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08 Oct 2014 

PENDRAGON - Men Who Climb Mountains (2014)

PENDRAGON - Men Who Climb Mountains (2014) full

It's been three years since the last PENDRAGON album, and now the band is gearing up a major European tour to present their new, long awaited new CD "Man Who Climb Mountains" to be released this week.

For this fresh musical venture, guitarist Nick Barrett has gone omnipresent - he wrote all the music and lyrics - so this really has evolved very much into a personal vehicle for him. The usual bandmates of Peter Gee and Clive Nolan are on board and now joined by new drummer Craig Blundell.
"Men Who Climb Mountains" is a concept album but Barrett isn't spelling it out - you're going to have to work at this one. 

The musical mission of the band has clearly changed over the years, being always one of the greatest contemporary Prog Rock acts, but lately with the emphasis on 'Rock'.

Don't have any hesitation; "Men Who Climb Mountains" it's full on Prog but much more contemporary sounding.  The symphonic flourishes from the old days aren't quite so obvious - which isn't to say you won't notice Clive Nolan's presence. His terrific keyboards are still present and painting wonderful colours (check "In Bardo").
It's simply that this new record is a bit more of a guitar driven vehicle than decades ago and Barrett's mournful solos (the brilliant "Faces of Light") have that nice Hackett-esque feel that always draws my attention.
The - at places - spacey "Beautiful Soul" is beautiful indeed, "Come Home Jack" sounds desperate and urgent, while on "Faces of Darkness" Pendragon add muscle to the proceedings (love the drumming here).

"Men Who Climb Mountains" is an album which Neo Prog fans, as well as those who love more accesible sounds from the genre, will revel in. 
There's some poppish melodies (especially during some choruses), floydian atmospheres, rhythmically easy to the ear guitars and a great sense of drive and passion all throughout.
These guys certainly know what they're doing, and don't show any signs of slowing their musical incredibleness any time soon.
Highly Recommended.


01. Belle Ame
02. Beautiful Soul
03. Come Home Jack
04. In Bardo
05. Faces of Light
06. Faces of Darkness
07. For When the Zombies Come
08. Explorers of the Infinite
09. Netherworld

Nick Barrett - guitar, vocals
Clive Nolan - keyboards
Peter Gee - bass
Craig Blundell - drums
.
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