It has been years since I heard any new music from Pendragon. I honestly gave up on them around Masquerade Overture because the music was starting to get a feeling of prog-by-numbers. When I received Passion, I wasn‘t sure about it but then I listened to it and my first thought is “wow the music is so different and fresh“. There are moments of old Pendragon especially the second half of the album.
The first three songs are my favorites off the album. On these songs, I can say if you‘re unsure about Pendragon, then try Passion. They adopted a grittier sound on the opening song “Passion” (5:27) and continued in epic form on “Empathy” (11:20). “Feeding Frenzy” (5:46) is a good looks at the new style in short form.
On “The Green and Pleasant Land” (13:13) they revert a bit to the old sound but around the 9 minute mark they do a 180 and continue in the style of the first three songs. “It‘s Just A Mater of Not Getting Caught” (4:41) is another short track that has the new sound I like.
“Skara Brae” (7:31) is by far the grittiest song on the album and, from what I’ve heard, their entire catalog. It’s a song that needs to be played loud whether on headphones or your stereo system.
“Your Black Heart” (6:46) is a nice melodic song that combines old and new sounds. It’s a perfect way to end off this wonderful album.
I’m not sure what purists of Pendragon think of this new style. From what I heard, this version of the band started with the previous album Pure, of which I will be getting soon. So depending on your experience with the band, this album can be a hit or miss. With me, it’s a hit and I would highly recommend it to anyone that has an open mind and that love melodic progressive rock.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on August 16th, 2011