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Simon, Alan: Excalibur V-Move, Cry, Act, Clash!

Before opening this elaborate package, I will admit to being excited by the guest list on Alan Simon’s Excalibur V project. Heavyweights such as Martin Barre (ex-Jethro Tull), Steve Hackett, Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Michael Sadler (Saga) and John Wetton, but also concerned that it may create some lofty pre-conceived expectations.

The album represents the fifth release of French musician Alan Simon’s Celtic rock opera series Excalibur. As one would expect with the subject matter, the music is highly dramatic and orchestrated, and yet, it feels a safe and predictable to these ears. Fans of Ayreon and those types of projects will find this right up their alley. I find the style of vocalist Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep) a bit frustrating, as I can hear that he is a fine singer, but his delivery is often more spoken/talking than singing. Safe and benign keep coming to mind, there does not seem to be any fire in the music. You do hear the Celtic influence, but it is subtly done.

Jerry Goodman makes his presence felt, and offers up some excellent performances. Steve Hackett’s beautiful tone was a welcome addition to “Hey”. I kept waiting for the music to break out, go for broke, but it feels like they are pulling back the reigns and not letting this horse run. Considering the great cast of musicians, and an obviously gifted composer, this should have been something special.

Track List:
1 Move, Cry, Act, Clash
2 The Prisoner
3 The Last Bird
4 Messaline
5 I Said Shout
6 Heaven
7 The Lady of the Lake
8 When Your Feelings Grow
9 Wake Up (Before the Last War)
10 Hey
11 A Brand New Day
12 The Vision

Added: March 29th 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artist @ Soundcloud
Hits: 413
Language: english

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