Britain’s Pendragon has always been one of those neo-progressive rock bands that always seem to come up with recordings that are just oozing class. While some may say that the band never really progresses and that each CD is a continuation of the last, the band still puts out well produced and expertly played albums. Not of This World is no exception.
Nick Barrett’s trademark lyrical guitar leads you into the opening track, titled “If I Were the Wind.” Fans of David Gilmour should really appreciate Barrett’s style, as he takes the same approach as Gilmour with emotional, sweeping guitar solos, yet with a bit more technical finesse. Once the opening guitar pyrotechnics settle down a bit, a touching and melodic song highlighted by Clive Nolan’s atmospheric piano and synthesizers is revealed. Not enough can be said for Barrett’s soulful vocals as well. The hummable “Dance of the Seven Veils” follows, a gorgeous song that is divided into two sections. The first being a mellow melodic section, which then gives way to a full -blown symphonic rocker featuring a mercurial solo from Barrett. To say that this track is addictive is a severe understatement. The rest of the CD is equally as impressive, most notably the three-part title track (which has some great synth workouts from Clive Nolan), and the closing epic “World’s End.” For good measure, the band has also included acoustic versions of “Paintbox” and “King of the Castle”, two tracks from the Masquerade Overture album.
So chalk up another winner from Pendragon. I didn’t think it possible for them to top Masquerade Overture, but I believe they have. While Marillion seems to be alienating their older fans, groups like IQ, Pallas, and Pendragon keep forging the 80’s neo-prog path into the new millennium.