After a six year hiatus, only releasing Men Who Climb Mountains in 2014 (see review), one of my favorite English prog rock bands is back with a new album called Love Over Fear. Well, to get right to the point, I love this album as the 10 new songs are all sheer brilliance, or in other meaningful words: utter bliss.
Love Over Fear is probably the “perfect” Pendragon album filled with melodic keys (Clive Nolan is a keyboards god here), emotional and sensitive vocals, lots of Mellotron, 12 string guitars galore, but most of all huge, intensive, awesome guitar solos by Nick Barrett. This extremely melodic album without a single weak track reminds me sometimes of the Paintbox period of Pendragon, but then even better!! Opening song Everything, could not have had a more appropriate title, as this track has it all: diversity, melody and extremely “lovely” guitar melodies and solos galore; what a way to open an album. Follow up Starfish And The Moon is a kind of sensitive piano ballad with awesome guitar playing in the veins of Andy Latimer from Camel. Truth And Lies is the next highlight, a compelling ballad with the best guitar solo of the entire album (clocking over 2 minutes) and this is going to be a new Pendragon classic for sure! The graceful composition Soul And The Sea is almost a showcase for the superb keyboard melodies of Mister Nolan, while Eternal Light features some epic parts, a very addictive chorus and a marvelous musical climax. Another milestone of this album is the penultimate song of this album Who Really Are We?, the most “heavy” one of Love Over Fear; a track with lots of power, very intense and I would call this one a dynamic prog rock song par excellence!! The album ends with the rather melancholic, but also beautiful, Afraid Of Everything. As I said before this album has no weak songs; the only “strange” one is called 360 Degrees, which is a bright, breezy folk song with an addictive chorus which makes you want to singalong to on a nice sunny day!
So, is Love Over Fear The perfect album?? Maybe it is, I love it and I cannot get enough of it, so I hope that this album will be a chance for Pendragon to get some more intention in the prog world as they certainly deserve it!!!
***** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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