion Cover artPassion marks the conclusion of a trilogy of records that started with 2005's Believe, followed by 2008's Pure. Each was part of Pendragon's "five year plan" to present a new and re-energized sound to the public. Probably one of the smartest moves made was to hire drummer Scott Higham whose metal technique gives the hotter parts of the arrangement a serious kick in the ass. With him on board it's not much of a surprise that a harder edge is all over the music, plus an attention to production details and textures that gives the songs added depth and binds the longer pieces together. Notwithstanding superb performances all around (though Clive Noland's keyboards seem more subdued), Pendragon has never been about instrumental showboating. Instead, the heat in the arrangements propels the emotion in the lyric and melodies, enhancing what was already Pendragon's core competency. I don't know if it's a mid-life crisis but the entire band are shredding paint on songs like "Feeding Frenzy" and "Skara Brae," sounding more like Rush than the 70s prog reference points they are most often associated with. Fans of the old Pendragon will take solace in songs "This Green and Pleasant Land" and "Your Black Heart" that would have been at home on The World, but for the most part the band and producer Karl Groom have made it their mission to transport Pendragon into the modern era and to my ears they've arrived in good shape. A two-disk edition also includes a DVD documentary about the making of the album, with Barrett, Higham, Nolan and bassist Peter Gee discussing the recording process and their thoughts about the new music.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Pendragon, Clive Nolan

More info
http://www.pendragon.mu

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Il Tempio delle Clessidre - Il Tempio delle Clessidre – If you yearn for 70s Italian prog, rejoice as this genre is alive and well with the next generation of bands. The best is Il Tempio delle Clessidre (Temple of the Hourglass) whose name is a reference...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues